Just when you feel overwhelmed about marketing your business and staying relevant, another tool comes out: Facebook Stories.
But if you have experience with Instagram or Snapchat stories, don’t worry because you’ll already know how to use Facebook Stories. And we’ll show you how to specifically harness this feature for your company’s marketing.
The nice part about a game of copycat between billion dollar tech companies—through the story feature—is the usability stays the same.
For example, Facebook Stories allows you to share stories with your friends that stay published for 24 hours until they disappear (just like Snapchat invented, and Instagram replicated). The stories appear at the top of the mobile app with circle images of friends’ profile pictures, just like Instagram.
Click the camera icon on the top left of the News Feed to use these stories to take videos, snap pictures, add unique camera effects, and draw.
Besides the new Stories feature on Facebook, they also added Direct—a new inbox that allows you to send direct messages to your friends and reply to their stories.
And this tool is only available on the mobile app for now, not on the desktop version.
That about sums up Facebook’s new feature. Now let’s cover how to use Facebook Stories to bring in more customers and grow your business.
Effective Marketing With Facebook Stories
1. Run Giveaways And Promotions
Because of Facebook Stories’ novelty, not many people are using them. Take advantage of that to get in front of potential customers and keep their attention by running a special giveaway.
- If you’re a restaurant, offer a free lunch prize (or free lunch for an entire year if you want to make a big splash) to only individuals who enter the promotion by liking your Facebook page.
- If you’re a winery, offer free cheese and wine tasting for five lucky individuals who share your latest Facebook post and get drawn.
- If you’re a gym, offer four free classes with a physical trainer to a lucky individual who likes and shares your Facebook page.
All of these offers get the people who know about your company excited while bringing in new customers by Facebook word of mouth.
And your Facebook Stories will work best when you post a few videos to explain the promotion and then give instructions with pictures. But, feel free to get creative using Facebook Stories in the way you see fit to get the most word of mouth publicity out of your promotion.
If you have some loyal customers who you know would be interested in this offer, it may be a good idea to use the Direct capability to send them a direct video or picture message.
2. Give Behind The Scenes Access
Every business showcases the end product or service, but it’s not every day your customers get access to see how it’s put together. That’s how your business can provide value and stand out!
This VIP access through Facebook Stories will get your audience to feel like a part of your company, make your company more interesting, and lead to more sales if you stay consistent with it.
Maybe you’re a t-shirt company. Publish Facebook Stories of your design team drawing concepts on a white board. Or go to the factory where the shirts are made and give your audience an insider’s view.
You could even ask your audience to reply with their favorite color or shirt design to get them more involved, which is a proven marketing tactic for when the shirts are released.
3. Record Question And Answer Sessions
A well done question-and-answer session can do a lot of good for your business in terms of marketing and sales—especially if you sell a technical product or service that isn’t simple for people to understand how it works.
Use this video tool to educate your potential customers and break it down into simple terms. After all, people only buy things they understand.
Also, answering people’s questions goes a long way in building brand loyalty. So even if zero sales come from this activity, in the long run it’s still worth it.
To really get your audience engaged, I recommend you write a post on Monday explaining how you’re going to do a Q-and-A on Friday and make a call to action that they comment their questions. Build up buzz for the Q-and-A session all week and then over deliver.
Keep in min that Facebook Stories last a maximum of 20 seconds. Meaning you either need to talk fast and concise to fit the answer in, or do multiple stories to record the full answer to a question.
4. Highlight Events Or Content
Another good idea is to use your Facebook Stories to market a bigger event or content.
Record videos to spread the word about your spring sale, for example, and you’ll create a better turn out. Give instructions about the sale start and close date, the hours, and their incentive to come.
If your company just published a branded video story, you can tell your Facebook audience to go see the video on your website. Or maybe you release a teaser clip on your Facebook Stories to build hype for the upcoming content.
Get creative to use Facebook stories to send more attention to events and content you’re already doing.
5. Educate Your Audience
Maybe you’re a roofing company that shows the process, through a series of Facebook Stories, of removing a damaged roof and then putting together an entirely new one.
That’s interesting whether people need a new roof or not. And down the road when they do have this need, they’ll remember your company.
Maybe you’re a dentist that explains how to properly floss. The community will appreciate your content and look to you next time they need their teeth cleaned.
Educating people is always good for business, because it builds trust, and trust leads to sales.
Many businesses make the social media mistake of only putting out promotional content and not connecting with their audience (See this article for more social media mistakes to avoid.)
Good businesses consistently evolve to be more human, authentic, and honest. When you pull that off with Facebook Stories, you’ll grow your business.
Also, this tool is an opportunity to have some fun with your employees and customers in the process. Get creative recording videos, taking pictures, and drawing.
We encourage you to get started now and publish your first Facebook Story. You never know who you’ll reach that you otherwise wouldn’t have without this new feature.
(At this time, Facebook Stories are only available for individuals and not for business pages yet.)