Facebook announced that it would be getting on board the Stories gravy train in late 2016. This was just a few months after the release of Instagram Stories.
These days, Stories are used by a huge number of accounts. Presently, over 250 million active users were regularly posting content to the platform. That creates a potentially huge market for businesses looking to make a splash. That said, while the number is large, it’s also not so large as to be impossible to stand out. This is a platform that is still growing, and as a result, you can still get noticed – it’s something that not every brand has begun taking full advantage of yet.
This is particularly relevant, given that the organic reach of Facebook pages is continuing to decline. Facebook is seeing more and more users migrate from its platform, and is presumably is worried that a prevalence of advertisements on news-feeds might be the culprit. As such, content from pages has be de-prioritized. Through Stories though, business owners now have a new way to cut through the noise and to get their content seen. And of course, this also comes with all the benefits associated with stories in general that we have already explored.
How Facebook Stories Work
Facebook Stories appear in a different place in relation to other types of post. While images and updates appear on the user’s feeds, Stories will appear right at the top of the app. That means that Stories are actually the first things that users see when they open Facebook! Not only that, but the icons for the Stories – at the time of writing – are large and rectangular. That is to say that they are ideal for consuming on mobile, and they take up a large amount of space. This makes them very difficult for a user to miss.
This really is “prime real estate” for internet marketers. To use Facebook Stories, there are a few steps you need to follow. Firstly, you will need to create a Facebook Page. On Instagram anyone can create a Story post, but on Facebook, you need to have a Page to do so as a business. You’ll then need to be an administrator on that page in order to gain access to posting stories. Facebook Stories can also be accessed from Facebook Messenger, where they are displayed as a row at the top of the inbox. Like Instagram, Facebook Stories are available for 24 hours after being posted.
Creating Your First Facebook Story
To create a Facebook Story, you need to start by making a page. Select the option to create a page then, and then give your page a name (which ideally should be your business name). You’ll also need to offer some other details like your postal address, your phone number, and more. You’ll also want to choose a category for your Page. This should roughly describe the type of business you run and will make it easier for others to find you. You’ll also want to upload a profile photo, which should ideally communicate precisely what your business is about and who it is for. This might be your logo, but the same holds true for logos: the ideal logo is one that clearly expresses the mission statement and industry of the business.
Getting Started with Stories
Instagram only allows you to share stories from your phone or tablet, but with Facebook Stories, you can easily share through the website as well. In fact, there are ways to share stories through Facebook Lite, as well as Facebook Messenger.
The recommended option for users however, is to share their stories using the app. This is more versatile and provides more options and tools for users than the desktop version. Not only that, but it of course gives you access to your phone’s most-likely-superior camera.
In the app, you will start by choosing the hamburger menu (three lines) in the top right of the app. Keep in mind that these instructions may change as the app is updated. Now select the page that you just created, and you’ll be taken to an area where you can see some details and create posts. In order to share a Story however, you will need to view the page itself as a visitor might see it. Click the icon along the top called “Page” and then tap on your profile image. You’ll see the option appear to “Create Story.” Once you’ve done that, the app will open up your gallery and show recent images. You’ll also be able to tap the camera icon in order to take a new photo or video. To use video, you will need to long press the shutter button. You’ll now have the option to add effects by selecting the wand icon at the bottom of the screen, to add text by hitting the letter icon, or to add stickers. These can add a bit of personality and fun to your posts and are very similar to the same feature found on other platforms. You can also draw free hand on the screen, which is ideal if you have a device that uses a stylus, such as a Galaxy Note or an iPad Pro.
Finally, the most useful feature is the link icon. This doesn’t let you link directly to a site of your choosing unfortunately, but what it does do, is to give you the opportunity to add a call-to-action button. This can include options like “Book Now” and “Learn More.” This has potential to be extremely monetization, as it allows you to sell things directly through your stories, which will have a high open rate.
Tip: Cross Post to Instagram and Facebook
A really useful tip when it comes to posting Facebook Stories, is that you can easily cross post from Instagram. Instagram has a larger engagement when it comes to Stories, so you might choose to prioritize that platform. But by selecting to post to both sites, you’ll be able to get even more benefit while putting in no extra work. Simple head to the settings menu called “Story Controls” and then scroll down to the option to “Share Your Stories to Facebook.” Toggle that option to the on position, and you’ll automatically post to both.