Everyone raised in the digital age heard the same warning echoed from the moment they shared their first MySpace mood or Snapchat selfie – what you post on the internet lasts forever.
Social media safety is always important, but today that exact statement is not necessarily true. Within the past few years ephemeral content has evolved from a fast growing trend for the tech-savvy youth into a revolutionary digital marketing tool. Ephemeral means “lasting for a very short time”, and the most common type of this content is the “story” feature available across several platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. A user can post as many stories as they want and each only displays for 24 hours unless archived.
For many businesses, their social media platforms act as an accessible gallery showcasing the products and services they provide. It may seem counter intuitive to feature content that will only last for 24 hours; however, there are several benefits to ephemeral content when used correctly.
Today’s consumer is exposed to constant marketing messages, and can immediately sense when they are being targeted. An obvious sponsored post that shows up unsolicited on someone’s newsfeed is likely to be scrolled past, unless extremely captivating. To view a story, you must make the active decision to click on a profile’s icon, creating a genuine interaction between two users rather than a one-way advertising message.
Consumers have FOMO (fear of missing out). Users want to be informed and involved, and content presented with an expiration date establishes a sense of exclusivity that people want to take part in. There are also several engagement boosting features that can be added to story posts including polls users can vote in, question submissions, location tags users can explore and more.
One benefit of stories is that they are easy to share and easy to share on. Many businesses have taken to using ephemeral posts as a way to share customer content that shows real-life usage of their products and services. User Generated Content (UGC) is huge when it comes to promoting your business’s credibility, and a recent study revealed 93% of users find UGC helpful when making purchase decisions. Additionally, story posts are better for displaying links rather than regular photo captions. Instagram stories have a handy “swipe up” feature in which a viewer can very quickly access your website or product page with one motion.
To make a lasting impression with temporary content, incorporate ephemeral posts into your social media presence.