Are you ready for the "storification" of social media? Here are some best practices from the first successful users.
Blame it on Snapchat. In 2013, the social network developed launched Stories – vertical and ephemeral slideshows consisting of a mix of photos and videos shot by users over the course of a day. Snapchat's teenagers loved the format, even though the rest of the social media world did not get much attention. . . at least not at the beginning.
But then, the stories were copied by Facebook and introduced to a much wider audience on Instagram in 2016. Facebook itself, as well as its messaging platforms, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, were released in 2017 .
Now, a multitude of indicators lead to a startling conclusion: stories quietly eat the social world, fundamentally changing the way we share and consume content on social media. For companies that rely on social media to reach their customers, this represents new opportunities and real challenges.
Stories Still Another Platform Requiring Attention – may not be good news for companies that are already trying to manage content across multiple channels social. And while the old – fashioned news stream, a desktop – era retainer, is well suited to short bursts of text or unique images, the Stories require a mix of More and more time-consuming pictures, images and graphics.
But it is hard to ignore the power – and the potential return on investment – of the Stories format. According to the latest research stories grow up 15 times faster than news threads. More than one billion users are already hooked to the format. In fact, Facebook product manager Chris Cox has linked the company to Stories, noting that "the Stories format is about to overtake the feeds because it is the primary means of sharing information with its customers. friends next year ".
In other words, adopting the Story format may no longer be an option for businesses, but a requirement. Indeed, it is estimated that four of the five major brands are already well integrated. Doing things right, however, is not easy.
Generations and generations are saturated with digital marketing and "content". (Some 293,000 updates are now posted on Facebook every minute.) They've learned to avoid banner ads and can feel a sales pitch a mile away. Companies wishing to reach them with stories must bring real value: entertain, inform or educate, not just sell. Far from direct marketing or sales games, stories are a branded opportunity, with little room for a call for brutal action.
Here is a quick overview of some of the earliest effective History users, revealing the key principles that can help companies looking to ride the next social wave.
Invest in Creativity
Stories work best when they include video, text, images, and more. Although they may appear "unannounced", they often have higher production value and require technical expertise beyond that of a Tweet or Facebook message. As TechCrunch's Josh Constine pointed out, "advertisers have to rethink their message not as a title, a body of text and a link, but as a background, overlays and a feeling that lasts even if visitors do not click. "Narrative – these buzzwords of content marketing – is a table issue.
Tropicana, the juice brand, immediately recognized Instagram's potential for higher value-added production, aimed at increasing the awareness and sales of young adults. In a particularly successful campaign they combined mouth-watering juices mixed with festive drinks like Sangria. Hand-drawn text and arrows offered mixing instructions, and users were encouraged to "slide up" to get the full recipe. Result: an increase of 18 points in the recall of ads and a measurable increase in the intention to purchase.
Use the multimedia format to display the products in action
The traditional package – The sterile image of a product sealed in its packaging – has little place in the kingdom of Stories. Successful brands use the multimedia format instead to show how products fit into customers' lives. Applying Influencers – to create and share product stories that allow businesses to expand their reach and reach an already acquired audience –
Example: The skin care company, Dr. Brandt, used Instagram Stories to increase the number of its follow-ups from 30,000 at the end of 2016 to more than 80,000 today. His stories incorporate professional images and videos of his cosmetics, such as the popular "matte moisturizer," with before-and-after demonstrations and tutorials about product application. Buyers can even slide your finger when viewing a story to initiate payment. By activating the shopping feature on Instagram Stories, Brandt was able to increase his direct sales by 500%.
Value of balance production with authenticity
Users expect brands a bit of sophistication, but too heavy a publication can deprive a story of its authenticity (not to mention an expense of time and money hard to justify for content that often disappears). Finding this balance is not necessarily easy, and even some of the world's biggest media brands have had to experiment.
After tracking his performance on Instagram the Guardian made an interesting discovery: highly scripted stories did not provide the expected return on investment. On the other hand, their more spontaneous, less polished stories – as their videos "explanation" – performed much better. These low-fi stories also feature young presenters and use more casual language (like emojis) that has resonated much better with their digital audience. With their efforts, the Guardian has grown from 860,000 to one million followers on Instagram in just four months.
Users occupy a central place
Effective Stories takes advantage of a fundamental attribute of many Millennial and Generation Z users: the desire to share their own photos and videos and to literally see themselves on the screen rather than look at them. other. Successful brands with Stories have found ways to generate high-quality, user-generated content from fans and integrate it into their own efforts, streamlining production while leveraging social "users to strengthen their own credibility.
The coworking company WeWork has built its brand on the idea of community, and its content "behind the scenes" on Instagram Story illustrates this fact. Whether it be to celebrate a book launch in London or a month of pride in Mexico City, their stories look raw and real because they present the # 39 real customer experience using their workspaces. WeWork also allows members to organize storytelling events to show a day in the life of their offices. The ephemeral nature of their story content allows them to play with quick and insightful glimpses of the company, while the "Highlighting" feature allows them to consistently display powerful stories.
Although the format continues to evolve, the stories do not disappear. The possibility for users to "highlight" their histories – and to keep them as long as they wish – can already be guessed the evolution of the format into a more central and sustainable place. Meanwhile, each passing month brings innovations that add versatility, stickers and ever more sophisticated face filters to the integration of advanced AR functionality allowing users to create their own own interactive doodles. What is more and more clear is that for a new wave of digital creators Stories is largely synonymous with social media, while the news wire – is the defining innovation of Facebook – . to be in decline.
Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management system with over 10 million users. After leaving college, he started a paintball business and a pizzeria before founding Invoke Media, the company that developed Hootsuite in 2009.
Holmes is now an authority in the social business revolution, quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and speaking at the TEDx and SXSW interactive conferences. An angel investor and advisor, he advises startups in Canada and around the world.