In 2017, Facebook began a beta trial for a feature which would allow Facebook Business Pages to create their own ‘stories’. Pioneered by Snapchat and subsequently featured on Instagram and Facebook, stories are made up of one or more images or videos which can be viewed for 24 hours before they disappear (theoretically). What started as a fad amongst teenagers has powerful business potential, so it is no wonder Facebook is keen to offer this feature to customers with a business profile.
If you weren’t aware that Facebook Stories were available for Business Pages, you’re not alone. The trial run was only available on Pages which were not linked to Facebook Business Manager (which ruled out all of our clients and, presumably, many other digital marketing agencies’). Now, however, the feature has been rolled out more widely and we think it’s a new form of social media content that you should consider for your business.
What Makes a ‘Story’ Different?
The premise of Snapchat was to share media momentarily before they disappeared into the ether. It was supposed to be quick, fun and simple. When it comes to a story, a moment is characterised as 24 hours but the basic idea remains. This is content which you believe your audience will like, engage with and gain value from. A story can be a good place to announce an upcoming special offer, a new product or a flash sale. It would not be the place to post important information regarding your company that you wanted/needed customers to be able to refer to.
What Can a ‘Story’ Include?
Very simply: images and videos up to 20 seconds in length. You can add multiple images and multiple videos in one story (or a combination of both). On top of your images and videos you can add filters, stickers and text. You can tag your location in your story which is especially powerful if you are advertising something such as a pop-up event or a new store opening.
What Can Viewers Of a ‘Story’ Do?
In addition to viewing your story, viewers can react to a Facebook story in the same way that they do with posts on the regular site. Another great function of a story is the new ‘Direct’ platform which is basically Messenger for Facebook Stories. That way if you advertise an exclusive 24 hour offer or ask a question, viewers can contact you easily and directly without navigating to your Facebook Business Page profile. Facebook tracks views of your videos as well as capturing data about engagement types.
What Sort Of Content Should You Include?
Facebook Stories are supposed to be quick, simple and made on the go. While marketers like Digital Freak may offer Facebook Stories as a service, we actually believe it is a more effective marketing tool if employees within the company are the ones gathering the content. Think of the story as a window into your company through which you can offer glimpses of your brand. This could include behind the scenes action, fun with co-workers, exclusive walkthroughs and other titbits which offer your users a unique perspective.With the right marketing training and regular support and advice from a digital marketing agency, we believe anyone can create a powerful Facebook Story.
What About Marketing?
One of the great things about Facebook Stories, especially in light of the changes to the Facebook algorithm earlier in the year, is that the content is promoted organically. If you open Facebook on your cell phone, the circles at the top of the app (and above all posts on your Newsfeed) are ‘stories’, featuring your friends, family and pages you follow. On a desktop, the stories are prominently displayed to the right of your Newsfeed. This is a great way to reach people as they take a spare 5 minutes to catch up on other people’s lives. The stories naturally run from one person’s (or page’s) to the next, essentially becoming a little wheel of news and entertainment for the viewer.Thanks to Facebook Stories, this social catch-up can now include your company’s latest releases and exclusive deals.,/p>
How Do I Create a Facebook Story?
It’s simple! Open up the Facebook app, navigate to your company’s page and you’ll see a ‘Create Story’ button beneath the ‘write something’ box. Once you click on this, it will open the camera function from which you can take a photo and video. After you’ve captured your content, you have the option to edit it (and save it) before making it officially part of your company’s story.Don’t feel like taking a photo? You can also just write something on a coloured background and share that too. Personally, however, we’d recommend something more visually engaging.
Here’s an extra tip from us to you: if you use Instagram (on an iOS device), you can share your business page story from there direct to Facebook. Just change your ‘story settings’ (found under settings) so that your story is shared automatically to Facebook. Twice the exposure and half the work! The only catch is that some of the features such as polls, usernames and hashtags are not cross-platform compatible. If your story is simple, however, you’ll have no problems.
Finally, remember your market. As with all content, it is important that everything you create is going to be of interest or value to your audience. While there is a certain informality when it comes to Facebook Stories, nothing is deleted ‘forever’ on the internet so always be mindful of what you are sharing and how it is representing your company and brand. If you want a little help getting started with Facebook Stories, contact Digital Freak today and discover more about this great new social media function from freakily good social media geeks.