I heard the relationship between Facebook and Instagram described as a brother and sister rivalry. I think that’s a pretty accurate representation of the two social media platforms, and the stories feature on both is no different. While they aren’t the same in many ways, they do share the same owner. Here are a few details about the platforms:
- Been around longer
- 2.38 billion monthly active users; typically older than Instagram users
- Variety of content sharing options
- The newer kid on the block
- 1 billion monthly active users; typically younger than Facebook users
- Visually focused content
Facebook has cemented itself as a staple in social media marketing, but that’s not to discount the growth that Instagram has seen over the last couple of years. Both Facebook and Instagram offer extremely valuable marketing tools. One that they both share: stories.
Description of a story
Instagram first had its story debut in 2016. At the time, Snapchat was the only social media platform that had a feature similar. Originally, an Instagram story would only last for 24 hours and could not be saved on the user’s profile (this has since changed.) Facebook then followed suit in 2017. While they didn’t include as many of the extra features that Instagram did, the two were pretty similar in design.
Stories have since evolved in many ways since they were first released. Now an Instagram story can be saved to the user’s profile as a story highlight – making the content last longer than just a 24-hour cycle. Facebook, however, still only keeps them around for a one-day lifespan before they disappear. New filters, games, stickers, fonts, and other fun features have been added to both Facebook and Instagram, allowing users to have a lot of room for customization. Facebook is still a few steps behind, but they are slowly catching up.
One aspect that connects the two is that each site can be set up to automatically publish to both platforms when posting from an Instagram profile. (You can’t share directly from Facebook to Instagram, however.)
Why you should use stories
Now that you know a little about both Facebook and Instagram story features, you might be wondering why you should begin including stories in your marketing strategies. Here are 3 of the most important reasons that I believe you should start storying NOW:
- Move from carefully curated posts to display the personality of your brand
Posting a story allows you to kick your shoes off and show more of your personality. There is more freedom in stories than in regular posting. Stories allow for followers to see a side of your company that they won’t see in the planned out, carefully created posts that they scroll through on their feed. It adds a bit of humanity to your brand by allowing customers to see who you are, what you are like, and what the real personality of your business is.
- Great for easily increasing engagement
Here are some stats to drive this point home:
- 19% of all impressions are from Instagram stories.
- Instagram stories are used by 500 million users every day.
- Facebook stories are growing 15x faster than news feed sharing.
It is true that Facebook stories haven’t gained as much momentum as Instagram stories as only about 10% of Facebook’s users also use stories, but that doesn’t mean you should cross out that strategy for your company’s marketing plan.
Stories allow you to engage with your audience in a completely different way. Stories offer several different engagement tools such as polls, open-ended question boxes, multiple-choice questions, and other interactive tools. As we have discussed before, Facebook and Instagram want to see your profile succeeding in large engagement numbers. Each of these interactions contributes to those algorithms registering you as a profile that users enjoy interacting with and will then place you in front of new eyes for more to see!
- More opportunities and content options
As I mentioned earlier, a story allow you to show the more personal side of your business. Overall, they allow you the opportunity to share even more content than regular posting allows. Takeovers, behind the scenes photos, exclusive merchandise information, “screenshotable” quotes and fun photos, the list is endless. While posting to your feed isn’t any less important, stories open up a variety of doors to further your reach on social media.
If you want to share stories, but not too sure where to begin here are a few of our favorite ways to story:
- Reshare the content on your feed in a new and fun way, maybe even with more details than included in the post.
- Use fun stickers or gifs to add personality to photos or videos.
- Allow your audience to get to know you better through polls or question boxes.
- Share behind the scenes content from the office.
- Showcase in more creative and fun ways what your organization is and why followers should use your products or services.
- Use hashtags! They work in stories the same way they do in posts.
- Use stories to drive traffic back to your feed.
- Share industry news that other profiles have shared.
- Use mentions to tag people or businesses that are shown in your stories so that they can then share it on their profiles.