You’ve probably heard Facebook and Instagram now have their own story posting options similar to SnapChat’s original platform. For some businesses, steering clear of these options can be a mistake, particularly those businesses geared towards a young adult and/or teen demographic.
Instagram unveiled “Instagram Stories” last summer, offering
users the ability to create single shot or slideshow stories, with filters, doodling and captioning abilities. Users can create their own Story, which appears for other users at the top of the news feed. As of this year, Instagram opened Stories to advertisers, making it a potential outlet for direct marketing to users.
- Instagram Stories allow businesses to create marketing content that appeals directly to engaged followers.
- Allows for creative advertising in a way that highlights current happenings within an organization- this is useful for announcing events, new products, how products or services are used, and peaks into a business’ general company lifestyle.
- Available for use as ad space.
- Instagram isn’t the platform for shareable content, and Instagram Stories are no different.
- Instagram Stories do not have an engagement function. The only option for engagement is to private message the poster.
Facebook offers two options for creating Stories: “Your Day” through Messenger and a second option known simply as “Story” on the main Facebook app. “Story” hasn’t been as well received by users as the Your Day addition to Messenger, but Facebook developers are confident the trend towards image and video based communication is increasing. Like SnapChat and Instagram, the two stories options come within an in-app camera, filters, stickers, and ability to caption and doodle. The specific editing options differ between the main Story and Day,with Story offering more options.
As of right now, Facebook Story is not available for advertising from Pages and Facebook feels this is an important part of the feature, allowing users to avoid advertisements on the platform and engage more directly with their closest friends. This can be frustrating for businesses and marketers, but it opens a unique opportunity for small business owners who are more likely to have a wider range of their customer (or potential customer) base already in their friends list to market directly at no cost. The Your Day option on Messenger isn’t available to business pages by default, as Pages doesn’t allow access to Messenger, but the same holds true for small business marketing opportunities. For example, small business owners can post news and updates about their ventures, and encourage friends to follow their business page. However, Facebook’s VP of Messaging, David Marcus, noted at the time of launch, Day will likely open up for advertisements down the road.
Like SnapChat and Instagram, Facebook Story and Day allows the creator to choose how a story is viewed. Users can choose to share content directly or post for all friends to see (settings allow for customizing the audience just like regular posts as well).
SnapChat has been widely embraced by businesses seeking a fun and engaging way to reach customers. This attention-getting content is at least part of the reason why Facebook, and by extension, Instagram, developed the Story function after SnapChat turned down Facebook’s $3 billion offer to purchase the social media platform in 2013. In the past year, SnapChat has updated their app functions to keep up with the changing Facebook and Instagram interfaces, recently allowing Snaps to stick around for 24 hours before disappearing, and further allowing users to choose how their Snaps are shared.
Businesses with ongoing news and information can turn to advertising with SnapChat Discover, particularly when targeting a young adult and teen market. Users can direct message posters to comment on photos, and view them multiple times, depending on the sharer’s setting.
In short, the different Story functions of popular social media platforms each offer a niche marketing potential, entirely dependent upon your business’ individual needs. Larger, ever-changing businesses, particularly with a younger market, will find a home with Instagram and SnapChat, while small business owners, artists, contractors and the like can utilize Story and Day for a more ‘word of mouth’ marketing strategy.
Still struggling to understand how to use or implement Stories for your business? The Stellar Blue team is happy to help! Contact us to find out more.