Should Your Small Business Be Utilizing the Story Feature on Social Media?
Was using the story feature on your social media pages part of your content marketing strategy this year? If not, start a plan of action to begin doing so in the new year! When it comes to using social media for small healthcare practices, some owners may find it useless to post something that is going to disappear in 24 hours. But, you can use this 24-hour cycle to post things happening at that very moment and keep patients and clients in the know.
While being active on platforms like Instagram and Facebook may not bring in the type of leads you may be expecting, these social media websites are an excellent way to connect with your audience and generate more engagement for your content.
Small business social media marketing continues to grow more and more and is almost impossible to go without in the digital age if you want a way for your patients or clients to engage with you and the new and fresh content that you create. If someone stumbles upon your page, begins looking at your Facebook or Instagram story and decides to scroll through your feed, it can turn into them clicking on something interesting that you’ve posted and eventually heading over to your website. This will contribute to increasing your web traffic.
You don’t need to have a million followers in order to take advantage of these free social platforms. Check out these 5 reasons why your small business should be using the story feature on social media.
How to Use The Stories Feature on Social Media to Generate Leads
1. Engage with followers and grow your audience.
The reason that almost all popular brands have social media is so that they can connect with their audience on a personal level that wasn’t afforded to them before social platforms were created. Your social media pages are where you build a loyal following that will interact with your content and allow your audience to offer feedback.
Facebook and Instagram Stories allow you to personalize the content you post in many different ways and can interest your viewers in what you are doing at your practice. Some features that you can utilize include:
- The ‘ask me’ option where followers can send you questions through direct message
- Instagram live
- Tap to type
- Hand-free video
Each of these options makes engaging with your followers more fun and interesting for both of you. You can use these story features in many different ways.
For example, if you’re considering launching a new service or product, you can use your story as a way to give a sneak peek into what it is. Let’s say that you’re an eye care professional and your office is introducing a new line of frames for your patients to choose from. If you wanted to know which style frames your followers are interested in the most, you could conduct a poll.
If you wanted to take it a step further, you could post the results to your story for everyone to view, and then ask your followers why they decided to choose the frames that they did. Not only do your patients get to express their likes and dislikes, but you’ll know first-hand with products will most likely be a best-seller among your audience.
2. Post a variety of content.
Facebook and Instagram stories are a great tool to post content and keep your viewers up-to-date on what you’re doing at your business.
Did you just publish a new blog post on your company’s website? Create an image for it and post a story about it! Or better yet, a series of stories with a few different highlights from the post.
Are you a chiropractor who’s hosting a wellness event at your practice? Use your stories to not only promote the event beforehand but highlight the event as it’s happening so your audience has an inside look at what went on. Allow your stories and social platform as a whole to build hype and encourage your patients to share what’s going on with their audience as well!
There is no specific way that small businesses can use social media stories. It should be tailored to your practice’s needs and the interests of your audience.
3. Real-time marketing.
What is real-time marketing you ask? Well, to put it as simply as possible, it is a marketing strategy that is based on the most current events. What better way for patients or clients to know what you’re doing at your business in this very moment than a story post?
If you want your viewers to know what it’s like behind the scenes at your business, stories are the perfect feature. You can show them what your daily routine is or simply what life is like at your business. And, as mentioned before, offer them an inside scoop about the events and happenings going on at your office.
Are you a veterinarian? Use your story to show what procedures you’re performing or even a simple checkup with a patient (with your client’s permission) because who doesn’t love seeing cute animals?
Be as transparent as possible about what you and your staff do. Let your business’s persona shine! Make a video of you working, take pictures with patients or clients (with their consent, of course) and don’t be afraid to let your viewers be part of your everyday moments.
4. Facebook and Instagram story ads.
Although creating a social media account and posting stories on Facebook and Instagram is free, there are paid options to help convert followers into customers and generate more web traffic for your practice
Have you ever been watching someone’s story on social media and an ad pops up in the middle of it switching to the next user’s story? That’s a story ad! Just like any other form of advertisement, businesses pay for them. The process is similar to creating ads that show up on the actual timeline.
You set your audience, schedule, placement, and budget so that your ads can run and appear to your targeted demographic. You will also have the option of choosing what format you want your advertisement. Is an image or a video more ideal for what you want to display? Choose the best option for you and finish off your ad by including a call-to-action (CTA).
Driving potential patients or clients to your site should be the main objective of running your ads. So that’s why it is crucial to place a CTA in your ad. Whether you want it to encourage viewers to swipe up, subscribe, or shop now, be sure to include a CTA in all advertisements.
Your viewers can’t forget about you if you’re at the top of their stories as often as possible. You don’t want to become a distant memory for your audience because you never post or you post every six months.
The good thing about social media stories is that it’s quick, easy and personable. When you upload a story to your feed, remember to tag your location so viewers know exactly where your business is located.
This shows that utilizing one of the many story features that are available right at your fingertips, can help improve visibility in your localized area.
5. Drive traffic to your website.
The more people view your social media profile, the more likely they are to visit your website. If they scroll through your feed or watch your story and see content that they find interesting or useful, they want to see more of that and what else you have to offer.
Self-promotion is okay and it’s actually a good thing! When you create a post, don’t be afraid to say “For more information on this, head over to our website right now. [include website URL].” You’re helping your audience take that next step, which is going to your business’s site and browsing through your products and services to see what you have to offer.
Even if your followers don’t automatically go to your website after viewing your page, they may still find the content you post to be helpful or interesting.
The more content that captures their attention, the more likely they are to return to your site in order to read other content you have available. As more traffic comes to your social page and readership increases, you’ll become an authority figure in your industry that is well-known for providing their audience with quality content that they can rely on. In due time, this will definitely encourage your followers to click over from your social media page to your website.
Small Business Social Media Marketing.
Every small business can choose how they want to utilize social media and the story feature that best suits the needs and wants of their audience. These 24-hour stories allow viewers to get to know who you are as a brand.
Be strategic about what you post, but also have fun! Social media marketing allows for this freedom to be a little more open and interactive than other marketing channels do. So take advantage of the opportunity to engage with patients and clients and get to posting!
If you need help learning the best ways to effectively communicate with your patients or clients with social media, contact one of our marketing specialists today for more information.
Click here to schedule a consultation today.
Do you want to increase your business’s online presence through social media?
Check these resources on how to reach more patients or clients.
How to Gather Feedback on Social Media
5 Benefits of Using Social Media for Healthcare Practices
How to Create a Social Media Schedule