The September EGO digital column, if you’re in Aberystwyth or Aberaeron you may have read this already!

A lot of people use “Stories” on their social media platforms (it’s a feature common to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and more), and it’s a trend that just keeps on growing.

Did you know on Instagram alone, half a billion people use the Stories option every single day? Granted, that’s not all business based stories, most will be personal – but businesses using Stories are on the rise. If you’re not already doing this as part of your digital marketing strategy, then you should think about it as an option.

At a Social Media Conference in Bristol back in June, there was a lot of talk (and I mean, a lot) about Instagram Stories, and how Stories are overtaking traditional feeds/timelines. This isn’t just about Instagram, it’s also a growing trend across social media platforms as a whole. Recent statistics from TechCrunch say that stories are growing 15x faster than feeds – so, it’s time to jump on this bandwagon, because it’s here to stay.

Just why are Stories so popular? There are going to be loads of reasons, but in my opinion, it’s because Stories are “of the moment”. They’re designed to disappear after 24 hours, so from a business point of view it means you can share something more personal, less curated onto the story and you know it won’t be available after a day (so it doesn’t need to fit into your Instagram theme or suit your Facebook post style). It’s also because the content is less curated, it becomes more real. I know I go on a lot about businesses showing off their personality and their ethos, and it seems that this is the growing trend in what users of social platforms want. They want to see your Story before your specially designed and well thought out post – and see what’s going on day to day.

What do you do a Story about? How does it work? Do I have to do a live video? Many questions – but, don’t worry! Stories in my opinion, are just as easy as posts to get to grips with once you start.

So here’s some of my advice for you:-

  • Really try and make it clear for yourself the difference between your “Story” and your posts. For us, we keep the posts focussed on business, while the Story shows a lot more of our day to day (that coffee break with a client for example, or using our EGO tokens).
  • Always keep your Stories on brand, and to make it easier for you, create Story templates.
  • Don’t feel like you “have to” use all of the features Stories offer (polls, live chat, donate etc). Remember to keep your message clear and simple. On the other hand, don’t expect great things if you are just being bog standard all of the time:- do experiment, just do it cleverly.
  • Go live – if you have something great to share or some words of wisdom. It’s a fantastic way to add personality and authenticity to your brand, while allowing your customer base to get to know you (brand loyalty).
  • If you are going live, consider adding subtitles for those who won’t have turned their media volume up.
  • Remember, if Stories are more popular than feeds, you should post about your services and products in them – but do not go overboard. By getting interest in your brand via Stories, you’ll increase brand awareness, and hopefully encourage potential customers to look into what you do too.
  • Tag and hashtag away, it’s a great way of getting more reach in Stories.
  • If using for business, change your profile to a business profile, and you’ll get a few new handy features, such as “Story Highlights”. Here you can split your favourite Stories into highlights, for example a highlight for each service or type of product.
  • Make your Stories interesting by adding stickers, GIFs and emojis – just don’t go to over the top, as they’ll detract from the message you’re trying to get across.
  • Explore all options available within a story – for example there is now a Chat function, a Donate button and more:- all ways of helping businesses use stories more effectively.

I know that many of my clients will tell me that time is a huge factor – but, if you start putting some time into Stories, you can pull back on how much you post. I’d recommend 2-3 posts a week on Facebook or Instagram, if you do a bit of a Story every day.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Get in touch for more tips and advice – we are always happy to help.