The Definitive Guide to Facebook Stories in 2020 cover image
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The Complete Guide to Facebook Stories in 2020

August 12, 2020

Do you ever wish there were a better way to get your content noticed on Facebook?

Good news! You can put your brand up-front-and-center on Facebook using Stories – and we’ll show you exactly how to do it in this article.

Facebook Stories put your brand’s content at the top of your followers’ news feeds, helping to skyrocket your engagement rates.

High visibility isn’t the best part of Stories, though.

The best thing about Facebook Stories is that more than half of people who view them make more online purchases.

Find out how to create Facebook Stories that convert and engage your followers in this guide to Facebook Stories in 2020.

We show you how to build Stories and strategies that get results.

Then, we show you how to optimize them for even-greater ROI.

By the time you’re finished, you’ll know EVERYTHING you need to create high-quality Facebook Stories that meet and exceed your marketing goals.

Ready to get started?

What Are Facebook Stories?

Facebook Stories is a creative and entertaining format that you can fill with photos, videos, stickers, and text overlays.

Create Facebook Stories With Your Team Sharelov Makes It Easy

The Facebook Stories format is similar to other Stories formats across its family of apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp.

facebook stories examples

Source: Facebook Blueprint

Stories give you a unique opportunity to get brand content in front of users on a daily basis, since they appear at the top of your followers’ news feeds and in the Messenger app. 

When your followers open their profiles, they see Stories first – before the news feed. They can also browse through them in the Stories section.

facebook stories before news feed

Facebook’s new mobile layout (currently in testing) shows a simplified interface with Story highlights showing even more prominently than they do now.

facebook new mobile layout adweek

Source: AdWeek

Like Instagram Stories, the Facebook format lets you add stickers, text, hashtags, and visual effects to make your Stories creative and engaging.

Stories come with dedicated analytics (Stories Insights) that help you understand how your audience is reacting to them, so you can adjust your strategy over time.

facebook stories insights

Stories disappear after 24 hours, but you can archive and pin them to your Page profile (like on Instagram) to make them last longer.

When you enable “Story Sharing,” users can share your Stories, which will include your Page name and link to the original content.

Why Do Facebook Stories Matter To Marketers

Both the Facebook platform and its Stories format are essential to all brands wanting to connect with adult consumers on social media.

Facebook is currently the eighth most valuable brand and the largest social media site in the world. Nearly 70% of U.S. adults use Facebook, and more than half of them are active multiple times throughout the day.

Facebook users love Stories — they share over one billion Stories every day!

Teams work better together with Sharelov. Start creating Facebook Stories with Sharelov today!

Why do Facebook users love Stories? 

More than 70% of Americans say Stories help them experience new things outside their everyday lives, and 57% of Americans say Stories make them feel like they’re part of a larger community.

More than half of people who view Facebook Stories say they make online purchases as a result of using Stories.

Facebook stories stat

Source: Facebook

Facebook Stories was originally launched in March 2017, and now, in 2020, has 300 million daily users.

Stories provide a way for brands to catch the attention of their audiences without paying for advertising — much the same way the news feed used to do, but with even-better visibility.

For example, 2016 Youtube NextUp Winner Healthy Kadai uses Facebook Stories to show off some of the healthy meals she teaches people how to make on her YouTube channel. 

Her page uses Facebook Stories to capture followers’ attention and drive traffic back to its main platform on YouTube.

Healthy Kadai facebook story
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

The Playing For Change Foundation uses Facebook Stories to announce its upcoming musical events.

Facebook Story example Playing For change
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

GirlUp Facebook Stories encourage viewers to engage in S.T.E.M. activities.

Facebook Story example GirlUp 1
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

Sometimes a personal approach helps form deeper connections with your audience members.

For example, Facebook expert Mari Smith pays tribute to her father in a Story she published on Father’s Day.

mari smith story
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

Google uses Facebook Stories to share its new developments, such as TensorFlow.

google on facebok stories.PNG
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

You can use Stories to engage your audience in whatever way works best for your brand and its marketing objectives.

