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What are Social Media Stories? An Overview
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What are social media stories?
Why are more and more businesses and brands leveraging on the potential of social media stories?
I came across this article ‘The Science Behind The Art Of Storytelling’ on the Harvard Business Publishing website.
And these few lines caught my attention.
In his essay “The Science of Storytelling: What Listening to a Story Does to Our Brains”, entrepreneur and storyteller Leo Widrich noted that there’s research to suggest that when we hear a story, “not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are, too.”
Much on the similar lines, social media stories have a huge potential to engage audiences, build authority, trust, and in general, boost your brand. Social media stories took the internet by storm and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down now. And they are gaining massive popularity.
This article on social media stories will be broken into a series of separate articles.
I will start off with ‘What are Social Media Stories?’, i.e., this particular article. I will then have articles on Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, Snapchat Stories, How to create stories, Advanced Techniques, and Benefits of Stories, all included daily.
And I will accordingly update and include each article with the links.
The end goal with the series of these articles will be on how you can learn what social media stories are, how to create social media stories, and how to have a huge success using them to grow your audience, engage with your audience, and eventually, build trust and increase brand loyalty.
Here are some interesting facts about social media stories
- With half a billion people using Stories every single day, it’s clear that Stories are an important channel for brands.
- 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. If you’re not using Stories yet, this is one of those Instagram stats that strongly suggests you might want to start.
- The heart love sticker is the most popular Giphy sticker in Stories. And the most used face filter is heart eyes. Meanwhile, the red heart emoji was used 14 billion times in 2018.
- Brands post an average of 2.5 stories per week.
- One-third of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses
- 60% of businesses on Instagram Stories use an interactive element every month that includes location tags, @-mentions, polling stickers, and so on. They’re using these interactive features for good reason. The polling sticker increased three-second video views in 90% of beta campaigns, and Dunkin’ Donuts saw a 20% lower cost-per-view when they used the sticker.
- Brand Stories have an 85% completion rate. That’s a big year-over-year jump from 69%. This may be because brands are using shorter Stories now, with an average of 5.2 frames in 2019 compared to 6.9 in 2018. However, longer Stories have greater reach. That means the ideal length of a Story depends on your specific goal.
Well, there are more such interesting facts which I will share over the course of the article series. Bottom line is, social media stories are big at this point in time and it would be advisable to ride the wave. 😉
What are Social Media Stories?
Any guesses on which was the first social media network to use stories? Yup, Snapchat.
Snapchat – The fastest way to share a moment!
And that exactly is their core feature and what really sets it apart. Soon after Snapchat, you had a number of major players jumping on board.
YouTube introduced reels, Facebook brought in Stories, also available on Instagram, Twitter gave us Twitter Moments, and Skype created Skype Highlights.
The concept behind social media stories is unique and quite unlike any other form of the content that is found on social media.
Social media stories are mobile full-screen, vertical videos, and images that appear outside of your regular feed. These stories only last for 24 hours before they disappear. They’re temporary, and they can be organized into collections on some apps like Instagram for later viewing.
Stories can take a number of different formats.
More often than not, social media stories are video formats, but they can also be still images. A lot of platforms allow the use of stickers and text on your stories. The stickers are typically placed on top of the main media, leading to very impressive engagements and open-rates.
Growing Popularity among Brands for Stories
Here are a few more interesting facts about social media stories.
- The average business posts to Instagram 1.7 times per day, and posts 13.1 Stories per month
- 58% of people in the U.S. say they’ve become more interested in a brand after seeing it in Facebook Stories (300 million people use Facebook Stories every day)
- Stories are growing 15x faster than feed-based sharing.
- Organic reach on social media is increasingly hard to come by, but Stories and Paid Ads can help dramatically.
From the above facts, it is evident that social media stories are very popular not only among individuals but more so amongst businesses and brands as well. And there are a number of reasons why brands are starting to rely more on the use of Stories.
One reason to note, from the above stats, is, organic reach on social media is increasingly hard to come by, but Stories and Paid Ads can help dramatically.
And this is true. Take the example of your own Facebook account. Have you noticed the posts on your wall (feed) or on your page or even your group from that matter, really doesn’t reach everyone on your list? Well, social media platforms would like to increase their revenues too, hence a push to their Paid Ads. And that is where posting stories or paid ads really do work these days.
Another great aspect of Stories is that they are temporary. Stories normally last for just 24 hours. They create an impact, convey the message, and they are gone. So you really do not have them remaining for a long time and being too ‘in your face’ forever.
