Doctor Digital, are Facebook stories like Instagram Stories? Do I use them both?
Doctor Digital Says
If you are an Insta Stories user, Facebook’s Stories feature will feel like a comfy sweater - if that sweater is made of video or a static image, can have polls, animations, texts and music and only lasts 24 hours.
But should you be using Stories in your business, and what for? Organic reach and engagement is a tough nut to crack. One moment your brand is doing well. Suddenly, Facebook applies an algorithm update that sends your engagement hurtling down a deep, dark hole. We’ve all been there. Facebook needed stories to give their still enormous amount of users a feature they liked in other channels, and a new way to get engagement that felt more personal and immediate and mimic the old Facebook model they were trying to get back to. For business brands, they can be like the personal posts and community engagement that the Facebook algorithm is prioritising, while also being business focused. Win win.
One of the reasons why Facebook Stories could be great for your business is how easy they are to find. Located at the top of a user’s feed, they are on prime real estate. This is an important and strong indicator of their potential to grow your brand. As the first thing your audience sees, you can position your brand directly in front of hungry fans and customers. Interestingly, the Stories feature is taking a while to get traction with businesses on Facebook, which means that your brand has a good chance of doing some quiet dominating. With that pole position, and a lack of users, if you are posting strong regular story content, then chances are you will get seen and get engagement which will also strengthen your organic reach.
If you were double down sneaky (c’mon, live a little) you could also cross post from your Insta stories on both channels, reducing the workload of that hungry content beast.
So what content can you create? The Stories feature supports a few different options.
- Text allows you to basically type in some words, use a fun background and emojis and keep it simple with your messaging.
- Selfies, we all know what they are, show your face and connect with your audience, building personal brand recognition. You can add stickers, a little bling bling and you’re good to go.
- Boomerang, created by Instagram initially, this option is one of the more fun and engaging features Facebook has included. Unlike Instagram, you don’t need to install Boomerang as an additional app, you can simply generate your story directly from Facebook Stories. All you need do is point and shoot and it does the rest to turn your content into a GIF-like animation.
- Polls are a great way to not only get engagement, but to also directly communicate with your audience and have them validate or co-create content. You can ask about new products or services you are developing, their likes and preferences, anything that keeps your brand front of mind.
- Music is the final piece of the stories puzzle and this feature gives you songs to share with your squad, there is an exhaustive list to choose from, and is another way of creating content, building community and getting an earworm stuck in someone’s head.
All this content can be created on your phone inside the app. There are built in filters, stickers, effects, camera settings and a host of features to make your story a page turner. Content ideas can range from product demos and launches, behind the scenes snippets, customer shout outs, celebration, holiday and special event content and even competitions.
Like all things digital, your time is money, so be strategic and clear on where this content fits in your overall mix. There is a demographic spread between Stories and News Feed users that skews to younger for Stories, so be aware of what your audience is used to, what they want, and what they can be educated into using. You can schedule Stories, and the analytics are available in Insights so you can be making an informed choice about their impacts. Time to have a look at that feature and get creative in 2020 with your Facebook fam.