Social media is a force to be reckoned with. It is not to be taken lightly as it can change the course of your marketing platform. Each platform is designed around engagement, offering opportunities to like, share and comment on published content. That content creates a library of work attributed to the social page. These are able to be referenced at any time by users and followers.
A new avenue within social channels is that of the “story”. These are more immediate, less long-lasting options for social interactions. The social media story is a small video or picture with the caption written on top of it that lasts for only twenty-four hours. It provides a slice of life approach to the otherwise very curated social media concept. Social media stories must be actively selected by your followers in order to gain viewership, as they do not appear in newsfeeds. Stories can be abused. Work carefully to ensure you are utilizing your social media stories correctly. Deciding what to publish is critical to not annoying your audience.
A social media story has one purpose: show a moment through the eyes of your company/page. Think about the semantics. A story has a beginning, middle and end. Your social media story should as well. Allow it to make a point and tell a specific story about your day to day. Office birthday party: story worthy. Fieldwork on site: story worthy. Progressions, before and after: story worthy. A cute dog: not story worthy. Lip syncing to your favorite song while driving: not story worthy (also dangerous). Static photos of people working: not story worthy.
Direct engagement from social stories can be helpful because social platforms allow the account holders to see exactly who views it. Use your story to become more informed on exactly who your demographic is. Use your story for self-promotion, specifically catered to your specific audience. Add calls to action, remind users of a recent post. Create direct lines of travel between your story and the rest of your page.
Keep in mind three pillars of social media story usage: explanations and captions, calls to action, and relevancy. Don’t just post a captionless picture. Brag about yourself, explain the story to keep viewers in it. Give them an instruction, tell viewers to visit your website or social media page. Step back and ask yourself if you would care. Don’t publish things people don’t care about. Every time you do, your audience will become less likely to opt in to see what other great stories you create in the future.
Never simply create a story or publish social content for the sake of publishing personally or professionally. Analytics exist to better inform choices made with regard to social publishing. An understanding of the analytics is imperative to social success. Facebook and platforms like it are becoming the number one contact for businesses. They are often the first and most lasting contact customers make. Professional social media work will drastically benefit your marketing platform and arbitrary over/under publishing will cause a lack of faith in the business and by extension, the product.