Facebook is always releasing new features to keep its 1.86 billion users on the platform, making it a great place for online marketing. One of their latest releases – Facebook Stories – allows users to share pieces of their lives with their friends through photos and videos with the ability to add cartoon and text overlays.
But it’s not just fun for sharing among friends – the Stories feature is another powerful tool for businesses and marketers to connect with prospects on Facebook.
How can you use Facebook Stories to market your business or brand? Keep reading to learn how to create Facebook Stories and use them effectively to connect with your audience.
What You Need to Know About Facebook Stories for Business
Similar to Snapchat, Facebook Stories are short-form video and image collections that can be viewed twice by users and disappear after 24 hours.
Facebook users can create and share Stories within the mobile app. While stories aren’t yet available for business pages, you can still use them as an effective marketing tool through your personal Facebook account.
To take advantage of Facebook Stories as a marketing technique, you may want to add people to your friends list who you’d like to attract to your business. Add people from Facebook business groups that you participate in to your own friends list. Are there people who like your business’s Page that you can add to your friends list as well? Aim to grow your own friends list with business prospects.
Facebook currently limits your friends list to 5,000, so your marketing audience will likely be much smaller than if you were working from your business’s Facebook Page. Facebook Stories still has its place with a smaller audience, however.
You might use stories to plant seeds about your business to a smaller community who can then refer you elsewhere. Maybe you use them to build relationships with experts in your niche by responding and interacting with their stories. Another benefit of sharing stories is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Ready to create a Facebook Story? Here’s how.
How to Create a Facebook Story
Facebook Stories works similar to Instagram Stories and Snapchat. Content shared to stories appears at the top of your news feed. From the mobile app, you’ll see a circle at the top of your news feed that says “Your Story” with a + icon. You’ll also see any friends’ stories in circles next to yours. Tap your friends’ circles to view their stories. While viewing a friend’s story, you can reply with a direct message.
To create your own Facebook Story, complete the following steps:
- Tap the Your Story circle to access the Facebook Camera.
- Take your own picture or video by tapping on the button in the center of the screen – for video, holding down. You can choose to embellish your content with lenses and filters on the screen. Or choose to select an image or video that is stored on your phone by clicking the picture icon at the bottom of your screen.
- Enhance the photo as you wish by adding filters, masks, text or doodles.
- When you’re ready to share your story, tap the arrow icon in the center of the screen. You can choose to post it to your mobile timeline, to Your Story, or directly to certain friends. After you’ve added an element to your story, you can go on and add as many story elements as you like.
After you’ve shared your story, it will display for 24 hours and then disappear.
How to Use Facebook Stories for Effective Marketing
Marketers and bloggers can use Facebook Stories in a number of ways to promote their business. Here are a few ways to make Facebook Stories an effective marketing strategy:
Demonstrate how to do something
Use Facebook Stories to share tips and tutorials on how to do something in your business or using one of your products. Use the text overlay with a series of images or post a video tutorial. How-to posts are incredibly valuable and can position you as an expert in your niche.
A day in the life
Share the behind-the-scenes of either your job or your life on a personal basis. Share a personal sneak peek into your day to make your audience feel special. Sharing these types of things may raise more interest in your business.
Share an offer or promotion
Make exclusive offers only for those who see your Facebook Story. Encourage your friends to check out your Facebook Stories to get those specials.
Give a blog post teaser
Share photos from a blog post in your story with a clear call to action directing your audience to the main content.
Just like regular Facebook posts, you can see who viewed your Facebook Stories. Those insights can help you in prospecting and making further connections.
This fun new feature is a great way to get more personal in your online marketing. It certainly has potential and it’s fun for users – why not give it a try?
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What do you think about Facebook Stories? Will you give this a try in your Facebook marketing? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment!