It goes without saying that the social media landscape is evolving quickly. Before we know it, new trends with the associated hashtags pop up and new topics take over our conversations. Likewise, new social media functions will soon become something we “cannot live” without.
The same goes for Facebook Stories, which were introduced in 2016 and have become an important feature. For social marketers looking to get involved in the action, the point is to adapt to the latest changes and implement the latest features into your marketing strategy.
So, if you want to use Facebook Stories for marketing purposes, this detailed guide will explain what the feature is, why you should use it, and how to use Facebook Stories for Business.
What are Facebook Stories?
Facebook Stories is a feature that allows you to share content (photos, videos, or even animation) that disappears after 24 hours.
Facebook Stories from your friends and the following pages will appear at the top of your news feed. This applies to both the web version and the Facebook app.
Why Facebook Stories Are Important to Your Business
So why use Facebook Stories for Business? What’s the advantage?
We know the Facebook algorithm can be a little tricky to get organic reach. But the good news is that stories are featured prominently at the top of each news feed, which is where people are likely to become aware of them.
The feature has gained significant acceptance in recent years. There are now around 500 million people using Facebook Stories every day, which means that with the right strategies, you can reach a large audience.
How to create Facebook story content
While you can create a story with both the desktop app and Facebook Messenger, the regular Facebook mobile app offers the most robust options.
And since you’re interested in using Facebook Stories for Business, select the “+” button that appears on your Facebook Page Profile picture and select “Create Story.” This opens up different ways to build your Facebook story content.
Step 1. Select the type of Facebook story content you want to create
When creating a Facebook Story, you have the option to choose between different types of content formats or to upload an existing photo or video from your gallery.
Facebook offers different formats and tools for the content of your stories:
- gallery – to share existing photos or videos on your phone.
- boomerang – to take a series of photos and turn them into animation.
- text – to create a text-based story.
- layout – to post multiple photos in different grids or collage configurations.
- Super zoom – to enlarge a subject.
- survey – to conduct audience polls between two options.
The top row options and the blue camera icon in the lower right corner give you two access points for these different story formats. However, if you click the blue camera icon, you can also take pictures or record videos, boomerangs or Facebook live videos.
Length of the Facebook story video
Each Facebook story video can be up to 20 seconds long. If you’re not sure what to fit in in this short period of time, then check out our tips for making social media videos first.
Step 2. Get creative with your content
Now comes the fun part – customizing your Facebook story. Facebook has lots of creative tools to help you make your stories pop. So, you can play around with these options before you finish creating your story. Find these fun add-ons in the right column after choosing an image file or taking a new picture or video.
- sticker Brings up a library of fun stickers that you can choose to include in your animated and static stories. You can add music and GIFs to your story, share an event, take surveys, ask questions, tag people and products, share your location, and much more.
- text can be added to your story as a subtitle or as additional context. There are many options to customize the text with different fonts, colors, styles and backgrounds.
- To draw or apply Effects to your stories also for a more whimsical addition. Draw freehand or use abstract effects as an overlay.
- Add animated effects to make your story like bounce, slide, zoom in or out.
Step 3. Add custom links and buttons
What sets Facebook Stories apart from Pages in profiles is the ability to share links. For those using Facebook Stories for Business, there are several links and buttons that are vital in marketing.
By tapping the link icon in the right sidebar, you can choose from a few call-to-action buttons and customize them to interact with viewers. Encourage people to book now, call, get directions, shop, and more.
Step 4. Share your story
When you’re happy with your creation, tap Share Now. And that’s it – you created and shared your Facebook story.
Best Practices for Using Facebook Stories
While knowing the basics can be great, it isn’t enough if you want to stay one step ahead of the competition. Follow these best practices to get more out of your Facebook Stories:
1. Create engaging, time sensitive content
The “urgency” factor is what makes stories such a popular feature because of their 24-hour availability. Take advantage of this to create time sensitive content that can create excitement and urgency.
Consider promoting a 24 hour sale with a code, sharing early bird offers, getting people to sign up for an event, and more.
2. Make it interactive and actionable
Because stories can attract large audiences, use interactive tools like polls and voting stickers to create opportunities for engagement. See how PopSugar Fitness uses a survey in the following story:
Ask your viewers questions or invite them to engage with them. Don’t forget that when creating a story for a Facebook Page, you can add custom links and buttons to get more engagement.
3. Share third-party content in your stories
To diversify your Facebook content strategy, share relevant third-party content that your audience might like. Share a post with your stories by clicking the Share button next to a post.
4. Track the performance of your stories
Always keep an eye on the performance of your Facebook articles. What seems to be getting more attention? What types of posts do people want to engage in? At some point do they fall off if you post too many stories? Which post timings seem to be getting the most views?
Keep all of these details in mind as you tweak and improve your Facebook story strategy for greater impact. Combine these insights with your full Facebook report in Sprout Social for a 360-degree view of your Facebook performance. Use this data to see how your page is doing overall in terms of impressions, engagement, fan growth, and more.
Build better engagement with stories
For brands struggling to achieve organic reach and reach their audiences on Facebook, it’s time to harness the power of Facebook stories. This guide provides the basics and best practices for using the feature. Now is the time to put in some hard work. Read the Facebook Marketing Strategy Guide to improve your Facebook efforts even further.