Stories have stormed across the social media landscape, totally altering how we engage and interact on social media. We can thank Snapchat for creating the explosion of ephemeral content, and Instagram for taking it to the next level.
Tapping through panels of photos, videos, and boomerangs is the new normal and the the face of the future of social media. Wall posts will always have a place, but stories play a bigger and bigger role with each passing month. Whether you’re on Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook, get the best out of your efforts using ephemeral -- rather than permanent -- content. Here’s how to do that.
Make stories three-five panels in length. Long enough to have some substance, but not so long that your audience becomes bored. Upload them around the same time, and give some context to the story in the first panel so people have an idea what they’re about to watch.
Authenticity is not just a buzzword - it’s what will make or break your story-telling. Whether you’re a micro-influencer or a huge brand, your followers want to see something natural, not something perfectly produced and curated in a studio after being A/B tested. Video of you talking directly to the camera is gold; people follow you for YOU.
Be interactive! Use GIFs. There are thousands to choose from, all of which can be stitched together to help tell your story and to make it more interesting. Add polls. Your followers want to give you their opinion, even if it seems like a silly question. Use other ways for interaction, like sliders, quizzes, and questions. Don’t overdo it, but let your viewers feel like they’re taking part in your life, not just viewing it from afar.
Fill the frame when you can. Blank space looks off-putting. The bigger your handle tags are, the more likely people are to click on them. Don’t actually put too much stock in them, though. Most people don’t click on tags within stories. If the vibe of the story is happy, consider adding music. Keep your use of text minimal; people have a very short attention, especially when they’re viewing stories.
Experiment! Only you know what your audience wants. Give it to them, and see what tends to work best. The best metrics to pay attention to are the watch-through rate of your stories, the amount of replies you get, and the amount of people who are interacting with polls, sliders, and the like.
John Oberg is a social media pro, dedicated to making the world a kinder place for animals by utilizing the power of social media. He recently launched his own independent project for animals through Patreon. Prior to that, he served as Director of New Media for the international animal protection organization, The Humane League. And prior to that, John served as Director of Communications for Vegan Outreach. In both of these roles, John oversaw social media for the organizations which led to a tenfold increase in following in both, as well as over 1 billion views of content posted to these pages.