Facebook is an incredible platform for reaching customers and prospects. As of the beginning of 2017, Facebook boasted 1.94 billion monthly active users. That’s right, BILLION.
And it’s not just reach that makes Facebook such a valuable marketing brand. The company continues to introduce innovative new ways to reach your prospects and customers. Most recently, they have launched Facebook Stories.
This tool gives you an incredible opportunity to share information about your organization using two of the most powerful advertising mediums online right now – images and video.
The Power of Story
Everyone loves a good story. From bedtime as a child to binge-watching serial television shows as an adult, people are hooked on narratives. They love to feel like they are part of something incredible, and they especially love to see bad guys vanquished as the good guys win.
You can take advantage of this strong connection to story in your marketing. Tell a tale about the evil trials that your prospects face. Talk about how they can heroically overcome the problem with your product or service. Make them the center of an epic journey, and they’ll be clamoring for more.
Facebook allows you to take advantage of stories in combination with the power of video and images. You can give your connections a behind-the-scenes look at your organization, helping them feel like an insider. You can talk about the value of your product or service in their lives.
When you tell stories, you engage people at a deep level. Facebook Stories allows you to do this in a way that benefits your brand.
Snapchat has already proved the power of these avenues for marketing. Major corporations and individual entrepreneurs have developed large followings using Snapchat stories, and Facebook wanted to give its users the same opportunity.
Short videos or images help capture attention for consumers who have increasingly short attention spans and are generally using mobile devices. You’re more likely to get attention for 25 seconds than for 25 minutes.
Using short video is helpful for companies too. When you have to distill your brand message into something that lasts less than a minute, it forces you to be very creative and extremely clear about what your value proposition is. You have to get to the point in a fun way very quickly.
Facebook Stories gives you all these benefits on a platform with billions of monthly users. Starting with your Facebook connections, you can tell a tale that engages people and encourages them to share your business with others.
Creating Facebook Stories
To use Stories, you go to the top of your Facebook page and click the + sign next to “Your Story.” You can choose images or videos already on your camera or use Facebook’s camera to take a picture or record a video.
For best results, choose videos or images that are in portrait mode. If you pick a landscape oriented image, your picture will be hard to see and have unused black space above and below it.
Once you’ve chosen an image or video, you can do a lot to spruce it up. There are filters, masks, and even options to doodle on top of your image. From silly licensed images from popular movies to color masks and more, there are tons of ways to make your story unique.
When you’ve finished customizing your image or video, tap the arrow icon to post it. You have a choice to send it directly to a single person or post it on your Facebook timeline.
Promotion and Analysis of Your Story
Because Facebook Stories are not part of your timeline, people have to go to the stories link to see what you’ve put together. As a result, you want to be sure to post regularly that you’ve added to your story and invite people to click the Stories icon to see what you‘ve done.
To see who is viewing your pictures and videos, you can click through your story and look at the basic analytics. There is an eye icon at the bottom of each image and video, and the number next to it lets you know how many people have seen this element. You can click on the eye icon to see exactly who watched the story.
Limitations to Facebook Stories
Right now, Stories are only available on personal pages, not business pages. The only people who can see them are your current Facebook friends. This means that followers who are not friends cannot view them.
You also cannot target Facebook Stories to particular viewers. As a result, you have to actively promote your stories to your Facebook connections so that they will click on the link and watch it.
The best ways to use Stories for marketing include:
Connecting on Facebook with potential clients and promoting your story to your friend's list
Asking your current friends and family that you are connected with to view your story and encourage them to be advocates for your business.
Demonstrate thought leadership and speaking skills in your videos.
Make friends in relevant Facebook groups and add them to your friend's list so they can see your stories.
Share how-to videos that demonstrate your expertise.
Use Facebook Stories to share “A Day in the Life” behind-the-scenes style snapshots.
Facebook currently limits your friend's list to 5,000 people, but for a small business, those connections may be enough to gain word of mouth momentum.
It’s also likely that Facebook will eventually expand stories to make them accessible to business pages as well, although it may cost money to promote your business story.
Tell Your Brand’s Unique Story
Some people use Snapchat to send funny filtered photos to their friends, and others use it to build an audience and spread their message. Facebook gives you the same two choices. Take advantage of Facebook Stories and share your company’s unique message!
If you’d like to know more about taking advantage of social media for marketing, let us know. No matter what your business goals are, we can help you reach them.