Facebook Stories have reached 500 million daily users. Is it time for your brand to build a FB Stories strategy?
Facebook launched Stories in 2017 as an attempt to imitate the trend coming from Snapchat and Instagram. They were following the same format of vertical photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
They weren’t very popular in the early stages and many people were focusing on Instagram Stories as they were leaving Snapchat.
Facebook was determined though to make them work for their platform that’s why they’ve fought for their success. Facebook users were encouraged to create their Stories as an alternative to the overcrowded news feed. It was also a more casual way to share updates of your daily life. For those who were already familiar with Stories through Instagram, the goal was to convince them to share stories on Facebook, even through cross-posting.
Mark Zuckerberg was talking last year on the rise of Stories and how they will be the future of Facebook and their suite of apps.
Facebook Stories in stats
Facebook announced its Q1 2019 earnings along with some interesting stats. What grabbed our attention was the fact that Facebook Stories have reached 500 million daily users.
The stats come from the Stories that show up both on Facebook and Messenger but it’s still an impressive stat if you consider that Facebook Stories had 300 million users back in September.
Facebook is not satisfied to see Facebook Stories grow. They want to make sure that the Facebook family of apps is growing at an equal rate. Thus, Facebook announced that its Stories format is currently counting:
- 500 million users on Facebook and Messenger
- 500 million users on WhatsApp
- >500 million users on Instagram
What’s next in Facebook Stories?
Facebook Stories ads are already present but we are expecting them to become even more common among brands.
According to Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, 3 million advertisers have already bought Stories ads from Facebook’s family of apps. This confirms the case that Facebook is planning to grow all Stories across its platforms.
Thus, it’s not enough anymore to focus on Instagram Stories if you feel that your target audience could enjoy Facebook Stories.
If you’re heaving using Facebook in your marketing strategy then it’s the right time to invest in Facebook Stories ads right at the stage that the ad space can still be promising.
There was also a recent rumor that Facebook is experimenting redesigning its mobile app to combine the news feed with the Stories. This could be a radical change that hasn’t been confirmed yet. It wouldn’t be surprising in the future though to see an even bigger focus on Stories rather than news feed posts.
Creating a Facebook Stories strategy
If you’re ready to add Facebook Stories to your marketing strategy then it’s important to set up a strategy first. It’s useful to discuss with your team:
- what to post
- the frequency of posting
- the types of posts
- the creative ideas you want to test
- the budget you might want to use for the ads
When it comes to creative ideas, there are many types of content to try out in Facebook Stories:
- Behind the scenes content
- Cross-posting from Instagram to Facebook
- Event coverage
- User-generated content
Keep in mind that people share Stories to express themselves in their daily lives. A brand shouldn’t be different so make sure you post different content in your news feed and your Stories.
Moreover, Facebook is also allowing you to access a new Stories Archive for business Pages to make it easier to find your past highlights.
The power of Stories
What makes Stories so powerful? Social media stories are more engaging than other formats for many reasons:
- Ephemerality – everyone loves the fact that they don’t last long
- Authenticity – you can only stand out with authentic content
- Encouraging interactions – there are many options to create interactive Stories with simple polls and questions
- Making the content more casual from brands of all sizes
According to Facebook, 73% of people in the US agree that Stories help them experience new things outside their everyday lives. It’s not surprising then that 62% of people in the US are planning to use Stories even more in the future.
Stories are changing the face of social media and brands have already realized the potential of creating ads in a Stories format. As the daily number of users grows it’s the perfect format to try out new creative ideas. Stories are even reminding us that we don’t necessarily need a big budget to be engaging and appealing with our content providing that we understand how each format works for the ideal target audience.