If your regular posts aren’t getting engagement from your audience, it’s possible they aren’t getting seen at all

Trying using Facebook Stories to get your brand back in front of your audience and re-engage your followers on Facebook.

Facebook Story’s Best Tools And Features

Facebook Stories provides you with plenty of tools and features that help you create eye-catching, engaging Stories for your brands, products, and services. 

You can make your images and videos stand out with filters and lighting options for Stories.

  • Filters: augmented reality filters let you add overlays to facial photos.
  • Lighting options: turn your flash on, off, or set to low-light

Stickers make your Stories more fun!

Stickers bring your Stories to life by helping you boost engagement or catch viewers’ attention (sometimes both).

You can add any of the following stickers to your Facebook Stories:

  • Poll stickers
  • Text stickers
  • Location stickers
  • Event stickers
  • Fundraising (“Donate”) stickers
  • Music stickers

For example, adding a poll sticker to your Story allows viewers to interact with your brand.

poll sticker
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

People vote by selecting one of the options you provide, then they’re able to see the poll results after they vote!

The text tool allows you to add colorful, creative text messages on top of your images.

text to Stories
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

Location stickers let you tag a geographic or physical location.

location sticker
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

Event stickers are an excellent way to encourage your audience to attend events.

event stickers facebook stories
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

Fundraising stickers add a “Donate” button to your Story. You can use fundraising stickers to promote your fundraisers, or to promote someone else’s fundraisers.

When users tap “Donate,” they’re directed to the fundraiser page on Facebook, where they can make a donation.

Music stickers add background music to your Stories.

There are several features and stickers you can use to bring your Stories to life — try to choose the ones that best help you meet your marketing objective.

How To Create Facebook Stories for Your Business Page

To get your brand out in front of your audience, create Stories that appeal to your audience and help to humanize your brand.

Before you create your first Story, take these two steps:

  1. Create a Facebook page for your business, if you don’t already have one.
  2. Turn on Facebook Stories Insights.

How to turn on Story Insights:

Assuming you’re a page admin, go to your brand’s Facebook page and click “insights” at the top. From there, click on “Stories” in the left column and select “turn on.”

turn on stories insights

With your page created and Stories Insights turned on, you’re now ready to create a Facebook Story.

The steps to create= Facebook Stories may vary from one device to another, and they may change over time. The process is intuitive, though, so you should navigate your way easily through the process, even if there are differences.

If the following steps don’t match your device, look for a “+” sign or “create Story” icon on your business page.

Step-by-Step Directions For Creating A Facebook Story

From a desktop computer, navigate to your Facebook page, then click the “+” symbol on your profile image.

facebook page profile

This brings up a post that lets you create a Story and share it to your news feed.

How to add text

From here, you can upload photos and videos, then add stickers and other features to your Story.

How to Add Stickers to Stories

To add a sticker to your Story, begin by selecting the sticker icon.

Facebook stickers to Stories example step 1
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

Next, scroll through the options and select a sticker.

Facebook stickers to Stories example
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

Tap “next” to add the sticker to your Story.

Facebook stickers to Stories example step 3
Find out how to create Facebook Stories that drive engagement and sales, and learn how to measure and improve content performance with engaging tools, features, and Stories insights.

Facebook Stories provides a variety of stickers and tools to help you catch attention and increase engagement. 

You’ll also discover text effects, drawing tools, special effects, animations, and backgrounds that you can add to your Story. 

Experiment with the various features included with Stories, paying close attention to what your audience likes best.

How To Share Someone Else’s Post To Your Story

Sometimes you can share posts from Facebook’s news feed to your Story — if the post owner hasn’t marked it private. 

Keep in mind, however, that if the original post is ever deleted, it will disappear from your Story.

Here’s how to share a news feed post to your Story:

To share a news feed post to your Story:

  1. Below a post in your news feed, tap the share (arrow) icon
  2. Select + Share to Your Story and the post will appear on your Story. 

Note: You can add text with more information to the post by tapping the text (Aa) icon, or add a sticker or drawing.