Finally, social media stories are extremely popular with customers and your audiences right now. And this is the primary reason why Facebook introduced Stories to its platform.
How to Use Social Media Stories for Marketing
Ok, so we know that social media stories are trending currently and like they say, it is the ‘in thing’ at the moment. So how exactly do you go about using social media stories for marketing? How do you leverage communication that will be gone in a 24-hour window to draw in more visitors, leads, and thereby have more conversions and sales?
Well, to better understand the concept of stories, we must debunk the traditional way of marketing and sales when it comes to social media stories.
The concept of social media is to socialize. It is to engage with your audience. It is never to sell. If during the course of engaging with your audience, you come up with an interesting feed, a post, or a story, your audience connects with you.
In a similar manner, social media stories are not meant to increase sales or conversions. It is for building stronger relationships with your existing followers. And the key is ‘existing customers’, not new customers.
You cannot create an account on social media and post a story right away. You need to begin slow. Create posts that are of value, engage with the audience for a long period of time. Be consistent in your posts. And over the course of time, when you do come up with a story, you build a deeper connection with your audience. And when that happens, you can increase leads, conversions, and sales.
It’s about creating a loyal audience. And that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of effort into creating content on a regular basis and content that is of value. When your audience connects with you, you start to build trust and a long term relationship. And this eventually helps in bringing sales, and your audience in turn becomes ambassadors for your brand as well. They start recommending you within their group and start sharing your content.
[Related article: How To Create A Content Calendar ]
Social Media Stories for Influencers
Here again, are some facts to back the rest of the discussion on this topic of Influencers.
- Businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing
63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year
- Quote: “…when working with influencers, brands have to let go and allow influencers control of the narrative to preserve the authenticity of what is being communicated.”
- 70% of Teens Trust Influencers More than Traditional Celebrities
- 49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations
- Influencer Marketing Is the Fastest-Growing Online Customer-Acquisition Method
- 57% of Fashion and Beauty Companies Engage in Influencer Marketing
- The Influencer Marketing Industry is Expected to Hit $10bn by 2020
As shown above, the Influencer Marketing Industry is expected to hit $10bn this year. And it’s another really growing industry.
An influencer is someone for whom the personal brand is everything. The influencer’s personal brand is the business. An influencer is someone, well, who influences! 😉
Someone who inspires, entertains, or even educates an audience. And over the course of time earns the trust and builds a relationship with their audience. The influencer doesn’t necessarily sell their own product. While many do, most of them generate huge income from simply, well, wielding their influence. 😉
Here are some average estimate earnings for Bloggers, Instagram influencers, and Video bloggers (vloggers) broken down by their potential reach:
Bloggers: $175 to $5,000+ per post with amplification on social channels (re-posting the content across other social platforms).
Here are the going rates based on the blogger’s number of monthly impressions:
- 10,000 to 50,000 monthly blog impressions: $175 to $250 per post
- 50,000 to 100,000 monthly blog impressions: $250 to $500 per post
- 100,000 to 500,000 monthly blog impressions: $500 to $1,000 per post
- 500,000+ monthly blog impressions: $1,000 to $5,000+ per post
Instagram influencers: $75 to $3,000+ per image.
Here are the going rates based on the influencer’s number of followers:
- 2,000 to 10,000 Instagram followers: $75 to $250 per image
- 10,000 to 50,000 Instagram followers: $250 to $500 per image
- 50,000 to 100,000 Instagram followers: $500 to $1,000 per image
- 100,000 to 500,000 Instagram followers: $1,000 to $3,000 per image
- 500,000+ Instagram followers: $3,000+ per image
Video influencers: $500 to $5,000+ per video.
Here are the going rates based on the influencer’s number of followers on YouTube:
- 50,000 to 100,000 channel subscribers: $500 to $1,000 per video
- 100,000 to 500,000 channel subscribers $1,000 to $3,000 per video
- 500,000+ channel subscribers: $3,000 to 5,000+ per video
So, assuming you have 10,000 followers on Instagram, you earn an average of $350 to post an image, which takes about 2 minutes to post!
Cool! So how many want to start increasing your follower list? 😉
On a more serious note, the potential ROI (Return On Investment) for a successfully built social media account is huge.
And how exactly do you get to that point?
Using stories is absolutely essential to building a loyal audience. It lets people connect with you, share your outings, and in a sense, feel that they personally know you. In short, it makes them feel they are a part of your story.
Watch out for my next article on ‘An Overview on Instagram Stories for Business‘.
I hope you found value in this article.
Please do share your views and feedback in the comments section below. It will only help me improve and in turn, help me in bringing out quality content for you.