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Since Facebook was born in 2004, social media has become a dominant part of modern culture. Nearly 80 percent of US adults have at least one social media platform, with an incredible 3.6 billion people using the platforms around the world. When it comes to reaching modern consumers and engaging them, brands quickly discover that few provide as broad of an audience as social media.

Within the various available social media platforms, Instagram and Snapchat provide a visual experience that appeals to social media users across demographics. A quarter of US adults use Snapchat and over a third of them use Instagram. Within these digital platforms, visually-appealing and engaging social stories have emerged as an excellent means to engage mobile users.

 

What are social media stories?


On the visual platforms, like Snapchat and Instagram, users can share images and short videos of themselves and have their creations appear in feeds. The content created on these platforms is temporary, with much of the content disappearing quickly after a user has viewed it. This helps to create an atmosphere of urgency, where users feel concerned about potentially missing out on the latest tips and communication from their connections, including their favorite brands.

Social media stories help to tap into this dynamic. Brands can create videos and images that appear to people on the platforms. Since the stories created only last a short period of time before they disappear, unless a particular user saves them, followers feel more inclined to watch or otherwise engage with the promotion. This then helps to spread the brand and build engagement.

The video itself helps to nurture a more personal connection between the user and the organization, giving them a glimpse into the people behind your brand. Users, therefore, feel more connected to you and more inclined to listen to what you have to say.

 

How do I use social stories to drive engagement with customers?


Since stories on social media allow you to tap into a more personal element with your users, incorporating opportunities for interaction can take your stories to the next level. For example, you can offer customers the chance to participate in surveys, polls, or ask you questions. You can also incorporate opportunities to click through the ad and access additional information about special deals and promotions. Since the text will get deleted quickly, enticing customers with the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive deal encourages engagement.

As you build your stories, remember the impression you want to create on your prospective customers. This means incorporating your branding in a clear way at the beginning and end of the story, ending the story with a strong call to action that inspires people, using high-quality images, and remembering that most people hold their phones in a vertical position-- so your story should align with this position as well.

Social stories through visual social media platforms, including Instagram and Snapchat, offer an excellent means to build your relationship with customers. As you work to create an engaging, positive experience for potential customers to encourage clicks and engagement, consider incorporating these into your next marketing campaign.