  1. Tap next>select audience>Share Now

How To Share a Newsfeed Post To Your Facebook Story

How To Create Facebook Stories With Sharelov – From Any Computer or Device

When you’re working with a team, creating Facebook Stories is easier with Sharelov. 

You can plan and develop Stories from multiple devices of any kind, including mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Your work is stored online for easy access by team members who can share input, suggest edits, add their own artwork or media, and suggest edits.

When you schedule Stories using Sharelov’s calendar, you get auto-generated suggestions on when to publish your Stories, based on previous audience insights. 

Instead of researching what times your audience is online and open to interacting with your brand, Sharelov does it for you!

Then, you and your team can preview all your Facebook Stories in Sharelov’s content calendar, so you can review your content topics and scheduling before they publish.

Sharelov content calendar

Here’s how to create Stories in Sharelov.

Step 1: Log onto Sharelov and select “Create a Post,” then click the “Stories” tab.

create-a-post

Step 2: Select “upload” to choose images and videos for your Story. When you’re ready, tap “choose” to add them all.

Select “upload” to choose images and videos for your Story. When you’re ready, tap “choose” to add them all.

Step 3: When your images have uploaded, click “save.”

You can also add a swipe-up link, if you have swipe-up abilities in your Stories.

To add a swipe-up link: 

  • Scroll down to find the post you just saved, tap the pencil icon in the lower right corner of the “notes” then add the link you want included in your Story.
  • Click the green check-mark to save your link.

To add a swipe-up link

As soon as you save your Story, it will become accessible to your team members, who can add their feedback, suggestions, and approvals.

Step 4: Click “Preview” and watch your Story.

Stories-preview

Here’s how to change the order in which your images and videos appear, even after you’ve saved your Story:

  1. Hover over any image, then click the “Manage” option.
  2. Arrange images by dragging the grid icon on the left.
  3. Click Outside the “manage” window to return to post.

Step 5: Publish Stories when your audience is most likely to engage with you.

  • If you click on the green pencil icon, you can choose when you’d like your Story to post, and you’ll receive a publishing reminder when the time comes.
  • Opt into the “Best times” feature to allow Sharelov to optimize your posting times based on the best time to post according to your audience insights.
  • Click on the “Update” button to save your changes

How To Post Instagram Stories To Facebook

If your brand is already publishing Stories on Instagram, consider sharing them to Facebook for more visibility.

Here’s how to crosspost an Instagram Story to Facebook:

  1. Link your Instagram account to Facebook, if you haven’t already done so.
  1. When creating an Instagram Story, tap “Send to.”
  1. Tap the “Sharing options” that are below your Story.
  2. Choose “Share to Facebook.” At this point, you’ll choose whether to share your Stories every time or just once.
  1. Complete your cross posting by tapping “Share.”

Create high-quality Instagram Stories with Sharelov Try it free today

Or, you can set a universal command in the settings that automatically shares all your Instagram Stories to Facebook.

  1. Tap the menu icon on your profile.
  2. Tap the Settings icon
  3. Select Privacy>Story.
  4. Enable the sharing slider located next to “Share Your Story.”

That’s it! Now you can get more Stories at the top of your Facebook news feed!

Crossposted Stories work with your current Facebook privacy settings.

How to Measure the Results Of Stories with Insights

Even though Facebook Stories disappear after 24 hours, Story Insights remain visible for 28 days

Using Facebook Story Insights, you can track which Stories are the most successful, and deliver more of what engages your audience.

Facebook Stories Insights

To view Story analytics, go to Insights>Stories.

