Stories on Facebook and Instagram are slideshows of photos or short videos which can create brand awareness and help you connect with customers.
The Stories feature was pioneered by Snapchat in 2013 and Instagram introduced its version in 2016. It now has 500 million active daily users and its popularity continues to grow. One third of Instagram’s most viewed Stories are from businesses.
Facebook followed suit with its own version of Stories in 2017 and according to the platform, by 2018 it had over 500 million active users. It’s now considered a second news feed.
The great thing about the Stories feature is that it can be used in many ways, depending on your goals. This feature is particularly useful for the tourism industry as it evokes a sense of fun, freshness and spontaneity.
Benefits of Stories
What makes Stories different from other social media posts is the fact they’re only available for 24 hours (except if highlighted). They appear at the top of users’ feeds on mobiles and many people choose to look at this feature first, providing more exposure than other posts which can get lost in news feeds.
One of the reasons Stories are popular is because they seem more spontaneous and authentic than other posts. In the tourism industry this sense of spontaneity can be used to great effect by offering ‘behind the scenes’ glimpses of tours, funny anecdotes from tour operators and customer testimonials.
Videos showing what it’s like to participate in activities like paragliding or whitewater rafting are fun and engaging, but the sky is really the limit when it comes to content for stories. Anything your followers would be interested will help you connect with them on a more personal level and build trust.
In tourism, the goal is to create a sense of the ‘experience’ you offer, making your followers want more.
Tips to Create Captivating Stories
Cross-Promotion: Stories are potentially viewed by more people, making them a perfect tool for cross promoting your other content. Use them to share a teaser with a call to action, directing followers to a video, blog post or livestream.
Use links wisely: Links should always feel organic to the post, otherwise your Stories will lose their sense of authenticity.
Have fun: Your permanent posts need to look like they’ve been professionally curated, but you can afford to be more relaxed with temporary Stories. Use a mixture of text, gifs, filters and emojis to create something fun and memorable.
Keep sight of your goals: Although stories appear to be more informal than other posts, every piece of content should be underpinned by a clear strategy. Ask yourself what each Story is promoting before you upload it.
Research hashtags: The right hashtags and location can expand your Stories reach significantly.
User-generated content: Encourage customers to create they own Stories and tag your business in them.
Encourage interaction: Add a question box and use polls in your Stories to foster interaction and gain valuable free insights into your target market.