We love seeing business owners who use social media to reach out to their customers. Especially in 2018, any business using social media knows how important it is to share information, photographs, videos, and more through these powerful marketing outlets.
What most businesses don't do, however, is use Facebook and Instagram stories. These are relatively new ways to give your customers a look at who's really behind the polished face of your business. Today, we'll discuss what these stories are and just how big of an impact they can have on current and future customers.
What is a Story
Stories on Instagram and Facebook are visual eye candy with a twist. They can contain multiple photos or even videos and will post online for only 24 hours. Afterward, they disappear. Typically, stories will show on Instagram or Facebook in a designated place on their platform - for instance, Facebook stories appear in the upper right-hand corner of the user’s news feed. This gives them a place of honor, so to speak, where they are noticeable right off the bat instead of having to be discovered through scrolling.
Now that we’ve gotten the technical part out of the way, stories are FUN!
You can use stories to give an unfiltered look at your business and invite interest in a whole new way.
For 24 hours, your stories lift that curtain that typically separates businesses and their customers. Reveal a step in how a product is made, give a peek into the daily life of your company, or show how your company has an impact on the local community.
You’ve already sparked their interest - now it’s time to shine!
How Stories Help Your Business
In 2018, the only way a business can thrive is if customers feel a connection to it. Return customers are less expensive than new ones, and stories are not only free but when used correctly can influence previous buyers to enjoy your products and services only.
For example, let’s say you own a convenience store. There are three more in your area, and all of you experience the typical drop-in-and-go customers who may not think twice about coming to your store later. Then, using Facebook stories, you share a story containing a short clip of your interaction with a kid who is excited to see that you ordered the candy bar he likes simply because you didn’t have it when he stopped in last week.
That story has the power to tell other customers multiple things about your brand and you, the person behind that little boy’s smile, as well as behind the counter. First, it establishes a belief that you care - you remembered you didn’t have it, and a customer had asked for it. Second, it establishes trust - if you care, then your store must be just as kept up as your memory. Third, that story is going to show that you want to do right by your customers and make them happy, which will instantly make you relatable to consumers.
Building a relationship with your customers through stories works on an interesting marketing level. Not only are you giving a live-action view of what happens in the store, but you’re also establishing yourself as a person running a store, not a store employing a person.
This is powerful imagery and seriously impacts current customers, and has a high chance of attracting new ones.
How to Use Stories with Your Business
We know that you may be used to glossy photographs and edited, polished videos, but this is your chance to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your company. When choosing what to show in your Facebook or Instagram stories, focus on the little things that may go unseen. For instance, if you own a bakery, give a glimpse at the art of turning fondant into flowers. If you run an auto shop, share a tip based on a unique problem a customer has.
After choosing a video or photo collection to make into a story, all you have to do is share it!
Once you’ve gotten into story sharing, it should be handled with care. Keeping a flow of stories coming means that you’ll get more views, so posting regularly is key. Post two, three, four times a week. You can even post daily if you really want to keep it rolling! And showing more stories per day is a great idea if you have the occasion for it. Keep it relevant and they’ll really pay off!
Overall, the idea behind Facebook and Instagram stories is that you show your customers who your company really is - a person or group of people determined to provide only the best services or products to your company’s customers. Making your company relatable will keep customers coming back - If only for the next story.
Everything about business is social. We believe growing your business happens through the relationships you build. That’s why everything we do in digital marketing and branding is centered around creating a connection between you and your customer.