With over 1 billion active users on the video-sharing platform, TikTok is taking the social media world by storm and every brand and creator is being forced to pay attention.
Back in August of 2021, the platform started testing a new feature known as TikTok Stories, primarily in the U.S. But recently, the platform began expanding the availability of this feature into the U.K.—great news for European brands and creators. This move also tells us something important—TikTok Stories probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you are a Znaplink user or otherwise savvy social creator, you may already be familiar with this feature.
Whether you are an avid story user or this is the first time you are hearing of the feature, TikTok Stories are set to change how you use the app and engage with your followers! Here’s everything you need to know about this new feature that can help put your brand in front of thousands more people than ever before.
What are TikTok Stories?
If you're familiar with Snapchat or Instagram stories, TikTok's Stories should look relatively familiar. It allows users to post short videos (max 15 seconds) that expire after 24 hours. While the feature itself may resemble those of other platforms, how stories are delivered to users differs quite a bit. Like every other video you share on TikTok, TikTok Stories will be natively integrated into the "for you" page for users to consume as they scroll.
The way that you use your story will depend largely on your personal strategy, but it can be a great way to inform followers about more time-sensitive updates or events. Similarly, it's a fantastic way to share content that you may not want to have permanently on your feed. Think of it as a mini-social media channel—one that's especially suited for sharing moments in real-time.
Why should you use TikTok Stories?
While TikTok Stories are still in beta testing, they are certainly a great way to boost your account's engagement and offer your followers more personable content. As Instagram and Snapchat stories have proven, these types of stories can provide a richer, more authentic experience between brands and their following by showing what's going on behind the scenes.
While TikTok has its own take on stories (filters and features are unique to their platform), they're worth experimenting with if you want to boost engagement and reach for your account—especially as they continue to improve.
Unlike traditional TikTok posts, the shorter lifespan of a story makes users more inclined to watch and engage with it before it goes away. Also, the story delivery on the "for you" page means that this content has the ability to gain new viewers beyond your existing followers. This is great for creators and brands looking to increase their exposure.
How are TikTok Stories different?
Just because TikTok Stories resemble the story features of other social media platforms doesn’t mean that they are the same. TikTok has become as successful as it has by offering a different experience to users and its story feature is no exception to this rule. While stories on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook are separate from their main feeds, TikTok Stories are integrated natively into the “for you” feed. This means that people will see your stories alongside all of their favourite creators’ posts which allows them to enjoy your content without having to leave their stream or go looking for it.
Additionally, users can interact with stories in a similar fashion to how they interact with traditional posts. TikTok takes it one step further by allowing users to comment on any point of your story—and all comments are sent directly into the creator's direct messages. This allows for more organic conversations between creators and their fans as well as more opportunities for engagement across all of your content.
How to watch TikTok Stories
TikTok Stories are still in beta testing and being rolled out in waves to select U.K. accounts. So if you do not yet have access to this feature, fear not; you likely will soon. But if you are unable to post stories, you will also not be able to view them—yet. If you do have the feature, you can see stories in one of two ways.
First, stories will natively appear on your “for you” page as you scroll. The second way to view TikTok Stories is to go to a given user’s page. If they have shared a story, their profile picture will have a blue circle around it which you can click to view.
How to Create TikTok Stories
To create TikTok Stories, you can either upload content from your camera roll or film it on the spot.
1. Open the latest version of the TikTok app on your phone
2. Tap the “post” button at the bottom of the screen
3. Scroll right to access the “story” option
4. Now you can either select photo or video, by scrolling right or left, and then you have the option to either upload content from your camera roll or shoot it on the spot. Like with permanent TikTok posts, you can also add on effects, text, and sounds.
What should you share on your TikTok Stories?
Deciding what to share TikTok Stories comes down to your brand, your goals with the platform, and the type of content you create. Below are some of the most popular things to share on your story that can help grow your account engagement and followers.
BTS (Behind the Scenes)
Take your BTS content to the next level by sharing behind-the-scenes photos or videos of your day that you wouldn’t normally post on your page. This content feels more personal because followers don’t see them as often and can, therefore, create a deeper connection between your followers and your brand.
For example, show them what goes into creating content, building a product, or what happens at the office. This will help your users better identify with you as a person (or group of people) rather than viewing you as a business or an arbitrary account.
Another excellent way to use TikTok Stories is to answer users' questions. This is particularly effective if you have a large following and don’t often get to address everyone’s comments and messages.
Start with a story asking users to ask their questions. One of the advantages of TikTok Stories is that users can comment with questions directly in response to the story, so it makes it easy for them to engage. Because viewers can expect a response, engagement rates for these Q&A stories also tend to be higher.
Sneak Peeks and Previews
Use stories to get users excited about what's to come. Give a sneak peek of a product in development, a project that's being worked on, or content that is in production. It can be as simple as posting an image with a caption like We're working on something new!
Stay tuned for more details. That way you can keep your audience engaged and build anticipation for your next big announcement. It gives you the opportunity to promote your brand or products without it coming across as too salesy.
A Day in the Life
Give your followers a preview into your life as a person, whether you are the founder of a company or a creator. Again, this gives users the opportunity to relate with you on a personal level and build more loyalty and credibility.
Each TikTok Story lasts only 24 hours, which means it’s a great tool for sharing fresh, timely content with followers. Therefore, stories can be an excellent way to share any sales or promotions that you have going on. If you are an eCommerce store, you can even create exclusive sales or discount codes that only story-viewers will have access to—the exclusivity can promote shares and higher conversion rates.
If you are a creator, use stories as a way to share sales for affiliate or partner stores, and use a link-in-bio tool like Znaplink to send users through your affiliate links.
TikTok Stories are also great for featuring or addressing comments on your other posts. Not only is this a great way to respond to or acknowledge things your followers say, but it also will incentivise engagement and comments on your other posts. Users love recognition, so if they think there is a chance you will respond to or share their comment, they will be more likely to leave one in the first place.
TikTok Stories are an exciting new feature that can give brands and creators the opportunity to interact with their followers in a different and more engaging manner. If you are one of the lucky users who already have access to stories, don’t wait to put them to the test. If you are still waiting for the feature to become available, it’s not too early to start strategising your story content. In the meantime, connect your followers with all of your social media accounts and content with one personalised landing page using ZnapLink—it’s free.