If your brand has been creating short stories on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat just like regular posts — or you’re not using the short stories feature much at all — then you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to engage your audience and gain actionable insights on their consumer behaviors and preferences.

Since more and more users are flocking to short stories on social media every year, it’s absolutely critical for every brand to keep up with their followers by incorporating their favorite stories features into an ongoing engagement/marketing campaign. Although social media sites are always coming up with inventive new ways to get businesses and consumers excited about short stories, you can’t go wrong with these 3 tried-and-true ways to get the most value out of your approach to short stories:

Behind the Scenes Sneak Peeks

A classic short story strategy that every brand should be using at least sometimes is the “behind-the-scenes” preview. Even if you’re not a brick-and-mortar business, you can still give loyal followers an exclusive glimpse at your operations, new products or services, virtual meet-and-greets with your staff, and/or influencers, and so much more.

Similar to movie trailers or blooper reels, the “behind-the-scenes” approach is great for personalizing brands and connecting with audience members on a deeper level by giving them unique, limited-time experiences that only the dedicated early birds will see before your story expires 24 hours later.

Engaging Polls

Want to get more information from your audience members without paying for expensive consumer data research or collecting information on your website (which few people voluntarily offer)? Running polls on your short stories can be an excellent alternative for a few key reasons:

  • Short stories have limited response possibilities (typically 2), which can increase your chances of getting more respondents
  • You can ask multiple questions across several short story posts (making it a fun mini-survey for your fans)
  • You can figure out what your followers like/need/want by presenting them with two options and asking them which one they like more
  • You can run weekly trivia contests through your short stories feature to keep followers engaged with interesting, fresh material

Fan Shout-Outs

A final thing you could do with short stories on social media is giving shout-outs to your most dedicated followers without creating an entire post dedicated to them (which could be a turn-off for some other followers). You can do this by posting screenshots of someone who liked several of your posts, host “Follower Fridays” by tagging some of your fans in a short story post and offering prizes if they respond within 24 hours, or any other type of shout-out that you’d like to try with your fanbase.