How Businesses Can Use Social Media Stories

Social stories have gained traction after their initial start on Snapchat. Instead of actively engaging with another, specific person, Snapchat users could share with their entire following what was going on throughout their day simply be posting pictures and videos. Even better is the fact that stories disappear after 24 hours so the content doesn’t require the editing that other social posts do.

Instagram quickly recognized the success being realized by Snapchat Stories and came out with their own version, uncreatively called Instagram Stories. That rollout was quickly followed by Facebook and Messenger Stories creating a comprehensive medium for content sharing. With Instagram reporting 500 million daily active Stories users worldwide and Snapchat reporting over 200 million daily active users, there is little mystery as to why brands started getting into the business of social media stories.


The following are some best practices are that you can use to promote your brand on social media stories:


Snapchat Stories

Snapchat is a great way to appeal to a younger generation with 45% of users falling between the ages of 17 and 24. Brands and influencers can get more personal with their target audience through Snap Discover Pages just a swipe away from a user’s Snapchat screen.

Your cover page and initial snap should visually capture the essence of your brand and clearly let people know what sort of content they are choosing to follow. You want to intrigue users with your headline and photo to encourage them to click to see more of what your brand has to offer.

To best utilize this platform: send a snap to your users with a basic purpose of advertising; create a custom geofilter for your next event or company celebration; if you are a larger business and this is your target audience’s main platform, create a Snapchat lens.


Instagram Stories

While Snap Discover Pages are excellent for pushing out content, if that isn’t your brand’s primary focus, you may want to consider Instagram Stories, instead. Businesses looking to utilize social platforms to focus on sales are finding that Instagram has a better sales model. The way Instagram Stories are set up and how Instagram has integrated eCommerce into their social platform simply makes the platform a better option for brands focused on sales.

Instagram Stories is modeled after Snapchat in that photos and videos vanish after 24 hours. In addition, content shared through Instagram Stories will not appear on main Instagram feeds or on profile grids. Many brands regularly use Instagram Stories to show behind the scenes images and videos, allowing for a more informal sharing of content than would be shown on other marketing channels.

The important thing is to keep content engaging, relevant, and, to some extent, feeling spontaneous. High-quality content doesn’t necessarily mean big budget. Social media stories are not the place for heavily edited and curated content. The key to successful Instagram Stories is to know your audience and what kind of content they want to see/expect from your brand.


Marketing and Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories offer an excellent channel through which marketers can engage with their target audience. Content can be crafted to humanize a brand and build strong relationships that generate demand. The informal vibe makes followers feel like part of the brand family and helps to boost brand loyalty.

A veterinary clinic can feature a behind the scenes tour of the boarding areas of the clinic, a salon can show the amazingly serene environment they offer clients as they partake of the salon’s services. Instagram Stories are also a fabulous place for any brand to introduce their staff and show the people who make the business come to life.

An approach that has been shown to be impactful is to use Stories to actually tell a brand story. By using a slideshow format, you can showcase a story with a beginning, middle and end. Value-added content or teasing up to a finale can increase each Stories’ engagement and ensure your audience stays tuned until the end. Another way to make the most of Instagram Stories is to go live and feed into consumers’ desire for being in the moment. As an added bonus, Instagram gives a priority bonus for going live, meaning that live content appears above normal Stories.


Facebook Stories

There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to using Facebook Stories. The concept is the same as Snapchat and Instagram Stories with story content disappearing after 24 hours. Facebook Stories will do a slightly better job helping to promote your Facebook posts without spending a lot on advertising and bidding. Another reason Facebook Stories are great for advertising is that they are the first thing your customers see when they log onto their platform profile.

To change things up a bit, you can use Stories to promote something that you don’t want to make yet another social post about. Share on your brand story the details about your new products, services, or an upcoming event and guide users to look at your latest post. The benefit is two-fold in that you are raising awareness about what is going on and driving traffic to your brand’s Facebook page as well. Stories are a super easy way to let your followers know that you’ve got something new and they should go check it out.



WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by ex-Yahoo employees but is now owned by Facebook and has grown to over 1 billion users worldwide. It is a free to download messenger app for smartphones and can also be used on a desktop. WhatsApp utilizes the Internet to send messages, images, audio, and video making it a less expensive choice than traditional texting. The group chatting, voice messages, and location sharing features have made WhatsApp popular with teenagers.


WhatsApp Statuses

WhatsApp statuses are similar to Stories but not exactly the same. While it may seem unorthodox to market on a messaging platform, a number of businesses are using the less formal nature of WhatsApp to promote their brands. Similar to the way brands use Instagram Stories to gain feedback from their users with their poll feature, brands can ask their audience to respond to something they’ve posted on social media with WhatsApp and the use of specified hashtags.



With a constantly evolving social landscape, it’s important for businesses to keep up with the trends in order to stay relevant in their industry. Seek out ways to use Stories to give viewers unique and regular access to your brand. Prioritize consistent and authentic presentation over high production. And most of all, don’t fall for the allure of short-term advertising, and all of its inefficiencies. Building a reputation for engaging and immersive content will prove much more valuable for a brand, for a much longer time.

The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing have worked with brands of all sizes and across all industries. We can help you make the most of your social media efforts through a tailored marketing plan, content creation, social media management, and more. Whatever your social media needs are, SDM is ready for the challenge. Contact us today to get started!