If your brand hasn’t started using Facebook Stories yet, you aren’t alone. Still a relatively new feature, Facebook Stories has only been available for pages since late 2017. Find out how to create engaging Facebook Stories while this feature is still fresh, and learn how your brand can get the most out of investing in this ephemeral content.

Post From the Facebook App

Image via Flickr by stockcatalog

Facebook Stories first launched as a feature for individual users only. Even though Facebook rolled out this feature to pages about a year later, starting in late 2017, brands can’t yet access the feature in the same way that individual users can. While individual users can create Stories on both mobile and desktop versions of Facebook, pages can’t access the feature on desktop as of March 2018. That means you’ll need to use the Facebook app to create your Story.

If you’re accustomed to using the Facebook Pages app to manage your brand, take a step back, as you won’t find the Stories option there. Instead, you’ll need to log into the Facebook app, find your page, and scroll down until you see the option to create your Story.

Share Your Instagram Story

Creating a Story through the Facebook app can be particularly tough if you typically use Facebook Business Manager to publish content and interact with followers. If you own your page in Business Manager, you won’t see it listed under the pages in your individual profile. While you can remove your page from Business Manager, you have other options to consider, too.

You can also create an Instagram Story and share it via Facebook. To do this, you’ll need to set up your Instagram profile as a business account and link it to your brand’s Facebook page. You’ll also need to use an iPhone, as the cross-posting option is only available for iOS users.

Start With a Storyboard

No matter how you opt to tell your Story, you’ll want to do some pre-planning. Facebook Stories are designed to be less polished and more intimate than standard videos, but to get the most out of Stories, plan ahead to avoid making mistakes or missing a key opportunity to achieve one of your brand’s social media goals.

Since Facebook Stories typically feature a combination of videos and still images, treat your Story as you would approach any video that your brand develops. Consider starting with a storyboard, which can include as many drawings or mockups as necessary to convey the most important elements of the Story. Decide which components will consist of video clips and which will work better as still images.

Then, plan the script and the captions. Run through the script to ensure you’ve covered all the key information you want to share, and decide where to add captions, hashtags, and geolocations.

Create Original, Time-Sensitive Content

Once you’ve planned out all of the elements, you can upload them to the Facebook or Instagram app, add any finishing touches, and publish your Story. Keep in mind that unlike the updates, images, and videos you post to your brand’s Facebook page, your Story won’t be visible forever. Instead, it’s time-sensitive content that disappears after 24 hours, similar to Instagram Stories and Snapchat content.

While most marketers are already familiar with time-sensitive content, it’s important to remember that your audience may not be, especially if they don’t use Instagram or Snapchat. Since Facebook continues to be the largest social media platform, it’s a smart place to publish original content, even if it doesn’t have an infinite lifespan. To make sure your followers don’t miss your time-sensitive Stories, create additional text- or image-based posts introducing your new Story content and encouraging your audience to engage.

Get Creative With Your Content Mix

To build your follower base, encourage audience engagement, and drive sales-oriented actions, you need a mix of high-quality written content, interactive media, and videos. Facebook Stories gives you one more tool for your content arsenal, inviting you to add even more creativity into your content mix.

If your brand has a limited budget for content, the launch of Facebook Stories for pages offers even more good news. While you’ll certainly want to task your marketing team with developing compelling Stories, you won’t need a big budget to do so. As long as you have a smartphone and an interesting tale to tell, you can create a Facebook Story.

Enjoy Top Billing

Facebook’s algorithm changes constantly, and brands frequently struggle to stay on top of their followers’ newsfeeds. When you publish a Facebook Story, however, you’ll enjoy top billing. The Facebook app places Stories at the top of the page, where users will be sure to see them first, while the desktop version of Facebook places them in the top right corner, where they’re similarly visible.

As Facebook Stories gain popularity, brands may face more competition for views. However, early adopters can look forward to landing in a prime spot and will have ample opportunity to build a dedicated Facebook Stories audience that makes a point of seeking out this type of time-sensitive content.

Increase Your Organic Reach

If it you’ve already tried everything to keep your organic reach and engagement high but nothing seems to work, adopting Facebook Stories could be a smart move. Since Stories are native content, Facebook is likely to favor them. After all, native Facebook video generates three times the engagement and exponentially more shares than non-native video.

In addition, Facebook Stories offer yet another way to share content without compromising the relationships you’ve already built with your followers. Posting too many updates and sharing too many links can annoy and drive away your audience. However, publishing Stories gives you a new avenue to connect with your audience, tell your brand story, and work toward your marketing objectives.

Whether you want to drive brand awareness, build your community, or generate sales, Facebook Stories can be a key part of your brand’s strategy. Make note of these tips to ensure that you get optimal results from all of your brand’s time-sensitive Facebook Stories.