Tired of fighting to get your content seen in the regular Facebook newsfeed? Not sure how to organically bypass the regular algorithm? You might be missing out on a really compelling feature: Facebook Stories.
This often-misunderstood feature originally allowed personal users to share snapshots of their lives for a limited length of time. It has since been opened up to businesses, but many have difficulty trying to determine why they should even bother with it. It’s just not intuitive at first, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile.
Let’s clear up the confusion, shall we?
It doesn’t matter if you’re on desktop or on a mobile device; Facebook Stories are incredibly visible. They’re right at the top of the main news feed – above the fold on mobile and to the top/right on desktop.
Why is this so important?
Stories have the potential to be the first thing a person sees when they log into Facebook. This means you have the opportunity to grab the attention of people who might not necessarily see all of your regular posts because of the normal algorithm.
A lot of Facebook’s business tools for visibility come with a cost. Stories show in the same place whether they’re from a personal profile or a brand page, meaning there is no advertising fee associated with their use. Who doesn’t like free?
You can also cross-post your Instagram stories from one platform to the other, leveraging your efforts across both platforms. One story has the potential to give you the chance to really experiment and analyze where your story efforts are doing best.
Because story posts are more visible, they’re a great place to post limited-time-only deals and specials (sometimes referred to as flash posts). A story only lasts 24 hours; people who aren’t clicking on your brand’s icon may miss out on something great.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) , is a very real thing. Offering great discounts or specials via Stories alone will train your audience to check them on a regular basis.
Better Influencer Outreach
The Facebook algorithms have definitely changed in the past year or more. Now, they place heavy emphasis placed on personal interaction. Businesses are faced with the pay-to-play concept or they get very little visibility. People are also becoming wary of seeing too much from big brands, but they’re not necessarily against seeing content from individual influencers. Partnering with influencers with large Facebook audiences will give you quick access to a very engaged group of people.
People who do still like hearing from brands want to feel like they’re connected on a personal level. This means less pre-planned content and more on-the-fly videos, stumbles and all. Consumers aren’t looking for super-professional, highly-edited stories. They’re looking for authentic interactions. Sit down in front of the camera and start talking.
Don’t worry about a script, the perfect background, or anything else. Show your customers what’s happening behind the scenes.
Facebook is Invested
A lot of people accused Facebook of simply copying a similar idea from other social platforms, but they’ve shown consistent and dedicated effort when it comes to developing this part of the site. Facebook added features that allow users to cross-post stories from within Messenger or Instagram. Post once, appear three times for enhanced visibility. More changes are being tested on a regular basis. They’re constantly adding filters, enhancements, and additional tools.
Facebook makes it easy to brand simple stories without a lot of graphic design work. The built-in filters allow you to add effects, stickers, text, and components that will give your brand a consistent look in the stories feed. While you can of course have special artwork designed, you can still post on the fly with relative ease.
Facebook Stories makes it easier to advertise upcoming events; this is perfect for event planners, concert venues, and similar venues. Your videos, slideshows, and announcements will all enhance the user experience, drumming up interest as you build up to the big day. You can even collaborate to allow other people you are connected with via specific groups to share clips relevant clips.
Experimenting with Voice
In addition to enhancing events, Collaborative Stories allow brands to give different people within their organization the chance to share their own personalities. Your CEO may be strictly friendly business chat, while your marketing team may be bubbling with fun ideas and colorful content. Your followers will feel like they’re getting to know your brand’s “family” on a more intimate level.
According to Business 2 Community, Facebook estimated Stories will surpass the regular newsfeed sometime in 2019. While nothing has rolled out yet, Facebook is looking for ways to monetize stories as well. This means you’ll want to have already figured out how to incorporate great stories into your strategy so you are already visible when it comes time to advertise.
Tips for Creating Better Stories
Ready to get started? Anyone within your organization with admin access to your page can post a story. People with mobile devices can record and post on the go, but you can also use a desktop to upload more refined content from time to time. Keep the following in mind:
- Adding text? Change the font to better match your overall brand. Facebook gives you several to choose from.
- Move the text around. You can change the angle or move it to a different place on the screen. Position it in a place where Facebook’s icons won’t cover it up, or where the image itself isn’t compromised.
- Upload multiple images to create a slideshow story, keeping the attention of your audience for longer.
- Create a Stories content plan separate from your main feed. You don’t want to post the same content in both places.
- Don’t be afraid to post selfies, photos of your work day, or personalized/branded quotes. Let Stories be the place where your audience gets to know the faces behind your brand.
Facebook Stories are here to stay. While they may be limited by their 24-hour existence, they can have a huge impact on your brand awareness strategy. Make sure you post consistently to maintain your new level of visibility and engagement.