How to Use Social Media Stories in Your Marketing Strategy

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The social media stories feature is popping up on social platforms from LinkedIn to Twitter. Originating on Snapchat, stories allow users to create temporary posts that expire in 24hrs. 

The short form style content enables users to post quick updates to their audiences, and open new channels of engagement as users can view the posts, respond with direct messages, and share them to their own stories. 

The evolving social media stories feature offers a light touch way to engage with and build an audience. This is a valuable way to communicate with your own audience to build your personal brand, or to improve the connection that your business has with its customers. Learn more about opportunities to leverage stories in your own social media marketing. 

Social Media Stories Blog Post Contents

  • Social media stories consideration
  • Share news and updates
  • Promote new content
  • Highlight other brands and creators
  • Share user generated content from your audience
  • Highlight other brands and creators
  • Use text-only posts 
  • Leverage story tools 
  • Teach people something 

Social Media Story Considerations

  • Stories can be informal and genuine - Story posts take on a more conversational tone given their fleeting nature (bad Twitter Fleets pun), and that responses to stories turn into direct message threads. Take this opportunity to be personable and genuine with your audience to spark engaging conversations. 
  • Production value is flexible - Some brands and influencers create highly produced and branded stories to capture their desired aesthetic. If your goal is brand consistency, this is fine, but stories do offer the opportunity to be a bit more real-time in your approach. This means you can get away with posting more naturally and capturing your day-to-day to connect with your audience vs. taking the time to overly produce every story post. 

Try these social media story ideas to see how they can benefit your brand:

1. Share News and Updates 

Social media stories’ time sensitivity make them perfect for making announcements and sharing updates about the day-to-day of your life and business. Viewers in your audience will know they are receiving updates when they are fresh 

2. Promote New Content

Stories can be leveraged as a brief advertisement for more substantial posts like videos and images that you put more resources into producing. 

The “New post alert” style story posts you’ve likely seen in other people’s stories take advantage of stories to draw attention to new content. Add this strategy to your stories content mix in order to highlight mid funnel marketing content like new promotional videos, blog posts, interviews, etc. 

3. Highlight Other Brands and Creators

The more you can highlight and cross promote other brands and creators in social media the better, and story posts are no exception. 

Tagging other creators in your posts increases the likelihood that they engage with the story, return the favor and post about your brand in the future, or share it on their own story, increasing your exposure to their audience. 

Look for opportunities to tag other brands, partners, and customers in your stories to take advantage of this network effect and reach new audiences with your story content. 

4. Share User Generated Content From Your Audience

Using the sharing features mentioned in the last story post idea, make it a part of your strategy to always share posts from other users that highlight your brand and/or tag your account. 

This will create a nice organic content stream, demonstrate credibility and a good brand reputation to your other followers, and show appreciation to the post authors, increasing the likelihood they will feature you in future stories. 

Examples of this strategy include a restaurant reposting stories from their guests that were captured at their restaurant, or a consumer brand reposting stories from customers unboxing and photographing their new product. 

5. Use Text-only posts 

Most story features give the user the ability to post stories that are strictly text based. These posts can be shared with different fonts and backgrounds to capture the desired aesthetic. 

Sharing longer first-person messages to your audience, formal statements, inspirational quotes and stories, and step-by-step lists are all examples of text-based social media story formats. 

6. Leverage Story Tools for Post Variety

Social media stories offer a variety of content creation tools to customize your posts depending on the platform. Examples include emojis, audio files, gifs, fonts, preset backgrounds, location tagging tools, questions and polls. These different tools and content types can become standalone posts (ex. Posting a poll), or used to add polish and interesting additional elements to other story ideas. 

These features can impact post discoverability as well, because using hashtags, tagging locations, and tagging other users will expose your stories to larger audiences. 

Use these tools to add value and new content types to your story posts.

7. Teach People Something With "How-To" Style Content

By posting multiple stories in a step-by-step fashion you can teach people a process in an engaging way. This micro learning content emulates platforms like TikTok and YouTube where short how-to style videos are popular. 

Think about tips, tricks, and processes you can teach your audience using stories in order to create another avenue through which you can provide them value. 

8. Go behind the scenes 

The personal and informal nature of stories mentioned above makes them a perfect way to give  people a sneak peak into your everyday life or business. If you’re a fitness guru, show people your pre-gym routine, or if you work in the food industry, show how you prepare before creating a meal. 

Sharing his kind of insight related to your niche will offer content that your audience will relate to and find interesting, and also promote a stronger connection with your brand because of its personal nature. 

Social media stories are a content type that isn’t going away any time soon. Start considering  how you can take advantage of stories in your own marketing strategy using the tips in this blog post.

Bonus Personal Branding Tips and Insights

About the author

Hi, I'm Justin and I write Brand Credential.

I started Brand Credential as a resource to help share expertise from my 10-year brand building journey.

I currently serve as the VP of Marketing for a tech company where I oversee all go-to-market functions. Throughout my career I've helped companies scale revenue to millions of dollars, helped executives build personal brands, and created hundreds of pieces of content since starting to write online in 2012. Thank you for reading and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

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