Facebook Stories 101- Everything You Need To Know About It
If you live in 2021, you are very aware of the impact social media plays in our lives. And within that aspect, there is not just one thing but many small features added to keep things interesting.
When Snapchat started with the concept of disappearing stories, no one thought they would become big enough to be counted as a feature everywhere.
And the latest one to give in to the disappearing stories trend is Facebook. Heralded as the most extensive social media network globally with over 2.85 billion users, Facebook added this functionality in March 2017. And from then on, it has found its way into all the other Facebook products like Instagram and WhatsApp.
So what exactly is it about Facebook stories that more than 500 million users use daily? Let’s find out about it.
What are Facebook Stories?
Facebook was one of the first social media platforms that introduced the capability to share photos publicly after Google’s Orkut rolled out the ability to share videos. After the bubble for sharing images burst and there was a slur of people using it every day, it was time to make that mundane activity enjoyable.
After Snapchat became a hit with millennials, Facebook got in on the action in 2017. Facebook Stories was a way of sharing content for 24 hours from the time of publishing. Snapchat capitalised on and introduced a limited period photo sharing method that also functioned for chatting.
It was and has been limited for viewing only for mobile devices. These can be shared with a specific group of users, a specific user, or with everyone in your friend list, depending on your preferences. Furthermore, it can have text, photos, stickers, videos, or already posted content on your or someone else’s Facebook ID.
How do you Publish a Facebook Story?
Publishing a Facebook Story is a fairly straightforward process that involves just a few clicks. The following are the steps:
- Open the Facebook app on your mobile and swipe from left to right to open the camera.
- Now, you can either click a picture and add filters to it or access the gallery to publish an older image.
- You can even add emojis, text, or stickers as per your mood and needs.
- Once you are happy with the result, just press publish.
- It will then open a screen to choose the people to whom it will be published. This can be your entire friend list, a select group, or just as a private message to someone.
Once you have decided whom to share it with, press the Publish arrow, and it will be visible to users for viewing for the next 24 hours. It will appear on the top of the homepage as a highlighted circle around your profile picture.
There will also be stories from other people from your friend list that you can view.
To view their stories, you just have to scroll to your friend’s story on the top of your homepage and then click on their profile picture. This will open up their published story to which you can respond as a personal message.
What are the Types of Facebook Stories?
While it started as a new way of sharing image content with your friends, it has evolved into something more significant. There are now broadly four types of Facebook Stories that can be published:
- Normal: This is the standard image or post sharing your gallery or your camera with filters, stickers, or text.
- Video: You can even share videos up to 20 seconds long per story. They can also come from your gallery or a repost of some other account.
- Boomerang: This is a special kind of short video of about 5-6 seconds in which an action keeps repeating like the action of a boomerang. For the entire 20 seconds, the same video keeps running in a loop.
E.g. If you have just thrown your hat into the air after your graduation, it will loop the action of throwing it and catching it back again over and over for the entirety of the story.
- Live: A new way of engaging and interacting is going live. So, in this case, you are virtually publishing live about where you are. You can add other people to interact with during this session and show them where you are.
With these kinds of uses, Facebook Stories unlocked a whole new arena of creativity, which led to creating the social media influencers that we know today.
Prime Benefits of Facebook Stories
While it seemed like a mimicry gimmick for Facebook initially, it has evolved into a world of its own. Facebook stories have become a medium of communication and even creating hype, from sharing new updates to teasing about events and upcoming products. So, what exactly are the benefits of Facebook Stories? Here they are:
- Reach Who You Want: Facebook Stories is now used by over 500 million users every day. This means that with the right strategy, it can offer much better reach than Facebook organic post reach that has dropped to less than 5% over the past few years.
- Reach Audience Consistently: When you post an update about a limited period offer on your wall, it can become stagnant over time once that timeline passes. This means that it is only cluttering up your wall and your social media channel. With Facebook Stories, you can easily entice audiences more realistically since the story lasts for a limited duration of 24 hours. It can create hype and even raise brand awareness.
