We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: your presence on social media makes a difference. For many business owners, it’s how they stay connected with their target audience. For clients and customers, it’s how they know what the business is up to. Over the years, social media platforms have invented new ways to let users reach their followers, including Stories.
What are Stories?
The popularization of social media Stories began with Snapchat. Since the feature is so popular, other platforms have adopted it. Stories allow the user to create a visual log (whether video or photo-based) of what they’re up to within a 24-hour period. Users can utilize the feature in whatever way they want, whether it’s to hold an “Ask Me Anything” session or simply keep their followers informed of new products. After the 24 hours, the Stories will disappear, but some platforms provide the option to keep the Stories pinned to the user’s profile.
Snapchat first introduced the Stories feature in 2013. It allowed users to compile their snaps into a singular place, where it was accessible to all their friends. It’s a platform that’s spontaneous, a concept that is extremely popular with younger demographics. While the basic functions of Stories are similar to Instagram and Facebook, Snapchat also offers businesses the opportunity to create special geofilters and sponsored lenses. Sponsored lenses change the face of the user while adding a brand graphic over the photo and geofilters target a specific region. Not only do businesses use geofilters to promote their brand, but specialized geofilters can be created for birthdays and weddings.
Instagram had a massive user base prior to the introduction of Stories. However, after the feature was introduced in 2016, it gave people an incentive to check the platform daily instead of occasionally. More than 300 million users watch Stories daily and despite over half being under 30, it has a higher percentage of 30 to 50-year old’s using the platform than Snapchat does. Instagram’s Stories has plenty of features that other platforms lack. Stories on Instagram target a larger audience. Within the feature, users are able to mention other users by using the @ symbol, as well as use hashtags. Instagram has also implemented a function called “Story Highlights” which pins Stories to the top of their profile, allowing them to stay for as long as they’re highlighted.
Facebook undoubtedly has the largest user base out of all social media platforms. Over 2.32 billion people are active on Facebook monthly and that number keeps increasing every year. With Facebook acquiring Instagram, it wasn’t long before the platform adopted the Stories feature as well. Similar to the other two platforms’ Stories, Facebook Stories has interactive filters, frames, and reactive effects. However, the feature isn’t as popular as it is on Snapchat or Instagram. For businesses, this may be beneficial. Since hardly anyone is using Stories on Facebook, it gives businesses the opportunity to share their content and have it be seen.
What “Stories” Platform is Right for You?
It will all depend on the audience you want to reach. To reach the largest audience, Instagram is certainly at an advantage. Those who follow you on Instagram (and genuinely want to engage with your content!) will be able to see your Stories at the top of their timeline. However, with Facebook’s Stories being underutilized, your business can easily benefit from the exposure. If you’re looking to target a younger audience, consider launching a promotional campaign on Snapchat. Each Stories platform has advantages and disadvantages, but it all depends on who you want to reach!