Instagram introduced the “Live” feature to all profiles in December of 2016. Since then, it has become a popular tool within the app, with celebrities, companies, and standard user accounts taking advantage of it. For businesses, Instagram Live helps reach customers and create a genuine connection without feeling staged. If done properly, IG Live is a great way to generate leads and grow your audience. Here are some guidelines to make sure that you crush it from the start.
1. Prepare Your Audience
Before the IG Live Story, promote it on your IG profile. You can ask for questions to be posted in the comments for extra material to talk about during your Live feed, and to encourage hype as well.
Posting a photo to your account the day before is a good way to boost awareness, and share the time that you plan to start your live feed. The more that you remind your followers, the more likely they are to tune in!
2. Prepare Your Equipment
Check your Audio and Video setup before you start. If it’s hard to hear or see you, followers will tune out very quickly. It’s not fun to stare at a black screen! Make sure that your camera is at a good angle with lots of light in the frame, and test out the microphone to know how loud you should speak during the video.
If you are featuring a lot of different things in your story, or you need to move around to showcase certain products, make sure you have a clear path set and your items are within easy reach. A few rehearsal takes can’t hurt either!
3. Have A Plan
Have a plan for what you will cover during the Instagram live feed. Make sure it’s structured well, and you have a general scope of what you want to talk about- otherwise you may drag it on and lose the interest of your viewers.
Keep in mind that social media tends to encourage a short attention span from viewers. You are much more likely to get good engagement if you keep your video interesting and upbeat.
Having a list of topics ready is a great idea in case you lose your train of thought. Jot down some quick points to cover if your followers stop asking questions, and your live feed will keep moving no matter how much engagement fluctuates.
4. Use The Right Hashtags
Find hashtags you want to use (yes they work within IG Live) in order to boost your engagement with people that don’t already follow you. You can use them within your IG Live Feed to reach people that access those hashtags, but you can also create a hashtag and challenge viewers to post to it in a future contest.
Make sure that the hashtag you want is empty before you post it- that way it is easy for you to keep up with it and see content that is shared to it. For example, if you are a fitness based account, create a hashtag so that users can share their transformations and progress posts to it. For more advice on how to use hashtags efficiently, head here.
5. Use The Explore Page To Your Advantage
IG Stories also show up on the explore page, so you will reach accounts that you normally wouldn’t when posting to your account. Keep this in mind when you have started your Instagram live feed because people who join after your stream has begun may not understand the context of what you are discussing.
Hashtags, like previously stated, are also going to impact where you show up on the explore page. Using all of these features simultaneously could result in a massive growth of your audience!
6. Go Live At Peak Engagement Times
Be sure to start your IG Live Stream at a peak time of engagement. You can check your Insights for the best times to be active, but that feature is exclusive to Business Profiles. There are many reasons you should be a business account, but the analytics are a big one. If most of your followers are in another country, you need to cater to the time difference as well.
Every account is different, so be sure to check often and see when your users are most active. Weekends are an especially good time for Instagram Live Stories!
7. Use Teasers
Tease new products, ideas, or features on your Instagram Live Feed. People will be so interested that after the tease is over, they will head straight to your page to learn more. Don’t give too much information, but share enough to get users excited.
That can be tough to balance, but depending on the type of account you are running, try to show just a part of your new merchandise, or redirect attention to your profile. For example: “Here is the new shipment of Limited Edition T-Shirts for our next campaign! If you want to snag one, keep checking our profile. We will be announcing the design within the next few days!”. This encourages activity on your account not only during the feed but also after it ends.
8. Link To Other Social Media & Websites
With all of the new users, you’ll be attracting at this point in your video, it is important to make sure that you plug your website and any other pages in the live feed! That way, consumers know where to go when they want more information.
Instagram Stories offer a “swipe up” feature within the fee so that users can easily access anything you want them to look at. It’s fairly simple to use, and it ties all of your media outlets together for increased traffic.
9. Turn Off Inappropriate Comments
You can hide your live feed from certain users if you’d like to, the same way you can block them from your story. You can also turn comments to “moderate” so that any comments including keywords will not be posted.
This is an especially good idea if you are a very large account, or if you happen to be a public figure. Spammy and inappropriate posts are a nuisance when you have hundreds coming in throughout your Live Feed, and other users may be turned off by comments unrelated to your actual content.
10. Reference Usernames & Answer Questions
When answering specific questions, use the person’s username so that other users know who you are addressing. All of the comments and questions will appear on a ticker at the bottom of the Story, but they quickly move up as other comments take their place.
As a result, you should answer questions addressing the username, and try to repeat the question for users that didn’t see the original comment. It can be tough, but the interactive aspect of IG Live is part of what makes it unique!
11. Stay Engaged And Attentive
Be engaged and be on time! Have a plan, and if you tell followers you’ll be on IG Live at 2pm, be there! It is important to be prompt if you want to keep the attention of your followers.
Instagram Live can be tricky at first, but if done right, it is a great way to interact with your followers and grow your audience! Try out these tips with your own account, and see how your engagement changes.
For more Instagram-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, click here!