A January 2019 study by TechCrunch shows that at least 500 million Facebook users use the platform’s Stories feature every day. That’s close to 33% of the platform’s 1.57 billion users. Instagram isn’t left behind either. According to the report, more than 50% of Instagram’s approximately 1 billion users use Instagram Stories every single day.
This represents a massive opportunity for digital marketers looking for new ways to nurture leads. While Stories were primarily designed for engagement, you can use those conversations to softly push your marketing messages and eventually set leads on the path to conversion.
We’ll show you how shortly. But first:
Social Media Stories are a perfect platform for lead nurturing for several reasons. First off, as we’ve seen, Stories are very popular. Nearly all Facebook users use Facebook Stories for example. More importantly, though, one-third of these users use Stories every single day! This allows for close lead monitoring which is an essential part of nurturing. You can observe your leads’ behaviors every day to make better decisions on the quality of each lead.
- Stories guarantee increased viewership: Every conversion on social media starts with a simple view. Whether it’s someone viewing your text or image post or watching one of your videos, that’s how they all begin. More than 60% of Instagram Stories users and 44% of Facebook Stories users view the stories they follow at least once a day.
- It’s an excellent platform for user engagement: If a user views one or more of your posts or watches a video and likes it, they are likely to come back looking for more. This often results in round-the-clock engagement. Whenever they’re online, that user will most likely spare time to check out your Story and engage with it.
- Continuous engagement means you stay top of their mind: Whether you’re using Facebook or Instagram Stories, 24/7 engagement makes it difficult for leads to forget your brand and products. That’s because they’re regularly seeing your messages and watching your videos.
- Increased visibility in followers’ feeds increases the potential for conversion: Organic visibility on both Facebook and Instagram feed is currently very low. Stories allow you to get around this problem because, on both platforms, posts from Stories a user follows always appear at the top of their feeds. This visibility instantly boosts your chances of conversion.
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Ways to Use Instagram and Facebook Stories for Lead Nurturing
The majority of brands using Facebook and Instagram Stories are already doing a commendable job. According to various studies, up to 70% of brands are using Stories to chat with their followers, share new information, and launch new products.
If you’re going to earn conversions from your Stories, you need to continue with that trend while adding the following;
Use polls to drive engagement
Both Facebook and Instagram Stories have in-built poll features. Use these tools to engage your followers and get to know their thoughts and opinions on various topics. For instance, last year, the National Basketball Association used an Instagram poll to ask users who would win upcoming matchups. You can create similar polls and even use them as A/B tests.
Add links to your website and landing pages
Adding links to your Stories not only increases traffic to your website but also boosts your conversion rate. Users who end up on your landing pages, if they’re impressed, will sign up for your offers and potentially become customers. Just remember to use URL shortening tools such as Goo.gl and Bit.ly to make your links shorter.
Share behind the scenes footage
Customers want to know what their favorite brands do behind the scenes. How do the workers go about their day-to-day work? What goes into making those fantastic products? These are just some of the things your fans are dying to know. Revealing some of these “secrets” via behind-the-scenes videos is a great way to quench this thirst and earn their trust in return.
Use live video from time to time
In the spirit of sharing behind-the-scenes “secrets,” you can also share live videos in your Stories from time to time. A live video makes your brand “more real” for followers, instantly boosting your trust among them. Additionally, live videos create a sense of authenticity that’s impossible to achieve with other marketing strategies.
Add location tags so you can be found locally
Many social media users use Stories to find local businesses, and social media networks know this. On Instagram, for example, some location searches now have a Story icon that allows users to view Stories that have used that location sticker recently. Brands can use this feature to make it easier for local users to find them.
Use influencers to reach new markets
Influencer marketing on Instagram and Facebook is a hot topic at the moment. Every few minutes, you’ll come across posts and @mentions from top influencers. If you’re serious about breaking into new markets, this is a strategy you can’t overlook. Even a lesser-known influencer will help you reach and appeal to thousands of new users.
Include CTAs in your posts
Always provide a Call to Action (CTA), so users know what to do after reading/viewing your post or watching that amazing video you just posted on your Story. Instagram allows users to “Swipe Up” if they want to learn more about the product or message you posted. Aside from that, you can also include a clear CTA such as “Book Now.”
Best Practices to Increase Engagement
Now that you know how to use Instagram and Facebook Stories to nurture leads, the following are a few best practices to help you supercharge your lead nurturing campaign;
Make sure your Story flows
Make it like a TV series where events chronologically follow each other, i.e. one post leads to the next and so forth. This helps to build anticipation among followers, a vital step in building engagement.
Let your creativity shine through
Stories are ephemeral. On both Facebook and Instagram, they disappear after 24 hours. If you want to keep your followers hooked, you need a good idea and effortless creativity.
Repost from other channels
Facebook even has a Story sharing feature that lets users share their Instagram stories. There are also third-party tools designed to help with cross-sharing. Leverage these tools to keep all your followers on the different platforms up to date.
Use emojis and gifs
All successful brands use gifs and emojis in their social media posts and for a good reason – everyone loves them! Young or old, male or female, American or not, social media users just love emojis and gifs.
Tagging people in your Facebook and Instagram Stories posts has three main benefits; it boosts engagement, gives your brand more exposure, and helps to build community.
Never forget about #hashtags. Not only do they make conversations easier to locate, but hashtags also increase brand awareness and are one of the best tools at driving conversations.
Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories are valuable platforms for lead nurturing. With the help of polls, links, behind-the-scenes content, live videos, and built-in tools and features, you can use your Stories to engage your followers while also subtly and even directly convey Facebook or Instagram marketing messages to guide your leads to conversion.
Leads are the lifeblood of business and social media is a powerhouse opportunity that’s here to stay and one that businesses must learn. In my book, Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation I’ll help you develop a plan for your business!
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