Then you’ll gain access to the following metrics:

Publish date: when your Story was published

Story items: shows a thumbnail image of your Story

Status: indicates whether your Story is still visible to the public

Unique Opens: how many people opened the Story

Forward Taps: how many times people skipped to the next part of your Story

Backward Taps: how many times people tapped to review a previous part of your Story

Forward Swipe: how many times someone swiped over your Story to skip to someone else’s Story

Exits: How many times people left the Stories viewer and returned to their newsfeed

Total engagement: the total number of interactions within your Story, including reactions, sticker interactions, replies, shares, taps, and swipes

Page visits: how many people tapped your page’s profile name to go to your page

Shares: how many people shared your Story to Facebook, Messenger, or their own Story using the “share” button

Swipe up actions: how many times people swiped up on a link or action button

Replies: how many replies you received from the Story

Sticker interactions: how many times people tap on your Story stickers

Publish date: when your Story was published

Story items: shows a thumbnail image of your Story

Status: indicates whether your Story is still visible to the public

Unique Opens: how many people opened the Story

Forward Taps: how many times people skipped to the next part of your Story

Backward Taps: how many times people tapped to review a previous part of your Story

Forward Swipe: how many times someone swiped over your Story to skip to someone else’s Story

Exits: How many times people left the Stories viewer and returned to their newsfeed

Total engagement: the total number of interactions within your Story, including reactions, sticker interactions, replies, shares, taps, and swipes

Page visits: how many people tapped your page’s profile name to go to your page

Shares: how many people shared your Story to Facebook, Messenger, or their own Story using the “share” button

Swipe up actions: how many times people swiped up on a link or action button

Replies: how many replies you received from the Story

Sticker interactions: how many times people tap on your Story stickers

Monitoring your page and Story Insights helps you increase audience engagement on Facebook.

If you’re new to analytics, start by monitoring your Stories to discover which ones are most popular and get the most engagement. What parts do people watch and rewatch most?

Once you learn what your audience responds to, build on it by creating more like it.

Then, continue the process of monitoring your insights to learn more about what your followers like. Always produce more of the type of content that compels your audience to watch, rewatch, and respond!

6 Tips For Creating Stories That Get Results

Facebook Stories give brands the opportunity to reach consumers on a more-casual level than other formats. 

Stories viewers enjoy content that humanizes brands and allows them to interact.

Tip #1: Design For How People Consume

When creating your brand Stories, keep the words fo Kay Hsu, Global Instagram Lead of the Creative Shop at Facebook, at the front of your creative efforts: “Design for how people consume”

Study your current followers, as well as your target audience, to learn what prompts them to interact with your Stories. 

Always consider your audience when creating photos, videos, stickers, and messaging for your Stories.

Does your audience ignore location stickers but frequently interact with swipe-ups? Use more swipe ups! Do they prefer product education topics, customer testimonials, or behind-the-scenes footage?

Get your team’s feedback and approval before publishing Stories It’s easy with Sharelov!

Instead of working to convince your audience with messaging, work your messaging and design around the styles you know they like. 

Keeping your audience in mind while creating your Stories will help you form a stronger connection with them, and build better customer loyalty over time.

Tip #2: Use Speed to Your Advantage

People consume Stories faster than any other type of mobile content, according to Facebook. 

Keep viewers’ attention by creating content that uses speed to your advantage. 

For example, a Ritz Crackers Story flashes a selection of recipes so quickly that the viewer can’t’ consciously read the text. Images and short titles, help them remember, though, and the screen prompts: “Tap and hold for your recipe.”

ritz crackers ad

Tip #3: Use Stickers Strategically

Stickers in Stories ads return mixed results.

In one study, more than eighty percent of videos with stickers boosted conversions. In another, nearly 90% of videos drove better results without stickers.

Text overlays, for example, show mixed results. 

Use stickers to help express your key messages or achieve goals, but use caution when adding visual sticker effects that don’t service a purpose.

Experiment with stickers in Stories to discover what engages your audience, and remember to use the data from insights to drive your decision-making.

Tip #4: Put Your Branding Up Front

Include your logo and branding at the beginning of Stories. This helps introduce your content to viewers, so they know what they’re watching.

Attention Marketing Teams! Access all your brand assets on one platform. Try Sharelov collaboration software today!

Tip #5: Develop a Stories Strategy

Know what marketing objective you’re planning to achieve with Stories, and build your content around those goals.

For example, you may use Facebook Stories to:

  • Increase follower engagement
  • Boost conversions
  • Build customer loyalty

You may decide to use each Story to support a different objective, or create multiple Stories for themed campaigns centered around your marketing goals.

