The Instagram “Go Live” feature is not a new one, but it certainly has become a greater utilized function.  While it may have initially been considered a passing fad, statistics are indicating it is anything but. The Instagram Live tool allows users to stream live videos to their followers through Instagram Stories.  This is incredible useful for establishing a brand by building engagement and creating a direct connection from which to share information.

Live videos have increased in popularity because audiences appreciate their visual (according to the site Livestream.com 80% of audiences would rather watch a livestream than read a blog post while 82% would rather watch a livestream than see a social media post). This makes it important for a business or brand to understand the workings of Instagram Live and leverage its broad appeal to its audience.

If you are unsure where or how to begin with Instagram, the following are some tips and best practices to help you get started:

Going Live is as easy as 1-2-3.  First step tap the camera icon that appears on the top left of your profile which takes you the Instagram camera. Second step tap on the Live feature and then Go Live which is step three.

Once you go live you will notice that the number of viewers will show up at the top of the screen and comments from viewers will also be seen.  If the comments are a distraction there is an option to turn them off by tapping the three dots in the chat box and tapping Turn Off Commenting. In addition, Instagram also gives you the option to limit who is seeing your Live stream.  By tapping the camera in the top left corner and then the settings you can choose to Hide your stream from specific viewers or alternatively you can select the Close Friends list and choose a smaller viewing audience.

There are also several features for use that will appear at the bottom of your screen.  These features are:

  • Questions – here you can ask viewers a question prior to going live
  • Send- this allows you to send the video to a user during the broadcast
  • Add a guest – this allows for another user to appear in the live stream as a guest via a split screen
  • Face filters – the ability to add a fun filter as you would in an Instagram story or photo
  • Change camera – here you can flip the camera from selfie mode to regular mode

Once you have concluded your livestream simply tap End at the top right-hand corner of your screen and you’ve just recorder your first Live.  Instagram will offer the option of saving and sharing your video at the end of a live recording.

 

Going Live with Instagram is the easy part, it’s making that stream meaningful and useful to your business that requires some thought.  Here are a few tips to creating relevant content via Instagram Live:

Have a plan and objective and set goals for your stream that are S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based).

Create an outline for your live video making note of all the points you wish to cover and how much time you wish to spend on them (if you are conducting an interview prepare all your interview questions; if you are launching a product, write down all the features and benefits you wish to share or if you are creating a “how to” video list all your steps including any helpful pointers).

Be engaging, this is the best time to establish a relationship and build trust.  Make connections with your audience, listen to their questions, and address their wants or concerns.

 

If you are new to the world of Instagram Live or in need of some fresh new ideas for your next livestream here are a few helpful suggestions:

Partner with an influencer

Enlist the help of an industry influencer or expert who can be extremely helpful when it comes to spreading brand awareness and growing your following.   Working with someone that your target audience already resonates with and trusts is a great way to earn respect for your business or brand.  You can invite the influencer to be your guest for a live chat or Q&A session.

Live Event Coverage

By going live at an industry event, you are allowing your audience to there with you.  Livestream a ceremony if you company or brand has been nominated for an award or if you are attending a conference, share a panel discussion that your audience might find interesting.  A livestream of a fundraiser or charitable initiative your company might involved in is also a great way to the human side to your brand.  Livestreaming an event, you are hosting can help to create hype for the next event; once people see the fun and excitement of an event live they may be more inclined to purchase a ticket to attend your next one.

Create a Learning Opportunity

Hosting a tutorial or workshop that is fun and informative, via Instagram live is great way to engage with your audience and answer their questions.  The same holds true for Q&A sessions. Solicit questions from your audience and build engagement by answering them.  Topics can range from current events to the nature of your business.

Make Your Colleagues the Stars of the Show

Have your audience meet the faces behind your company or brand by conducting interviews with colleagues during a Live stream. This not only shows the humanity behind the brand but goes a long way towards employee appreciation as well.

Spotlight your Customers

Talking to a customer on a live stream is a great way to boost your brand.  What better way to earn trust from your audience than through a customer sharing their testimonial about why they love your brand or service or demonstrating what your company has done for them i.e. if you are a fitness coach and you interview a client about a fitness goal they were able to achieve because of you

Share your Thoughts

You can provide your reactions or reviews to an event you have just attended, a movie or show you’ve just seen or a product or service that is related to your industry.  When conducting a live review however be sure to provide some thought to what you will say beforehand, you don’t want to just say anything in the moment.

 

Instagram Live is a great business tool that your company or brand should be utilizing as part of your social media marketing strategy and we at Social Know How can help you manage your Instagram presence alongside your other social media platforms.   Don’t forget to visit our website SOCIALKNOWHOW.com to get your FREE social media assessment.