Mobile Marketing

Top Brands Using Social Media Stories the Best Way

Bilge Boz
June 6, 2022

Over the last several years, after Snapchat introduced stories in 2011, and with Instagram’s, Facebook’s, YouTube’s, and many other channel’s adaptations, stories are embedded in our lives. While non-business social media users are using them to connect their family and friends, express creativity, and stay updated, businesses are also leveraging stories to create brand awareness, increase engagement rates and conversions, and connect with their customers.

One-third of the most-viewed stories on Instagram is coming from businesses.

We compiled the top brands using social media stories the best way. Let’s dive in.

1. Google Maps

On Instagram, Google Maps shares stories of user-submitted photographs of interesting, stunning locations. Followers can swipe up and save those locations on their Google Maps account. Stories offer the followers a visual journey and travelers’ inspiration.

Image: Hootsuite

Google Maps also creates a poll every week to ask users which Google Maps hack they want to learn. That week’s story teaches how to handle the winning option. By doing this, Google Maps engages with the users, gets quick feedback from them, and provides users useful information according to their needs.

Google Maps partners with different groups, such as small business owners, and creates stories to promote them. It also uses stories to promote product features such as “street view.”


The way Google Maps uses stories can inspire many businesses to take action. It provides content in such a way that it promotes the product itself, educates, inspires, and entertains users and creates opportunities for partners.

2. National Geographic

National Geographic is the second most followed brand account on Instagram after Instagram’s own account. Although you might be thinking it is not surprising that National Geographic is great at stories with its amazing photo collection, the brand uses stories not just to showcase photos, but to post various content. NatGeo’s stories usually feature mini documentaries. The brand also creates polls, quizzes, long-form content to promote articles, and sponsored content.


NatGeo is a great example of adapting content to story format by having partnerships and tailoring their content to social media.

3. The New York Times

The New York Times is a news brand; hence its content heavily relies on articles, blog posts, and real-life stories. The NY Times complements its articles with visually dynamic stories.


The New York Times uses high-quality footage and photography and matches them with attention-grabbing text. Brands that produce a lot written content can use the stories to reach out to readers.

67% of users ‘swiped up’ on the links of branded Instagram stories.

4. Aritzia

Aritzia is a fashion brand that uses stories to showcase its fashion line. It uses shoppable stories that allow users to buy their products in just a few clicks. Shopping brands can use this shopping feature to make it easy and seamless for their customers to purchase products.


Aritzia offers visually appealing wallpaper stories for its audience. It also works with partners to try their products and create stories.


22% of users watch branded Instagram stories (from a company, business, or brand) more than once a week.

5. Harvard Business Review

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) shares content related to management and career. Like other long form written content producers such as The New York Times, it adapts these contents into stories. Although HBR might sound distant due to its industry, it actually uses a casual tone and puts many interactive elements into stories such as polls, quizzes, and checklists that users can take a screenshot, fill and share later on.


HBR is a great example of how brands can reach younger generations by using an understandable and relatable voice and facilitating engagement.

Stories were born as a part of social media, yet you can integrate them into your app to increase in-app engagement and retention. Discover how Storyly can help your app to boost with the power of stories.

6. Cisco / We are Cisco

Cisco has social media accounts for talent branding, and it makes a very good example of how brands can use social media to showcase their company culture. We are Cisco gives place to many interactive elements in the stories from polls and templates to Q&As. They also create filters for Cisco that followers and employees can apply.


Brands can use stories to show their company culture to the outside world, attract new talent, and increase brand value among customers.

7. MTV

As an entertainment channel, MTV targets younger audiences. Its stories are very compatible with MTV’s content and engagement style. MTV shares live stories from events, keeping them in the highlights. For example, for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, MTV broadcasted much footage of the event, red carpet, and celebrities as stories. MTV also works with figures from the music industry, and shares Push Playlists in which that episode’s singer or songwriter answers questions like “What song do you listen to before a big night out?” It also shares MTV Playlists as stories.


