Since Snapchat burst onto the scene in 2013, the social media stories format has become a valuable branding tool.

In recent years the social story format has been adopted by most social media channels, including Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube.

Feeding into the FOMO phenomenon, this marketing trend has become so popular that it’s about to surpass actual feed sharing. Over 400 million people use the popular Instagram stories feature each day.

Social Media Stories and Consumer Behaviour

This shift in user-behaviour means content creators must integrate story content into their 2019 social media strategy. As the space gets more competitive, discovering how to get someone to stop scrolling through their feed and watch your story is key.

If you want to understand the difference between perfect feed content and engaging social media stories content, keep reading! How often should you be posting stories? What works best? Take a look below to see our practical tips for creating captivating story content to engage audiences:

Start with Storytelling

For your social media feed, especially visual platforms like Instagram, it’s important to be more strategic when choosing content. Just like your website, the aesthetic of your social profiles and rolling feeds are a reflection of your business.

The social media story feature, in contrast, allows for more creative and spontaneous content to be published. Consider how photos and short videos can be strung together to create a story that builds, almost like a mini-movie with a start, middle and end.

As this content is short-lived and disappears 24-hours after publishing, your content needs to be current and relevant.

Go Behind-the-Scenes

Social media stories can help to show the personality and people behind your brand. Snippets behind-the-scenes, office updates, live streams and event coverage are all good places to start. Moreover, you can curate pieces of content that will be of interest to your target audience – transforming your social media stories into a daily magazine!

A brand that does this very well is Anthropology. They are constantly creating bite-sized editorial pieces on their Instagram stories that promote seasonal products. Here is an example:

Developing an authentic brand story is important throughout all your content. Therefore, it’s important to keep the voice and tone of your brand in mind when creating social media stories.

Create a Plan

Unlike other forms of content marketing, creating spur-of-the-moment content is encouraged with social media stories. Taking a picture with a customer or capturing a sunset view from your office allows your audience to see what’s driving you on a day-to-day basis.

Despite this, it is still worth creating a plan for your stories’ content. This will help you stay organised, relevant and ensure your social media stories align with your brand’s marketing goals.

By integrating social media stories into your marketing content calendar, you can ensure that they align with your brand’s content pillars too. Also, posting at least one story a day will mean your brand appears in the users feed continuously.

This may sound daunting, but using tools like The Preview App and The Tailwind App allow you to schedule Instagram stories in advance.

Social Media Story Features

Social channels are continuously introducing new features to the stories. As a result, the stories format is kept versatile and interesting. Here are some of the main features that you should utilise to create an engaging story:

  • Polls: this is a fun way to learn more about your audience. Use it for market research with minimum effort.
  • Location tags: check into a locations by tagging the place. This will give users the opportunity to find your business when they search for that location on their feed.
  • Questions: using this feature is a great way to engage with your followers as you can ask them anything or encourage them to ask you questions too.
  • Tagging other accounts: you can associate your brand with other businesses by tagging their account name. Any account you tag will likely share your content as a consequence. This can help to widen your brand’s reach.
  • Going live: streaming live footage naturally creates a stronger bond between your brand and your audience. It’s an unedited and more authentic form of content.
  • Adding links: this is one of the best new features. It allows brands to convert users. Read more here for good ways to optimise content for conversion.

If you need any help developing content for your social stories, get in touch with our team.

For social media marketing, social media management services and more, take a look at our Services page.