Consistently finding new ways to generate excitement around our products and services is an ongoing challenge for us as marketers.
Creating and distributing the best content that highlights your expertise, products and brand is a complex process that requires a multi-channel approach.
Introducing stories into a social media strategy is frequently overlooked by the B2B market.
But stories can provide your organisation with a number of key benefits across the full customer journey.
Marketers within science can benefit from a number of Social Media opportunities including:
- The ability to communicate with your audience in an intimate way
- An opportunity to showcase your latest work/news
- An exciting way of telling your brands story
- Staying ‘top of mind’ awareness with your audience
This article will focus on social media stories and their impacts on engagement whilst providing you with 10 top-tips to boost social media engagement through stories.
What is social media engagement?
We often forget that the primary purpose of social media is to be ‘social’. Creating endless amounts of content is worthless if nobody is engaging with it.
Social media engagement reveals how an audience acts and behaves to a brand's social media content.
Additionally, social media enagagement is how an organisation engages with its audience. Remember, the clue is in the name - it is meant to be social and therefore not a one-way street of endless, disengaging content. Be online and communicate with your audience in real time.
Interactive engagement will enable you to nurture the type of relationships with your customers that will help your business grow.
Why does social media engagement matter?
Social media can play an important part at each stage of the customer journey.
Engaging social media story content used well during each stage: (awareness, consideration, purchase, loyalty and advocacy) will help increase your overall conversions.
The infographic at the bottom of the page highlights examples of how your organisation can use social media at each stage.
What are social media stories?
They are a feature available on many of the main social networks. They enable you to create a narrative by telling stories to your audience using a variety of content including video, images, text etc.
As with the Instagram example, stories are most commonly found at the top of your news feed.
Stories are typically uploaded and viewed on mobile devices and expire after 24-hours.
Which platforms have stories?
Many social media platforms have or are developing a version of stories.
Below are some that marketers working within science may find the most beneficial:
- LinkedIn (currently trialling in specific countries with the plan to expand)
- YouTube (currently has a beta programme for users with over 10,000 subscribers)
10 ways to engage your audience using social media stories
1. Use the ‘countdown feature’ if you have a big announcement
Build excitement around a big announcement by using the countdown feature in stories. Your users will see your countdown in their story and can select to get notified when your countdown is complete.
2. Use the ‘run a poll’ sticker
Get insights from your users by running a poll. You might be looking for inspiration on your next blog post or want their opinion on your social content.
3. Use the ‘ask me a question’ sticker
Why not run a Q&A with your network? Sharing your knowledge can help you to build rapport with your audience and enhance your brand.
4. Showcase customer stories and testimonials
Kill two birds with one stone by enticing new customers whilst empowering your existing ones - A great way to encourage potential customers is to showcase your existing customer base.
Share video testimonials on your story or screenshot a review.
5. Showcase video of your team at work
One great way to use stories is to give your network an insider’s view of your people, your company philosophy and the work you do.
Customers love to see the human side of a business and short videos of your team at work is a great way to do this.
6. Published a new blog or white paper? Share a reveal on your story that includes a link to your work or push users towards your #linkinbio
Creating great long-form content is really important to marketers in science but ensuring you get it in front of the right people can be tricky.
Use your social media stories to announce a new publication and include a link in your bio or direct on your story (second option only possible if you have a large number of followers).
7. Run a competition
Have fun and entertain your audience by running a competition on your social stories.
#Sharetowin - encourage your existing customers to share something relevant in your field for a chance to win... (insert Amazon Giftcard)
8. Highlight your special offers
A great place to showcase any special offers that you are running is on your social stories.
Run a special offer specific to social media and post a discount code on your stories.
9. Small daily updates about your organisation
Keep your network up-to-date with news using social stories.
Using video on stories is a more personal way of doing this than a Tweet for example.
10. Share your customer content on your story
User generated content is great! Sharing posts that you have been tagged in by your network is a great way of showing off the benefits of your products to potential customers whilst also valuing the current customer base.
How do I know if they are successful?
There are a number of metrics you can track to ensure you are reaching your social media objectives.
- Website clicks
The video below looks at how you can track insights on your Instagram stories.
NB: Instagram story insights only last for 14 days so be sure to set time to regularly track the results of your story content.
Bare in mind that high levels of engagement don’t necessarily lead to business growth so it is fundamental that your social media strategy aligns with your overall marketing and business objectives.
Social stories are a great way for marketers in science to tell your brands story. They offer you an exciting way of engaging with your audience and have benefits across the full customer journey.
Use our 10 top-tips above and reap the benefits of using social media stories to increase engagement with your audience.
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