Social media is always evolving but 2018 marks a real turning point in the history of social media. We are seeing huge changes in the way that people use social media and, with that, new opportunities and challenges for businesses using social media to reach their audiences.

One of THE biggest changes is the rise and rise of Stories. I would go as far as to say that Stories are bringing about a new age of social media… Social Media 2.0.

Why are stories so popular?

As a species, we have been telling stories since time immemorial. Stories have been told through art on cave walls, through words, gestures, music, dance and, of course, writing. Stories have been passed down from generation to generation. They have been used in rituals and traditions. I’ve even read about stories being carved into trees or told using nothing more than leaves and sand.

Stories are powerful.

We instinctively want to tell and share stories.

And, of course, stories are not entirely new to social media. Since the advent of social media people have been using it to tell stories. But, what we are seeing now, is storytelling becoming firmly, and undeniably, embedded into the social media landscape.

A better way to share stories?

So if storytelling on social media isn’t new, what has changed?

As is often the case in our times, the tidal wave of change has been led by advances in technology. Originating from Snapchat, stories have since been embraced by Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, alongside other niche platforms.

We are now spending more time creating and consuming stories on social media than ever before. In fact, story creation and consumption is up by 842% since early 2016 and it was recently reported that Stories are growing 15x faster than feeds.

I actually believe that this is social media coming full circle. We are, in a way, seeing a return to the early days when people were more inclined to share small snippets from their day and use social media to share their own personal story. Over the years, social media has become dominated by “viral” content – such as the cat videos and silly quizzes you can’t seem to escape – and advertising has become more prevalent than it as before. There have even been question marks over whether social media, in this form, is good for our wellbeing.

I believe this has led to a real craving for meaningful connection – which is what storytelling is all about.

People want to share and connect with the moments that matter to them, big and small, and this new age of social media is facilitating that.

Embracing storytelling in your business

If you’ve not embraced Stories yet, then it really is time to consider adding Stories into your social media strategy!

That includes making use of platforms such as Instagram Stories, but also extends to the content you are sharing across other platforms.

Start to think about how you can use stories to make your content more memorable, more relatable and more engaging. How can you bring your message to life so that it jumps off the screen and into your audience’s hearts and minds?

Each and every one of us has the ability to tell a compelling story, and we do it on a daily basis. You have that power within you. Now it’s about tuning into your inner storyteller, listening to that voice, and using it to get your message out into the world.

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