Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are separate and unique social platforms with one thing in common: Stories. Stories have been around long enough that most people have used or seen the feature on one or all of these social media platforms. Stories allow us to document our daily lives, exciting vacations, and our animals and kids. Using stories helps us to hone our creative and visual sides. Since video content has become increasingly popular, the feature of stories will stick around for quite a while. 

Businesses have taken a liking to Stories for their marketing strategies. On all three social media platforms, you can see many brands using the feature to promote their products and services. As businesses begin to experiment with using Stories as part of their marketing strategy, they are seeing them generate significant traffic. 

Snapchat was the first social media platform to launch the Story format and Instagram soon followed with Facebook tagging on last. Snapchat and Instagram may be the two Story platforms that you think of most, but Facebook Stories has become increasingly popular. A survey done with Hubspot and Lucid found that out of 275 consumers in the United States, 70% said they prefer watching Facebook Stories over Snapchat and Instagram. 

Facebook Stories

It could surprise you that Facebook Stories are more popular than Snapchat or Instagram but that fact check out. Facebook Stories exceeded 500 million daily active users in 2018, only a few months after Instagram did the same. Even though research shows that Gen-Z prefers Instagram, Facebook Stories could be so popular thanks to the huge audience that Facebook has. Facebook holds the top spot as the most used social network, with over 1.59 billion daily active users. Instagram, on the other hand, a little over 500 million.  

The Impact on Businesses

The survey determined Facebook Stories to be the most popular but because it was a small study it shouldn’t cause businesses to change direction with their marketing strategy. It should, however, cause businesses to pause and think about how important these tools are for marketing. 

Using Facebook Stories could be a useful tool in a business’s marketing strategy and is worth testing out. Facebook’s large audience alone could promise marketers a strong opportunity. Here is a short comparison between the three social media platforms who offer Stories: 

Facebook Stories vs. Instagram Stories 

Facebook continues to have the most daily active users of all major social media platforms but is losing its teen audience more and more each year. On the opposite spectrum, Instagram continues to increase its young audience, which makes up half of its entire user base. 

Because of the large age range of Facebook’s users, many businesses and brands have done extremely well on the platform. Also, because Facebook users are following their favorite brands and businesses, regular content shared on stories feels natural to their followers. 

Small businesses should also jump on to Facebook Stories to share content. Local businesses can easily share their location, products, and testimonials on their Stories. Doing so can add more detail for its followers and make them feel like they are behind the scenes with them. 

Facebook Stories show up above News Feeds on the mobile app which could provide extra visibility for businesses on the platform. Give your followers a quick update using a photo or video that provides them with good information regarding your brand. 

As a visual platform, Instagram also gives businesses a marketing platform similar to Facebook. Many of Instagram’s most-followed brand and influencer accounts are in the industries of beauty, fashion, wellness, cooking, and travel. Instagram Stories that do well are often curated for the younger demographic, relate to Instagram’s popular topics, and most often have interactive stickers like the polls or questions features in Stories.

Many popular Stories are put out by influencers through partnerships or sponsorships from brands. You could see an influencer post a sponsored Story on Facebook but it is much more common on Instagram Stories. 

Commonalities Between Instagram and Facebook 

Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories are fairly similar, other than the differences in audience interests and common demographics. The interfaces are almost identical because Facebook owns Instagram. They both let their users incorporate similar filters, text overlays, polling, and other features to their Stories. 

When posting a Story on Facebook and Instagram, it will stay up for 24 hours. Instagram Stories, however, can be saved and kept on highlight Stories forever. 

Which do Marketers Use? 

Many marketers post the same content on both platforms. If you are just using one over the other, try posting the same content on both Facebook and Instagram to see what happens. Both platforms are interconnected which makes posting on both seamless at just the click of a button. Post the content on Instagram first and make sure to click the “Share to Facebook” call to action. 

Snapchat Stories 

Snapchat’s user base is a lot smaller than Facebook and Instagram and has two different ways you can post content. One way is using a personal account; the second is becoming a publisher on Snapchat Discover. 

With the free personal account, users find each other by looking your profile up using a Snapcode or search method. You will need to share your username or Snapcode with people for them to find you. 

For brands and businesses to use the Discover tool, they must reach out directly with Snapchat to become a publisher. These brands must be extremely well versed in design and editorial resources to do well. This path most likely only works for larger brands. 

Social Media Stories Tips 

Before you go out and start incorporating Stories, here are a few tips to to help you: 

  • Get to the point: There are millions of Stories out there and users will probably just stumble across yours while clicking through many. Grab their attention with a headline, animation, or interactive feature to keep them watching your Stories. 
  • Use interactive features: The same tools are available on Facebook and Instagram. It would be in your best interest to use them. Keep viewers more engaged by using them and get them to interact with you.
  • Know your audience: Know exactly who is watching your stories by looking at the demographics and locations of your followers. Post content that they will most likely be interested in.