The social media landscape moves so quickly that just when you’ve started getting used to one tool or feature, something else pops up. Take Facebook Stories, for instance. Just when you were getting the hang of Instagram Stories, this one comes along and now you have to learn how to use it as well. But the good news is that the two features work more or less the same way.
This post gives you a thorough guide on how to use Facebook Stories for your brand – from what you should post to how you can make the most of it. Let’s get started.
Why use Facebook Stories?
Now, you might be wondering why you should use Facebook Stories for your brand when you’re already using Instagram Stories. The first thing to note is that Facebook is still the biggest social media platform with almost 2.5 billion users. So it’s ahead of Instagram by about 1.5 billion users. That’s a massive difference that you can’t afford to overlook.
At the same time, this high user count also results in more content being shared on the platform. And as a result, Facebook has been seeing a decline in organic reach because posts are less likely to get noticed in people’s news feeds. But does that mean you should give up on the platform altogether? That would also mean giving up on those billions of users who could potentially turn into customers, so it’s a conundrum.
Fortunately, Facebook Stories comes to the rescue by ensuring that your brand still stays top-of-mind for your Facebook audience. That’s because as you can see below, Stories show up prominently on top of the feed. So when someone opens their Facebook, your Stories will be one of the first things they see.
Plus, the feature is already seeing 150 million users daily. This suggests that people engage with Facebook Stories on the regular and are highly likely to engage with yours. And you don’t even have to spend extra time creating a separate post for your Facebook Stories, as you can easily cross-post from Instagram. So using this feature doesn’t require extra work from your end.
With all this considered, it’s about time your brand gets into Facebook Stories and makes the most of it to engage with your audience.
What to post on Facebook Stories
One of the crucial aspects of finding success on Facebook Stories is knowing what to post. What kind of content will fit the format and what would your audience like to see? Check out some of these ideas on what you should post to your Facebook Stories:
1: Make important announcements
Whether it’s to give a sneak peek of an upcoming product or share news about a new feature, your Facebook Stories give you the perfect channel to make important announcements. You could also announce your latest sales and promotions as well as other important updates that you don’t want your audience to miss.
You could even use this feature to announce your latest blog posts or YouTube videos and drive more content views. Here’s how Penguin Random House encourages followers to check out their list of readers’ picks for thriller and mystery books.
2: Take your followers behind the scenes
With content that disappears after 24 hours, Facebook Stories are perfect for sharing ephemeral content like candid shots of what’s happening behind the scenes. You could showcase your production process, your employees hard at work or having fun, how your event is coming along, and more. Give your followers a glimpse of the unedited version of your brand to build trust and show your human side.
3: Drive engagement with interactive content
Facebook Stories come with a ton of features that allow followers to interact with you. You can add stickers asking followers to vote between two options, rate something, or answer questions. This can be extremely helpful for driving engagement and understanding your audience’s preferences better, so make the most of it.
For instance, PopSugar asked their fans about their movie preferences based on different moods.
4: Share useful tips and tricks
You can also use Facebook Stories to give a quick summary of tips and tricks that your audience will find useful. Use this opportunity to link to the full post or video so they can get a more detailed guide. But you can also provide basic tips without necessarily linking to another piece of content.
5: Shine the spotlight on your customers
Your Facebook Stories also give you the perfect place to show your appreciation for your customers without cluttering up your feed. Feature their stories, photos, and tips with your community to show just how much you value them. This also makes your customers feel special, thus boosting their loyalty to your brand.
GoPro combines this strategy with the previous one by sharing photos and videos from real GoPro users and providing useful tips to use the product as you can see below.
Best practices for using Facebook Stories
It’s not enough to know what to post to your Facebook Stories; you should also ensure proper execution if you want to make an impact. So it’s crucial that you understand the best practices for using Facebook Stories and crafting the perfect content to engage your audience. Here’s what you need to do:
1: Jazz up your Stories using filters and creative tools
Facebook Stories come with a bunch of filters and creative tools to help you create eye-catching content. Aside from the fun face filters, you can also add stickers to conduct polls, tag users, tag your location, add music, add GIFs, and more. So make the most of these options to jazz up your Stories and make your content more playful and visually appealing to your followers.
For example, Refinery29 used the question sticker to drive interaction and engagement. They’ve also added some text and a #stayhome sticker to make the post more playful.
2: Create original graphics that pop
While sharing candid photos and videos through your Facebook Stories is a great way to be relatable to your audience, it can also get in the way of your branding efforts. You don’t want your audience to forget about your brand’s signature colours and styles because they’ve only been seeing your candid Stories.
And at the end of the day, you still want to strengthen your branding efforts even through Facebook Stories so that people can instantly recognise your brand anywhere. That’s where original graphics enter the picture. These allow you to infuse some of the professionalism and visuals you want to associate with your brand into your Stories while still allowing you to creatively engage your audience.
You can use original graphics to share news and make important announcements, share quotes, and more. But make sure you follow a uniform style guide to maintain consistency and strengthen your branding efforts. This would involve using a certain set of fonts and colours palettes that you want to associate with your brand.
Even if you don’t have an in-house designer to help you create original graphics for your Facebook Stories, you can always use tools like Canva to create them yourself. The tool is easy to use with plenty of templates for social media posts and Stories, so you can freely customise them according to your brand style guide.
3: Add custom links to drive traffic and leads
One of the best parts about Facebook Stories is that it gives you the option to share custom links if your page has more than 10,000 fans. This makes it perfect for boosting traffic and driving leads to your site. For those with fewer than 10,000 fans, you only have the option to embed the URL specified in your page contact info.
With custom links embedded to your Stories, you can drive people to specific pages on your site. For instance, you can direct followers to your new blog post or video or to a relevant product page. You could even promote a free trial for something in your Facebook Stories and direct followers to a landing page allowing them to sign up for the trial.
You could further leverage this by customizing your links with UTM tags to measure their performance. This will help you track how much traffic you managed to drive from Facebook Stories, whether post timing made any difference, which formats seem to drive more traffic, whether CTA played a major role, etc.
Use Rebrandly’s UTM builder for this as you can easily customise your URL slugs and track the performance of your branded links through a single platform. The analytics provide you with a comprehensive look at the timings that work best, the most-used devices, and more. These insights will help you adapt your Facebook content strategy for optimal performance.
4: Make the most of Stories Insights
Facebook also provides you with a detailed set of analytics to measure your Stories performance as a whole. The Facebook Stories Insights will give you a comprehensive look at the number of unique opens, forward taps, backward taps, forward swipes, and exist for each of your Stories. These metrics will show you just how engaged your audience is and which Story items managed to capture their attention.
Make the most of this feature to test which types of content are resonating with your audience, which topics they like, whether adding interactive stickers influenced engagement rate, and more. Then use these insights to tailor your content strategy based on the preferences of your audience.
There you have it – an essential guide to using Facebook Stories to promote your brand and content to the fullest extent. Stories come with plenty of features like creative tools and custom linking abilities that can really help your marketing efforts. So make the most of it for strengthening different aspects of your business.
Post Updated: July 23th, 2021.
Originally Posted: May 6th, 2020.