If brands are attending or organizing events, it is important to share the live stories or photos to increase engagement and visibility.


The Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA) has gained its social media popularity through its Snapchat stories turning its artwork to irreverent pop-culture gags.

Image: HuffPost

LACMA also shares engaging stories on Instagram, such as “What is It?” stories in which it shares a zoomed part of a piece in the collection and asks users to guess what it is. In some stories, users can tell which kind of artwork they want to see, and LACMA shares the photographs of the requested artworks.


LACMA engages with its audience through stories by combining its offline and online presence. You would enjoy the stories of LACMA even if you aren’t a fan of modern art. It is doing a great job at raising an interest.

Snapchat reaches 90% of all 13-24 year-olds and 75% of all 13-34 year-olds in the U.S. Millennials and Gen Z have a direct spending power of $1 trillion. On average, Snapchat users spend over 30 minutes on Snapchat every day.

9. Article

Article is a furniture company that sells directly to consumers and reaches its customers via digital platforms. They use their social media channels to provide information about the products or generally educate customers about related topics. They share how-to content, new product reviews, promote their blogs, conduct product polls, answer frequently asked questions, basically offer any information for which customers might be looking.


Brands using social media to educate and inform their customers can use stories to share details in a more engaging and fun way. Stories build trust and raise brand awareness.

10. Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness has a diverse customer base and shows this diversity through its Triumphs stories where customer success stories are shared. Many viewers from athletes to stay-home parents can find a similar lifestyle in the stories that lead to the Planet Fitness website.  

Planet Fitness also shares sponsored content and offers discounts and coupons on different apps or brands such as Audible, Headspace, and Nike. Stories also include short fitness videos, polls, playlists, etc.


Planet Fitness defines itself as “judgement-free zone” and shows it through its realistic successes of everyday people in stories. Planet Fitness leads the story viewers to think that they can achieve what they want. Brands with a similar concept, potential customers who need some guidance and motivation and inspiring success stories to take action, can use the same strategy as Planet Fitness.

Many other brands are doing amazing work with stories on social media. As the users increase their interest in stories, brands are pushing themselves to create better and more engaging ones. Yet, stories don’t belong only to social media. You can leverage their power within your app too. Check out Storyly to find out more about the in-app stories.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer porttitor pretium massa sagittis cursus. Etiam egestas turpis vitae sem mattis semper placerat in nibh. Nullam tempus ligula sit amet turpis laoreet, et interdum purus hendrerit. Donec tortor massa, ultricies vitae laoreet a, facilisis quis orci.

Pellentesque rutrum erat eget neque accumsan porttitor. Aenean id consequat orci. Aliquam euismod finibus lacus, eu ultrices mauris interdum eu. Nulla tempor ac risus vel congue. Integer imperdiet purus ut turpis ultricies consequat.
  • Sed sagittis, ipsum pellentesque luctus porttitor
  • metus nisl vehicula ex, ut bibendum dui lectus ac odio
  • In faucibus laoreet malesuada. Fusce finibus eros vel nisl sodales congue.
  • Duis in massa mi. Donec venenatis, lectus interdum scelerisque pellentesque, orci lorem maximus ante, fermentum scelerisque dolor est eget nisl.
  • Cras aliquam pulvinar hendrerit. Morbi blandit auctor risus vitae consectetur. Sed auctor mauris eu velit imperdiet tincidunt.
  1. Sed sagittis, ipsum pellentesque luctus porttitor
  2. Ut quis dapibus elit. Nunc non sagittis quam.
  3. Nullam est est, posuere eget orci et, laoreet pharetra tortor.
  4. Nulla felis nisl, viverra sit amet mi id, volutpat ornare est. Ut ullamcorper sed dui sit amet pellentesque. Donec vel lectus id ipsum varius pellentesque et nec elit.
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