Unless you’ve been living in a cave in Peru for the past few months, you’ll be fully aware of the recent online frenzy surrounding social media ‘Stories’.

Snapchat was the first network to introduce the Stories feature: a rolling compilation of snaps from the last 24 hours that all your friends can see, and unlike conventional photo sharing on Snapchat, can be viewed over and over.

Since the introduction of stories in 2013, Snapchat has expanded to be more than just a communication device between friends. Businesses and brands have adopted Snapchat Stories into their marketing strategy as a way of interacting, engaging with and selling to their customers.

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Although Snapchat was way ahead of the Story game, Facebook has now added this new dimension to their platform, and their acquired sister Instagram, in a bid to compete with everything we’ve come to know and love about the Snapchat app.

Since the introduction of Instagram Stories in August 2016, and Facebook Stories earlier this year, a battle between these big names in social media has begun.

But why are Stories useful for brands?

Stories are a great way for businesses to add a ‘human touch’ to their brand and build their brand personality, by providing their customers with imaginative, daily, real-time updates. Using social media Stories allows businesses to connect with their audience by sharing their brand visually and creatively, providing them with an ‘insider view,’ which helps towards building brand awareness and loyalty.

However, just like when posting on any social media platform, it’s critical to strategically plan your content.

Below are four top questions to consider when thinking about introducing Stories into your brand’s social media marketing strategy.

1. Which platform works best for your brand?

When deciding whether to market through Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook Stories, it’s important to consider which platform is more relevant to your audience for maximum impact. Who is your target audience and what message are you trying to get across? The average Snapchat user is aged between 18-24 years old. This audience is expecting casual, fun and creative content. Alternatively, Instagram users fall within a slightly older age bracket – half of their users are 18-29 years old. In general, the Instagram audience are expecting visually-pleasing content with attractive photography. Facebook users are an older user group, but does boast the largest audience of them all! The use of Stories on this platform holds a lot of potential for brands with a large following on Facebook to see positive results.

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2. How should you style your content?

When choosing a style for your Stories, it is important to consider the style of your existing social media accounts. Make sure that any Stories you share compliment this content and adds context to your regular posts. This consistency will avoid any confusion for your audience.

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3. Should you invest in advertising space?

Some businesses are lucky that their social media accounts already boast plenty of followers, however, for less established brands, buying ad space on platforms (particularly Snapchat stories!) can be an effective way of gaining a bigger following and extending reach.

4. Should you invest in Influencer marketing via stories?

It’s no secret that using Social Media Influencers to endorse your brand and promote your products is now one of the most powerful forms of marketing available to marketeers. Stories is yet another space for brands to capitalise on the power of influencers over the market.

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If you’re looking for some help with your brand’s social media accounts, our experts are here to help! Get in touch today, we’d love to hear from you!