Social Media Stories: When and How to Use Them

Platforms are constantly adding new features that provide ways for you to share personal things as well as ways for businesses to reach their consumers, making social media marketing a growing trend. It is not a newly developed feature to be able to share stories on social media platforms; if used correctly, they can be an excellent and quick method of sharing content. In 2013, Snapchat was the first platform to introduce Stories, and they remained the only platform with the feature until Instagram introduced their own version in 2016. Most social media platforms followed, and Tiktok just had a recent update to include a stories option for their creators. Stories usually consist of short video or picture clips that expire within twenty-four hours and, oftentimes, these posts appear less polished than what we would see in feeds. In many cases stories are created on a mobile device and provide a behind the scenes, unfiltered and may not align with your aesthetic. Stories are displayed in chronological order in which they were submitted in a slideshow format. The nice thing about using stories is you do not have to worry about the algorithm in the sense that neither hashtags nor post times are significant. Stories provide countless opportunities for you to engage with your audience easily and quickly and each platform comes with there own benefits for you or your business brand.

Snapchat Stories

Businesses don’t always think of Snapchat when choosing a platform to market on, but as long as you have a following, it might be worth considering. Snapchat can be used by brands with a large following on other platforms using content to cross-promote, provide a sneak peek new products or to create brand-specific filters. Influencer takeovers and brand deals are the perfect opportunity to offer exclusive content on this platform and grow your audience.

Facebook Stories

In both mobile and desktop versions of Facebook, stories appear at the top of the feed, and they are a great way to reach an audience. In the moment camera first communication is on the rise and is the perfect venue to provide more relaxed and casual content for your viewers.

Instagram Stories 

In the top of your feed, these appear in a small circle format and tend to contain a mix of personal and business accounts. Instagram offers many interactive tools like polls, stickers and links that allow you to interact with your viewers and can assist with engagement. If a viewer wants to communicate with a story it can be done through direct messaging.

YouTube Stories

Stories on YouTube expire after seven days, they are not searchable, and they are only available on the mobile app. The option to produce a story is still in beta mode and is only available to those with over 10,000 subscribers. I’m looking forward to seeing if they continue to develop this option and make it available to all users.

TikTok Stories

This is still currently only a pilot program on TikTok and only available for select content creators. Story links are available by clicking the profile picture of the user whose stories you want to view and they are also appearing on your For You Page feed. Similar to other platforms, these stories are only available for twenty-four hours and you can comment on them, though the creator cannot see how many views they have received.

Stories as a Marketing Tool

There are great tips in this video below for anyone seeking to use Stories as a marketing tool on social media. Remember it is a great idea to post stories regularly, but not everyone has the time to post on a daily basis, so adding them to your existing social media calendar is a great option.

Stories are a great tool for recording behind the scenes content, promoting giveaways and contests, linking to external content and so much more. Take the time to explore what each platform stories has to offer and how you can use it to your advantage to build your social media content strategy. If you are interested in finding out more information on what social media platform would be the perfect fit for your personal brand or business check out this article for tips. So enjoy the creative freedom that stories can provide and start producing great content! Do you currently take advantage of using Stories for you or your brand? Is there a favorite platform you go to post stories? What platform do you view the most stories on?

Facebook: Utilizing the 24 hour Stories on #socialmedia to your advantage. #stories #engagement

Twitter: Stories: When and how to use Stories to boost #engagment. #socialmedia

6 thoughts on “Social Media Stories: When and How to Use Them

  1. Such a great blog post about the different Stories feature on the different platforms. I use my Instagram stories all the time. I find that’s where I get the most engagement. I have my Instagram and Facebook pages connected just so the stories can be cross posted. It brings in a lot of engagement!

    • Hey there Maissa,
      Thanks for taking the time to read my article! It is a great feature to be able to cross post stories on multiple apps it definitely helps with time management.
      Thanks, Jessie

  2. What a great post this week! Instagram Stories is probably one of my favourite features on all social media platforms, and I appreciate the options to community with creators directly from their stories. I actually didn’t know that Snapchat was the first platform to launch Stories, and it is so interesting to see how other platforms have implemented their own versions online!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hey there Charley!
    Thanks so much! I also agree that Instagram Stories is one of my favorite features. I find it more enjoyable to watch stories than to scroll through a static feed. I’m curious to know if TikTok and YouTube will keep the stories feature or if they will eliminate it.
    Thanks, Jessie

  4. What an enjoyable blog post to read! Stories are definitely important in social media marketing, its great to take full advantage of it to advertise and connect with customers. I personally like Facebook and Instagram stories. Thanks for all the great information you provided this week!

  5. Thank you for a very informative blog. Loved the video – although it was general it gave a good overview of what a story is and how to use it rather than the nuts and bolts part which would be overwhelming for me as I can barely use WordPress!

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