The Rise of Social Media Stories – What You Need to Know

If you’ve been on social media lately you’d have noticed the rise of Social Media Stories and the Story Format. But what does it mean for your business?

In this post we look at the Rise of the Story (with a handy infographic) – from Instagram Stories to Snapchat Stories, Facebook Stories and more. You find out what you need to know, and how you can leverage this creative, engaging shift in visual storytelling.

The Rise of Social Media Stories - What you need to know about Story Format
Purple Sunrise by Shutterstock

DONNA MORITZ | 4 FEBRUARY, 2018

I’ve teamed up with the super creative team at Fastory to share this infographic with you below (more about Fastory later in this article so that you can be crushin’ on them as much as I am). The infographic is all about the rise of Social Media Stories. But what is this shift we have seen in content?

This scrolling left-to-right story format is a change from the traditional downward scroll we have become accustomed to on Blogs, websites, and online news platforms… well before Facebook.

But things have changed. Our phone is pivotal to our communication with photos and video (often in vertical format) and it makes sense that we’ve moved towards a way of sharing that is multi-media and incorporates both with ease.

Snapchat started the story era with Snapchat stories and then other platforms have adopted it as a key way of sharing content. Even Whatsapp and Messenger have the story format now.

Stories seem to be here to stay, and with more features being added all the time, our options for creativity are ever-growing!

The Rise of the Story Format – Infographic

Here’s a break of the numbers and the “shift” towards social media stories in this handy infographic from the team at Fastory:

The Rise of Social Media Stories - What You Need to Know about the Story Format - Infographic by Fastory

So let’s break down some of these stats from the Fastory Team:

A Breakdown of the Numbers on the Story Format

Here’s what you need to know from the infographic:

  • Snapchat, Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status represent more than 450M daily active users combined.
  • Social networks that allow the sharing of stories are now the favourite of teens… especially Snapchat.
  • 47% of Snapchat story users who’ve already created Instagram Stories now prefer Instagram Stories.
  • Most of the Stories made by brands are posted on Friday (17%) or Saturday (17%)
  • The most popular stories for a brand on Instagram are based on Merchandise content.  This is followed by social media stories that give an “Inside Look” or involve an Guest Takeover or those that showcase an Event. 
  • The most active industries on Instagram are Fitness (73%) and Fashion (70%). This is followed up by Retail, Technology and Airplanes!  
  • The number of Sponsored posts on Instagram should reach more than 32M by 2019.

Where will Users Spend their Time?

Fastory is a tool that allows users to create stunning stories for major social media channels, so they have insider knowledge as to where we are focusing our time with the story format. I asked the Fastory team what the focus is for users and they said that it’s undoubtedly Instagram (with 35% of their users planning to use Fastory to create stories for Instagram in 2018).

Apart from 35.5% of their users intending to use Instagram Stories, 19.7% plan to use Snapchat, 19.7% plan to use Facebook, 10.5% plan to use Messenger, 7.9% plan to use WhatsApp and 6.6% opted for “Other”.

For further breakdown of the shift to the Story format, check out the infographic above.

So, why do Stories Work?

Stories keeps our content together in the one place. If we tried to do this on the Facebook newsfeed it would be disjointed (or perhaps we wouldn’t see it at all) but with stories you can add content to the one story throughout the day, keeping it all together.

Stories suit our lifestyle and our sharing habits – and the stats are showing that it is a format that’s here to stay.

On Instagram, stories can consist of a single still shot or video – or an entire story over 24 hours. If you don’t want your story to expire on Instagram you can archive it or even share it forever on your profile as a “Story Highlight”.

The possibilities are endless and even today as I write this there is another update to features on Instagram stories.

So let’s jump in to how you can leverage Social Media Stories for your business with a few tips for taking advantage of the popular story format.

6 Quick Tips to Leverage the Rise in Social Media Stories and the Story Format

Now, before I give you these quick tips for social media stories, full disclosure that I am an Instagram Stories user and I love it. So please forgive me for skewing these tips towards Instagram, but most of them are easily applied to any of the platforms:

  1. If you are unsure about where to start, start with Instagram Stories. They are growing the fastest, have the best range of tools to use to create stories (many of them built into the tool).  And all the data is pointing towards Instagram Stories being the leader in the race.  Start with one format then branch out from there.
  2. Don’t be afraid to share your content across platforms. You can save your Instagram Stories, share them to your Facebook profile or even repurpose them for later into a YouTube video.  There are many ways to make your content work for your business after you have created it.
  3. Use the Tools available to you – there are many tools within Instagram. These include the drawing tools, new funky text/typing tools, boomerang, reverse video, storyhighlights, video, images and more.  You can literally create something amazing without using any external tools. But if you are looking for external tools, then check out this post for some of my favourites and of course now I am starting to play with Fastory too!
  4. Create Story Highlights on Instagram to feature a number of stories on a permanent basis. Find out more about highlights here. This is all sorts of wonderful for sharing branded content.
  5. Your stories should help, entertain, give answers, provide solutions, take people behind the scenes, or make people laugh. In short, if they evoke an emotion or make us feel something, then people will stay on to watch!  If you can make us feel something… even if just an affinity with your brand, we are more likely to click or swipe up when you give a call to action.
  6. As seen in the data above, be human!  Two of the best performing story types involve the “human” side of business:   Story Takeovers or Guest Stories and giving an “Inside Look”. This is how you can humanize your brand!

Your Turn – Do you love Social Media Stories?

What Story Format are you using? What are your favourite social media stories to watch or create?  

Tell me in the comments below!  

The Rise of Social Media Stories - What You Need to Know About the Story Format
Purple Sunrise by Shutterstock

 

 

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, winner of Best Business Blog in Australia 2014 and a Top 10 Social Media Blog for Social Media Examiner, 2015-2017. She helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.
  • Tina Silver

    Thanks, Donna!
    Always right on point.
    Hope to see you again at SMMW18 in a few weeks!
    Tina Silver

    • Awesome Tina – glad it helped! Oh great, will hopefully see you there! I am speaking Thursday just after lunch! Come and say hi if you spot me and I’ll be at all the parties. Hope the French Riviera is treating you well ;o)

  • Anja Skrba

    when I saw that 57% female use Snapchat, I smiled there a little… 🙂

    • ha yes I thought that was interesting too! I love Snapchat and want them to blitz it. I just had to draw the line at how many platforms I am on so I’m not on there much but I hope they keep innovating even if Facebook copies their every move!

      • Anja Skrba

        same thing here with me! though, I still have my Snapchat acc and I keep my eye on it (as every good marketer) Plus, my nephews love it 🙂

        • A great way to keep in touch with your nephews then! Especially if you are the cool Aunt! haha

          • Anja Skrba

            it’s important that they think I am 😉 LOL

  • Instagram stories are great… especially for retail it seems…
    I’ve seen a real jump in small retail businesses asking for Insta stories to be planned out and implemented.
    Quite a few have wanted this timed with openings and sale days.

    • Yes! I think Planoly is great for that reaason – you can plan ahead and just post the story on the day!

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