Social Media Stories: Yay or Nay for Companies?
The concept of ephemeral (or disappearing) messaging was first introduced to the world by Snapchat founders, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy circa 2011. In May 2012, Spiegel wrote Snapchat’s first blog post which set the tone for what users can expect from the app.
Snapchat isn’t capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion – not just what appears to be pretty or perfect
Thereafter, the Stanford duo launched ‘Stories’ (an ephemeral narrative of snaps that users could post for their friends to view for 24 hours) in October 2013. The rest as they say, is history. Ephemeral messaging took the world by storm and skyrocketed in popularity – prompting others like Facebook, Instagram and most recently, WeChat to follow-suit.
Why are stories so popular? The time-sensitive and authentic nature of stories mimic every day and memorable moments which are often overlooked in the digital world. Consumers crave authenticity more than ever now after being exposed to countless celebrity endorsements, sponsored posts and paid influencers. A survey done found that 60% of consumers (of which, 70% are Millennials) trust social content from friends and family when making purchasing decisions1. Younger generations command $200 billion of annual spending power but they are the least engaged with brands. 90% of the Millennials prefer ‘real and organic’ over ‘perfect and packaged’2. 57% of respondents indicated that less than half of brands created content which resonates as authentic3.
Here’s why businesses should include stories in their digital marketing strategy
Prime Real Estate
Stories typically appear at the top of the social media platforms. Since they’re the first thing that your customers see when they log into their profiles, Stories are great for grabbing attention. Stories exist only for a maximum of 24 hours, this makes them more compelling. You can create time-sensitive content for the following:
- Announce: Share important updates and announcements for your company
- Host competitions and giveaways: Reward engaged customers for paying attention
- Show limited-time sales and discount codes
- Get personal: Let your customers see what goes behind the scenes in your office
Intriguing and Interactive Format
More people are switching to Stories format to connect in an immediate and organic way. (On Instagram, 250 million people use Stories everyday4). Stories are popular because they combine 2 essential modes of communication – video and storytelling. Storytelling gives companies a way to build affinity and trust with their customers. Video boosts engagement with easy-to-consume content.
Better at Forging Connections
Customer experience is one of the most important aspects in today’s marketing world. Stories are a great way to enhance brand reach. Stories have encouraged users to stay on social platforms longer and visit them more frequently. Brands can focus on audience engagement and user-generated content with more accountability and measurable metrics to increase conversions. One of the best features of Instagram Stories for business – is the ability to tag and link. Facebook Stories is considered as the 2nd newsfeed for social media websites.
Measure Campaigns with Ease
Stories allow you to measure both targeting and analytics. Once you have insights into your audience, you can adapt your targeting efforts and watch your results grow.
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Stories may still be in its infancy stage, but it is slowly and surely gaining more traction. Consumers have less time and shorter attention spans hence time-sensitive, interactive formats like Stories can provide product information without being too intrusive. Having said that, proper planning and social media strategy are still required. Stories can come across as unpolished if not executed well. As this serves as an additional workstream for marketeers, uploading Stories consistently is a challenge. Companies need to deliberate on the brand’s voice and imagery, despite it being posted in real-time.
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1, 2 & 3: https://www.fastcompany.com/90281575/social-media-predictions-for-2019-a-return-to-personal-authenticity