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Marketers plan to test Facebook Stories because why not

Facebook Stories could be a serious opportunity for brands. Do not laugh; traders are not.

The Facebook copy of the Instagram clone of Snapchat's popular feature failed to take off among regular users. Now the social network is opening Stories to Pages in the hope that anyone – anyone – is using its version of the ephemeral photo and video format. And brands could actually. At least at the beginning. If only out of curiosity.

"We see this as a test.There is evidence that this is not an inherent behavior for ordinary people on the platform, so we do not want to go ahead and engage ourselves in a Facebook Stories strategy as we did for Instagram, however, if only two other people [are posting Stories] are in the thread, this could potentially have a disproportionate impact if you do a cross-posting of one. history, "said Mike Dossett, assistant director of digital strategy at RPA.

Inexpensive experimentation

Brands are likely to try stories because there is little reason not to do so. "There is no cost," said MEC content manager Noah Mallin. Instead of brands making stories specific to Facebook, they can reuse the ones they post on Instagram, as has the NBA.

This cross-posting strategy allows brands to see if people on Facebook, who may not be interested in producing their own stories, are interested in finding out about others. If it is not the case, it is good. If this is the case, brands will consider the possibility of producing custom stories for Facebook and will look for information indicating that Facebook's audience may differ from that of Instagram and Snapchat.

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Slow deployment

But first, brands must see if there is an audience for their stories on Facebook. And before that, brands must be able to post stories on Facebook. While Facebook has begun to spread stories on pages, it is doing so slowly.

"The deployment of this product has not been as widespread as other major updates.Some of our biggest customers who have several millions of Facebook followers still do not have access, "said Dossett.

Justin Marshall, executive vice president of emerging media at Possible, also said that none of his WPP-owned agency clients still had access to Stories. "We did not push it either.We have customers who, if we had asked to be on the white list, we probably would have been there, but we have not really touched on that yet. subject, "he said.

The upward potential

The interest of brands would be magnified if people were interested in Pages stories. Not only would Facebook's audience offer more viewers for the Stories brands distributed on Instagram, but it would also provide an opportunity for marketers to recover the organic reach that they have lost in the news feed. Facebook – at least for a while. Because the Stories feed is at the top of the main screen of Facebook's mobile app, brand stories will be the first thing people see when they open Facebook.

Facebook stories could also allow brands to showcase camera effects and the frames they created for the platform. While these Snapchat-esque increases have received a lot of attention when they were announced in April, as stories they still need to gain a lot of traction on the social network. Like Stories, this limited adoption corresponds to limited availability. Facebook has not widely opened its Camera Effects platform for many brands in order to produce their own augmented reality filters, and the use of its Snapchat Lens-like camera effects seems primarily suited to Story articles .

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But if Stories is able to attract an audience on Facebook and Facebook opens its Camera Effects Platform to more brands, "I guarantee you that there will be half a dozen, if not more, of our Customers who say they need to think about it, "Marshall said.

The inevitable disadvantage

Of course, any rise in power in the brand's interest could turn into a backtracking of opportunities. After all, brands are no longer the only owners of pages to post stories on Facebook. Just like publishers and celebrities. As many people who wish to watch the NBA's Facebook story, more can tune into Bleacher Report or LeBron James. And if that turns out to be true, then the sorting algorithm of Facebook's stories would probably repel brand stories, or Facebook could start asking marketers to pay for better placement, as has been the case. with its traditional news feed.

"The brands quickly realized that if Facebook saw a way to monetize some of its sites, it would do it quickly, so the window for [Stories to be an organic opportunity for brands] is probably tight, this window will close," Mallin said. But you have to open it first.