Tip #6: Make Your Stories Pop!

Make your Stories stand out by including visuals that attract your audience.

Personalize your content with imagery that includes human elements such as employees, customers, or behind-the-scenes visuals. Humanizing your brand in this way helps you build a stronger connection to more loyal followers.

Include eye candy for your audience. Don’t assume that all audiences like the same things, and don’t let trends dictate your content planning. 

Instead, test and experiment with different types of photos and videos to discover what prompts your audience to watch, interact, and come back for more.

For example, HelloFresh humanizes its brand with a video of an overjoyed customer, while KFC posts a plain white ice cream cone that would make anyone hungry for ice cream.

Make Your Stories Pop

Source: Facebook for Business

6 Tips For Creating Stories That Get Results

One of the reasons people love Stories is because they’re more fun than the promotional and news content that typically fills their news feeds.

Keep your stories fun and creative, with elements that engage your target audience!

4 Ways To To Optimize Your Facebook Story Campaigns

Now that you’ve created eye-popping Stories that your followers are sure to embrace, consider optimizing your efforts with these additional strategies:

  1. Partner with Facebook influencers
  2. Use data to build creative campaigns
  3. Place Facebook Stories ads
  4. Use Stories ads to start conversations in Messenger

Find out how to get the most traction from your Facebook Stories with these tips for optimizing your Story campaigns.

1. Partner With Facebook Influencers

Influencers can help create engaging content and deliver it to their audiences, which helps to boost your reach, engagement, and brand awareness.

Influencer campaigns can be an excellent way to boost your ROI, provided you build a strong campaign around influencers that connect with your audience.

To find the right influencers for your campaigns, you can research your industry for well-known bloggers, podcasters, and video hosts.

Before hiring an influencer, you’ll want to monitor their activity with an app like Sharelov. Sharelov can monitor industry influencers (and competitors), so you can discover how well their audience engages with them, how often they post, and if their values line up with yours.

Monitor Top Influencers on Facebook

Alternatively, you can use an influencer service, app, or agency to help you find influencers and build campaigns.

For example, Tribe helps you find micro-influencers and build affordable campaigns.

tribe influencer agency

Source: Tribe

2. Use Data To Build Creative Campaigns

Build creative campaigns around your target audience. 

Using your Stories and general Facebook insights can tell you a lot about your audience.

Monitoring the influencers that your audience engages with and keeping a close watch on what’s happening with your competitors will give you information about other approaches that work with your audience.

When you take creative risks that are driven by all the data available to you, your campaigns can evolve toward greater success.

Monitor your competitors’ campaigns with Sharelov Try it today

3. Place Facebook Stories Ads

Three million advertisers use Stories ads across the Facebook app family. 

Stories ads are a full-screen, immersive experience for viewers that can help you expand your reach and gain new followers and customers.

fb stories ad examples

Source: Facebook

More than one-third of people say they went to a store to look for a product after seeing it in a Story, and half of people say they make more online purchases as a result of seeing Stories.

Using Facebook Stories ads to boost your visibility is an excellent way to optimize your Stories and drive real results for your brand.

4. Use Stories Ads To Start Conversations In Messenger

New in 2020! You can now use Stories ads to start conversations in Messenger!

Using the new “Send Message” button in your ads, you can drive conversations with customers who never need to leave the app.

Now, Messenger’s 40 million active businesses can connect with the app’s 1.3 billion users to help answer their questions and guide them along the sales journey.

Messenger conversations are an excellent way to drive sales and boost customer loyalty.

Optimize Your Instagram Stories Strategy

Facebook Stories Help Brands Achieve More

Facebook Stories provide a unique opportunity for brands to get their content out in front of audiences. 

Publishing Stories puts your content at the top of fans’ news feeds so they can get a peek behind the scenes, learn about events, engage with your business, or get to know more about your company and its culture.

Don’t miss out on the opportunities Facebook Stories provides!  

Post Stories as often as you can create quality stories, watch your insights to improve your connection with the audience, and engage with your followers to drive them back to your brand page on Facebook.

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