- Humanise Your Business: Once you understand your audience, you can use the Live feature and interact with your audience one on one. Conduct a feedback session, a live interview, or just a general teet-a-teet to engage and indulge your audience in your brand. This will show them that you are human and not a corporate robot that only cares about numbers and profits.
- It enhances transparency: With the humanisation factor, the transparency will also increase. Thanks to the fact that it appears on top, your followers can easily access it anytime, even if they don’t go to your page. You can take that opportunity and post a behind the scenes update about your brand’s inner workings to show them the authenticity of your brand.
- Creative Freedom: Over time, Facebook has added a ton of features to Stories. Ranging from effects, filters, and stickers to a ton of customisation to make the post more creative. Some people have made entire careers in creating the perfect Facebook Story for brands. So, if you have a clever idea for a Story, Facebook will allow you to harness that thought and bring it to fruition.
- Trackable: Along with the capability of posting the story, you also get the chance to track the progress via analytics. The number of people who scrolled through, the number of people it reached, the average duration of viewing, and a ton of other metrics that can help you draw actionable insights for the future. This can even let you know how well your audience is interacting with your brand.
Tips and Tricks for Successful Facebook Stories
Using Facebook Stories is much like any other social media activity. It has to be adequately planned to maximise the intent of publishing it, i.e. engagement. So, what are some tips and tricks to hack into success for Facebook Stories? Read on:
- Set a content calendar: For building a social media page, one of the biggest things is a strategy. This strategy revolves around a content calendar about what to post and where it should be posted. In the same way, you should have a defined content calendar for Facebook Stories about what kind of content you will be posting, and the day you will be posting it. There should be consistency in the task and no gaps in between.
- Set a time: Once you have finalised a day and the content type, you will have to ad-lib and post the stories at various periods to understand when you are getting maximum engagement. This means that you will have to finalise a time at which your engagement will be the highest so that the post is successful. This will round up the content calendar.
- Focus on your brand ethos: If you are trying to build a brand or an identity, there has to be a USP or an ethos that should resonate with your audience. In such cases, make sure that the Facebook Stories align with the page’s purpose and your brand’s identity. This will be what the audience will recognise you for.
- Don’t just promote: While one of the most extensive uses of Facebook Stories is promotions, it has become a lot more now. Used properly, it is one of the most effective mediums to engage your audience. So, make sure you are posting something engaging and not just promotional at least three times out of five.
- Be unique and memorable: Being memorable can come from genuinely engaging and indulging your audience’s likes and interests. And to do those, creativity plays a significant role. With the plethora of available tools, creativity has reached new highs.Understand what you have at your disposal, and use the tools in the Facebook Stories properly. Like your brand, your Stories should be memorable and unique to strike a chord with people. Otherwise, you will just end up as another brand in the noise out there.
- Inspire urgency: One of the critical aspects of having a story is to inspire the user to take action. And to take any action, you need to instil a sense of urgency into the user. Instead of just putting “BUY NOW” in big and bold letters, understand your user’s pain points, and cater your action to press those buttons.Remember, the best kind of marketing is the one that does not feel like marketing. And that is what your Facebook Stories should do for inspiring urgency.
- Everything in moderation: With the plethora of tools, ideas, and topics, you might be compelled to post 10-15 times within a day. And that is one of the biggest rookie mistakes you can make.Instead of posting many times in a day, limit the number of posts. Intrigue the user and be done with it. This is one of the examples where the less is more approach works better.
Remember, no one wants to read an entire novel in your story. Give them the cover, preface, and summary in a maximum of 4-5 stories in a day. This way, your user engagement will climb, and you will remain more relevant.
In the End: Are Facebook Stories Worth It?
Absolutely. Facebook Stories have unlocked a whole new world of possibilities. Whether it is creative, informative, or general, Facebook Stories can do anything and everything you want without the time-consuming process like an organic post reach. And with the choices that are available out there, the sky’s the limit.
So, get out there, and start your very own Facebook Story-Book!
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