Facebook stories were launched in early 2017. If you’ are familiar with Snap Chat then you will have a sound understanding of how this feature works. If not let me explain.
Facebook stories is a microcontent creation feature inside of Facebook, (time sensitive) this feature allows us to take a very short video or image and post. The user-generated images or short videos can be viewed twice and are only available for 24 hours. It’s almost identical to Snapchat Stories, allowing you to heavily customise the posts with a selection of filters, text, drawings, stickers, frames, and masks.
Stories are the new black inside of Facebook. What I mean by this is that the engagement of your stories inside of Facebook will and does affect your algorithm. The easiest way to think about stories is to think of them having their own unique news feed. And if people are scrolling past your content or fast forwarding it, once again it will be a negative to what you are trying to achieve. Well what most of us are trying to achieve inside of Facebook – organic reach and engagement.
If you haven’t noticed the Facebook stories feature is at the top of your newsfeed, also inside of your messenger app. You may have noticed the blue ring and the change of the image! Inside of messenger, this feature is to show you who is uploading content to the story’s newsfeed.
The feature of stories is very powerful and using this feature as an option to send out micro-content to your fans and friends is great for content generation.
Like SnapChat the content is only available for 24 hours and disappears. This is content by demand. If you’re putting amazing micro-content into your stories, then you will attract those that want to engage with you.
The key is not to duplicate the content. If you are posting to your page, then post something completely different to your stories. I would also recommend using videos rather than a static image. When you think about it, how long really are you prepared to look at an image for? Only a few seconds. Then you’re going to fast forward to the next stories. Whereas with a small video you will be more inclined to watch the video, and this will increase the organic reach.
Facebook Stories Features
Let’s have a look at the features inside of stories, I absolutely love the funky creativity of the Facebook stories feature.
Using the in-house camera app inside of Facebook. From your profile swipe right to access the camera. The feature allows you to write text, add stickers and use filters to enhance the image.
- Tap on the Add to story icon in the Stories bar at the top of news feed.
- On desktop enter a status update in the familiar way, but you’ll be offered to add it to your story as an alternative to creating a status.
- Alternatively, you can tap the camera icon in the top left of your screen or swipe right from the news feed.
- Tap the record button to take a photo or tap and hold it to record a video. You can also upload from your camera roll.
- If you want to save a photo or video, tap the download icon.
- Tap Your Story to add to your story, and then tap the send button.
Once you’re happy with the video or image that you’ve taken you have a couple of options. You can post the image or video to the newsfeed, direct to stories or you can send a message directly to a friend inside of messenger. People who are viewing your content can comment by a direct message!
Not Happy With Your Stories?
What if you’re not happy with your stories? Great question!
Once your story is on the feed, you can access by tapping on your icon in the top of the newsfeed. This will show you the story image. Tapping on the 3 dots on the left-hand side of the image or video will allow you to edit your story settings, delete or save to your camera roll.
You can also turn on your camera roll feature to save all your posts from your settings inside of Facebook.
At the bottom of your story image or video on the left-hand bottom corner, you can see who actually viewed your content and how many viewed. This allows you to see if your content is gaining visibility. Tapping on the icon you can see the names of those that viewed also.
Unfortunately, there are no insights available for the stories feature. To keep track of your views you may wish to take a screenshot and look over your images each week.
With the success of their launch in early 2016, Facebook then announced in October 2017 that all pages now have the feature added. This is a game changer for businesses, especially those business owners who really didn’t understand the power of micro-content.
Since the last algorithm change in January this year 2018, the functionality of stories is more relevant than ever to get our fans to see our content. Because of its own unique newsfeed and the reach, businesses should be using this feature to gain some more visibility.
Facebook and Instagram Together
What is also great is if you have a business profile on Instagram and you have connected this with your Facebook page. If you post to your Instagram story this will populate in your Facebook story.
To access this feature, go to your Instagram settings, go to story settings and switch on share with Facebook.
Remember though, you should be posting content that is applicable to both platforms as the demographics are different!
Posting to a page is a little complicated, we need to use the Facebook messenger’s app, not the Facebook Business app.
When you have opened the app you will often see the pages that you are admin of along the top.
Select the page that you wish to share your story to and click.
Once the page has loaded, you will see the 3 dots in the top right-hand corner, click on them.
Open the “open camera” option and create your post with the filters and effects.
By clicking next your content will go to your Business page, rather than your personal profile.
How to view someone else’s stories:
Simply tap on the person’s profile image at the top of your newsfeed, the person will be able to see that you have viewed their story, you can share the love by commenting on their story!
Strategy for your stories:
Always have a strategy around the content that you post on social media, with stories a few suggestions for your strategy may be as follows:
- Create content that is only available on stories
- Use stories (video) to direct traffic back to your Facebook Live events
- Create videos that will drive traffic back to your website
Content Ideas for your stories:
- Show behind the scenes of your work or workplace
- Exclusive content only in stories
- Teaser content for bigger posts or live videos
- Showcase your expertise
- Exclusive offers
- Use the polling feature to gather audience information.
- Showcasing your customers (testimonials)
Thinking about the trend of videos and using our camera first to communicate, Facebook stories allows us to use the most powerful device that we have in our pockets to share with family, friends and prospective clients the authentic self and provide a demand marketing tool.
For us older business owners we may be feeling like this social media is all just getting out of hand, in fact, I believe that it is getting easier. With the introduction of Facebook live 2 years ago, and the power of stories, we have the potential to get in front of our clients who are already very familiar with these tools and are using these tools to communicate daily with their friends.
We can create authentic content that will be unique to us and allow our brands to shine.
Fear no more about using all the tools inside of Facebook or what I prefer to say is
Give this monster of a social media platform what it wants, and you will be rewarded. Be amongst the early contenders (As Gary V always says) and adapt your marketing.
I see stories as being a great way to get in front of my friends (from my personal profile) and my fans (from my business page). Offering unique content or content that drives my audience back to the Facebook live events.
Remember the content is time sensitive, making the content strategy and feature work for your business is exciting, spend time working with the feature and feeding the monster and you will be rewarded for your efforts.
Are you going to adapt or just steer your marketing in the direction of micro-content that is in demand? I would love to know. If you would like to learn more about Facebook stories, join me in my Social Media Toolbox.