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Social Media Stories – Can They Work For Your Practice?

This week I’ve been experimenting with Stories on Facebook and Instagram.

I was curious about why Stories are so popular on social media – not just with followers, but with businesses. 

For the uninitiated, Social Media Stories are mobile, full-screen, vertical videos and images that appear outside of your regular feed and only last for 24 hours before they disappear.

They allow you to use photo, video, text, emoticons, and tags to create both long-form and short-form content. They are typically uploaded from mobile devices, making them fast and easy to post (which is one reason why I love them!)

Instagram has confirmed that users spend between 24 and 32 minutes watching stories every day, creating an excellent opportunity for marketers.

Marketing Land reports that 15% to 25% of users swipe up on links shared on Instagram stories. This is almost twice as many as people who interact with links in traditional Facebook posts.

After posting a few Stories on Facebook and Instagram I quickly realised the potential for veterinary clinics. This format is ideal for the fun and light-hearted content that we capture every day – cute animals and happy team-members! It’s engaging, relatable and easy to add a message or Call To Action while still connecting with humour and good-will. 

As a marketer, I especially enjoyed being able to add hashtags, page mentions, music, stickers and animations on the fly. They are a great way to capture attention, engage with your followers and to encourage action. And I can do it all from the car! 

Another benefit to my clients is being able to share more content. Any more than 5-10 posts on your page each week will result in a lower reach and lower engagement on Facebook. 

By sharing content between Posts and Stories, you can share a wider variety of content with your audiences without becoming spammy.

Are you a budding film-maker? YouTube also features Stories in their app now. These are a great way to raise awareness of what you do outside of video making. 

The best part is that you don’t need to shoot a full feature-length movie with an all-star cast to post a Story. A 30-second grab is all you need. 

3 Lessons I Learned About Social Media Stories

  1. Keep your phone upright when filming. Despite years of being told to record video in landscape mode, it’s the opposite for Stories, as your viewers are typically going to be viewing them in vertical mode.
  1. Include your brand message on every Story, either as a hashtag, a page mention, a slogan or a logo.
  1. Create a strong Call To Action. It’s all about interaction. Use polls or sliders to encourage your followers to share their opinions or visit your website.

I’ll admit that I am still learning about best practices for Stories but I am excited about their potential and how they can work for veterinary practices. I’ll keep you posted as I continue to discover what works and what doesn’t. 

In the meantime, I encourage you to try posting some Stories on Facebook and Instagram to get a feel for what your followers respond to. And please share your success stories with me – I’d love to hear them!

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