What’s The Story with Social Media Stories

adminDigital, Social Media

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You’d just mastered Snapchat—considered yourselves lens connoisseurs, geo filter experts, the Scorcese of Snap stories—then Instagram rolled out their story feature…followed by Facebook. In an already-crowded social media space, are you expected to juggle all three?

The magic of stories is their conversational feel. By keeping things casual, they encourage a more intimate relationship between brands and customers and are an increasingly important part of a comprehensive digital media strategy. The catch? The constant, conversational nature of Snapchat-style content requires significant time and people power. Rather than create mediocre content across multiple story platforms, focus on creating top-notch stories on just one or two. Which platform is right for your brand? There are three things to consider: audience, brand personality and content type. Here’s how each platform stacks up.

SNAPCHAT

Audience

If you’re trying to get in with the younger crowd, it’s time to step up your Snapchat game. Trust us, all the cool kids are doing it. Of Snapchat’s 160 million daily active users, 71 percent are under the age of 34 and a whopping 45 percent are between the ages of 18 and 25.

Brand Personality and Content Type

Snapchat is where funny and quirky content thrives. Offbeat brands that make heavy use of humour in their marketing strategies like Sour Patch Kids have been extremely successful at connecting with fans via Snapchat. Their most infamous Snapchat campaign, the Blue Kid Campaign, used Vine star Logan Paul and a giant blue sour patch kid to connect with candy-loving teens in a series of highly shareable snaps playing into teen culture.

INSTAGRAM

When Instagram launched their story feature in 2016, they quickly became a major player in the story world, skyrocketing to 200 million daily active users in under a year.

Audience

Instagram skews slightly older than Snapchat but is still dominated by the millennial market with ninety percent of users ages 35 and under. An impressive 68 percent of their users are female making it the perfect platform for brands targeting millennial women like Victoria Secret and Nike Women. It is also a great platform for brands that have traditionally targeted an older demographic trying to pivot into a younger market. Estee Lauder— a brand that has historically targeted high-income women ages 35 to 55— teamed up with Kendall Jenner and used Instagram to crack into the millennial market with their new line of cosmetics Estée Edit.

Brand Personality and Content Type

Instagram Stories are Snapchat Stories’ classy older cousin—still fun but slightly more put together. Instagram has always been about carefully curated content. Photos are cropped, tweaked, coloured and brightened to ensure they fit seamlessly into a brand’s feed and, while the temporary nature of Instagram Stories allows for a bit more flexibility on this front, story content should still fit your feed’s overall look and feel. It’s a good idea to edit your photos to fit your feed then upload them to Instagram Stories from your camera roll. Consistency is key! Upscale brands targeting higher-income millennial audiences like Vogue have worked wonders with Instagram Stories, using them to give fans behind the scenes looks at exclusive events like the met gala.

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FACEBOOK

With the launch of their story feature earlier this year, Facebook hopped on the social media story train. It’s too early to tell how they will fare, but with 1.28 billion daily active users, Facebook has a great shot at becoming the next big thing in the world of social media stories.

Audience

Facebook Stories provide a way for older audiences to partake in snap-style conversations with their favourite brands on a platform they’re already familiar with and comfortable using. Forty-six percent of Facebook users are over the age of 35, making it the perfect place for brands targeting Generation X and baby boomers to post story content.  As of the writing of this post, Facebook Stories are only available for users with “Profile” accounts. Facebook has not yet rolled out its Story feature for “Page” accounts (the ones usually used by brands), but it’s only a matter of time.

Brand Personality and Content Type

Facebook offers a happy medium between quirky snapchat-style stories and Instagram’s more curated ones. Facebook encourages spontaneous sharing, but also offers the option to edit and upload photos and videos from your camera roll if a more polished look is required. It is, therefore, target audience and brand personality that dictates what type of content brands share whether it be funny and light, emotional or anything in between.

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There you have it: the scoop on social media stories. The takeaway? Know your audience, know your platform, know your brand personality, and your next story will end with a happily ever after.