The world of social media marketing offers a variety of formats for a brand to reach their audience. From full blogs to images to live videos, there is a marketing format that works for every individual and every brand. Before Snapchat, however, all of the existing social media distribution formats were relatively similar – create your content and share it on a scrolling feed surrounded by everyone else’s posts, which can be viewed on your profile at any time.
Snapchat is a social media platform where initially your content would go away immediately after it was viewed. When Snapchat was introduced many thought it was simply a passing fad, now Snapchat commands an audience of 150 million users, approximately 10 million more than Twitter! One of Snapchats brilliant enhancements to their social media platform was the addition of Stories. With Stories you could compile a collection of pictures and videos throughout your day for any one of your followers to see. The Stories feature made Snapchat more appealing to brands as a marketing outlet, so much so, that many other social media companies have implemented a similar feature into their own platform.
So, by now you may be asking what is the difference between these different “story” features and which one should I use? Let’s take a look:
Snapchat Stories Key Features
With Snapchat stories the pictures and videos you select are compiled over a 24 hour period and available to be viewed as much as your followers desire for that time frame. For marketing purposes, this social media outlet is ideal if you are trying to reach a younger audience, as the bulk of Snapchats users are in the 18 – 34 age range. Key things to consider if you want to maximize your effectiveness with Snapchat include:
- You must be good at telling stories in sequence – because there is no option to change the order of images and videos in your story, you have to be intentional about the order in which you capture content
- You already have a fanbase – this is true for any platform, but if you already have a strong fanbase on Snapchat, then you don’t want to miss out on the opportunities that the Stories feature provides
- Special Events – Stories is an ideal outlet to share a special occasion or activity that you’re taking part
Inside Instagram Stories
Instagram was the go-to social media platform for image-based content. If you were tired of reading your friends rants you could simply hop over to Instagram and look at their lunch instead. Although other platforms allowed visual content as well, Instagrams sole focus on visual content made it appealing because you knew that every post would provide more stimulation than text alone. For the camera happy population of Instagram users, the “story” feature was a welcomed addition. With Instagram Stories, users didn’t have to worry about editing every picture before it was shared, or sharing too much. Similar to Snapchat, Instagram stories allows you to compile images a videos over a 24 hour period for your entire following to enjoy. Here are a few key take-aways if you’re considering marketing with Instagram Stories:
- You already have a large Instagram following – again true for any platform, go where your audience is
- You’re on Instagram but not Snapchat – use Instagram Stories to see if this format works for you and your brand before going elsewhere
- Your products or services are visual – if what you do or sell is something that people would want to see, then stories is a great way to demonstrate it
- Broader Reach – Instagram Stories has an option to tag which can be vital in expanding your reach, additionally there are over 500 million users on Instagram already
Twitter and Its Moments
The most recent social media site to join in the storytelling format is Twitter with the addition of Moments. Twitter Moments work differently in that the included content can be curated and can come from one or multiple users. As for the types of content included, Twitter Moments can be a mash-up of Tweets, Images, Videos and even GIFs. The Moments feature is designed to center around a specific topic or event, in such Moments must be given a topic and cover image. Consider marketing with moments if:
- You prefer the curated option – being able to select what content and in what order can be very effective, especially depending on the topic and your personal style
- You want more impressions – Moments can be embedded for a wider reach, plus there is not a time limit where your Moment will expire, giving Moments the opportunity to remain relevant and effective for a longer period of time
- Your business is event focused or you prefer behind the scenes options – being able to clearly display some of the more interesting, although chaotic, occasions can be a big plus
Although Facebook has denied that it will produce their own story feature, some areas have seen the addition of Messenger Day. Currently, this is only in select areas and it is yet to be seen if Facebook will fully release a story feature. This could be in part because Facebook already owns Instagram and would not want to compete with their own brand. However, given the wide gap in the number of Instagram users versus Facebook users worldwide (500 million to 1.57 billion), a Facebook story feature would have the widest reach of any social media platform available. For now, we’ll just have to stay tuned.
If there is one thing that’s clear, It’s that storytelling is here to stay. You have many different styles and options to choose from when it comes to storytelling through social media. You may have to experiment with a few to see what works best for your brand, or choose to use all of them. In this rapidly changing digital age, feeling connected to a brand is more important than ever before, and stories can be a powerful way to connect.
To Your Best Online!
Ingrid Gee, Internet Marketing Consultant. Blue Dress® Marketing, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online®
Are You Storytelling Yet?