Guide to Facebook Stories - Cover Image

The Definitive Guide to Facebook Stories in 2019

July 1, 2019

Did you know there’s still a way to get your brand’s content in front of all your Facebook followers every day – without paying for advertising?

Facebook’s 2018 algorithm change buried a lot of brand content and forced many businesses to pay for advertising to keep engaging their followers.

Here’s the good news: Facebook Stories has experienced rapid growth over the past 2 years and now has as many viewers as Instagram Stories.

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The rise in Facebook Storie’s popularity means you now have a legit way to get your brand’s content in front of its followers every single day.

Facebook Stories put your brand’s content at the TOP of your follower’s newsfeeds, giving you the chance to skyrocket your engagement rates.

In this article, we introduce you to Facebook Stories and show you how to get started creating Stories so you can boost your engagement rates and increase your success on Facebook.

What are Facebook Stories and Why Do They Matter to Brands?

Valued at $88.9 billion, Facebook is currently the fifth most valuable brand in the world, and more than two-thirds of Americans (68%) use Facebook.

Facebook Stories present an opportunity to get your content in front of Facebook users daily. 

What are Facebook Stories?

Facebook Stories are short collections of photos or videos that appear in a separate location from the Facebook newsfeed.

Stories disappear after 24 hours, but you can archive them by enabling the archive feature.

Whether you choose to boost the engagement and conversion rates of your current audience or launch a campaign that drives new traffic through sharing, Stories will help you get there.

When your followers open their profiles, they see your Story first – before the newsfeed.

InkedStories at top of feed Facebook_LI

Stories can be shared from Facebook or Messenger on both desktop and mobile. You can share Stories to:

  • Groups
  • Events
  • Pages

Facebook also provides Stories Insights so you can track and measure your analytics. This lets you adjust your brand strategy over time for maximum engagement and conversions.

Facebook Stories was launched in March 2017 and now has 500 million daily users — the same size audience as Instagram Stories.

techcrunch Stories data
Source: TechCrunch

One-third of Facebook’s 1.56 billion users post or watch Stories every day.

Stories provide a way for brands to catch the attention of their audiences without paying for advertising — much the same way the newsfeed 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.

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

Healthy Kadai facebook story
Source: Healthy Kadai on Facebook

The Ellen DeGeneres Facebook page uses Stories to highlight entertaining videos. Its Story includes a swipe-up link that encourages viewers to watch more of its videos.

ellen d facebook story
Source: Ellen DeGeneres on Facebook

The Royal Opera House uses Facebook Stories to highlight special moments from its events.

Royal Opera House on Facebook
Source: Royal Opera House on Facebook

Sometimes a more personal approach helps connect your brand to its fans.

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

mari smith story
Mari Smith on Facebook

Instagram for Business uses Facebook Stories to take its audience behind the scenes.

instagram business story
Source: Instagram for Business on Facebook

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

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

Are Facebook Stories the Same as Instagram Stories?

Facebook Stories are similar to Instagram Stories, but with some minor differences, including:

You can create and share Stories from a desktop. 

Unlike Instagram, Facebook lets you create and share Stories from a desktop computer.

Some features, though, are only available in the mobile version of Facebook apps. So if you can’t locate certain features or abilities on your desktop, switch to a mobile device and you’ll probably discover it in the app.

You can switch from front to rear-facing camera mode while filming. Nice! This means that while you’re filming a live event, you can switch to selfie mode to add commentary.

Facebook Stories are ephemeral.

On Instagram, you can extend the life of a Story by pinning it to your profile as a highlight.

This isn’t the case with Facebook Stories.

Facebook Stories can’t be pinned (yet), and in true ephemeral format — they disappear after 24 hours.

How To Create Facebook Stories for Your Business

To get out in front of your audience, create new Facebook Stories as often as you can.

Before you create your first Story, take these two steps to ensure that you’re ready to publish:

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

When your page is created and Stories Insights are turned on, you’re ready to create a Facebook Story.

The how-to steps for creating a Facebook Story vary slightly from one device to another, and change over time. They’re pretty intuitive, though, so if the following steps don’t match your device, just look for a “+” sign or “Create Story” icon on your business page.

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

Sharelov Facebook Profile

Now, you’re ready to create your Story.

How to add text

Sharing Facebook Newsfeed Posts to Your Story

Sometimes you can share posts from Facebook’s newsfeed 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 newsfeed post to your Story:

To share a newsfeed post to your Story:

  1. Below a post in your newsfeed, 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 Enhance Your Facebook Stories

Facebook Stories provides you with plenty of tools and features that help you create eye-catching, engaging Stories.

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

Boost audience engagement by adding special features to your Stories, such as:

  • Location stickers
  • Polls
  • Text
  • Music
  • Other stickers

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

poll sticker
Source: Facebook Help

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

Location stickers let you tag a geographic or physical location.

location sticker

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

event stickers facebook stories

How to Add Stickers to Your Facebook Story

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

Facebook stickers to Stories example step 1

Next, scroll through the options and select a sticker.

Facebook stickers to Stories example

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

Facebook stickers to Stories example step 3

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.

In the next section, we’ll show you how to track and measure the results of your Stories so you can deliver more of what your audience loves.

How to Measure the Results Facebook Stories

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

Using Facebook Insights, you can track which Stories are the most successful so you can deliver more of what prompts your audience to engage.

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

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!

Facebook Stories Insights

Use Facebook Stories to Get Your Brand Front of its Audience

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

Creating Stories puts your content at the top of fans’ newsfeeds so they can get a peek behind the scenes, learn about events, engage with your business, or enjoy your entertaining content.

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

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