With each new feature added to the many social media channels, all brands and individuals seem to take a gasp and proceed with a little timidity. Just when a new strategy is crafted to adapt to the addition, another channel changes to jilt our carefully laid out plans. That’s the beauty of social media - it is an ever changing and growing industry that is quite unpredictable making it exciting and scary. But never fear, there are many ways a brand can optimize these challenges to grow the community around it. Whether you are a photographer or a small business owner, utilizing the tools on social media platforms can form relationships with potential customers and expand your reach. And that is exactly what Instagram Live can do.
Just in case you are not sure what Instagram Live is, we aren’t referring to Instagram Stories! This is a live broadcast feature that Instagram rolled out about a month ago. While Instagram Stories allowed followers a behind the scenes look to the aesthetically pleasing feed, Instagram Live gives an audience a real-time, authentic look behind a brand or business. Before you hide your face and wonder what you could possibly show or do live, determine why your brand should be on Instagram Live, and then use some of these ideas to implement into your social strategy.
Conduct a live question and answer session where your followers can tune in to put you in the hot seat. Too steamy for you?
#socialstudiotip: Announce your Live beforehand and ask your followers questions that they have. When you start your Live, begin with questions that were already asked before you got on. This avoids waiting for people to ask questions, and allows you to dive into discussion that might prompt other thoughts.
2. Behind the Scenes
Offer a behind-the-scenes tour of your office, home office, studio, workshop, you name it! Most followers love to get a sneak peak into the happening of a brand or business they love. The benefit for you? You are giving followers a piece to connect with to further build community. This can humanize your brand and give it a dimension that people
3. Upcoming Events
Do you have an event within your brand or maybe you are in attendance of one? While this might be great to share on your story, consider bringing it on live stream to show followers this is what is happening in real time giving them a thorough picture of what an event, workshop or class would be like if they chose to attend. Instagram Live doesn’t always need to be you talking at them!
4. Product or Service Launch
Introducing a new product or service is just as exciting for you as it is for a customer, buying or followers. Hop on Instagram Live to share exclusive details, product sneak peak, or service perks. Elaborate what you get for the cost, how it can help or benefit them by purchasing, or a history of the piece. This can drive sales and create buzz behind your brand new item!
5. Sharing is Caring
Sometimes a live session could be as simple as sharing what is going on within your brand or business. Many time we try to fit this in a email newsletter (still do it!) or within all our posts, but simply talking to and informing your followers the latest and most exciting things happening give them the opportunity to tune in, get the update, cheer you on, and even offer crucial advice or insight for how you can make things even better!
6. Live Interviews
Creatively think of a few people you can interview that are relevant to your brand and business. This could be a team member, CEO, customer or client. This can get personal or stick to business, but as mentioned above, people love when a brand is humanized in a way that feels relatable. Having questions prepared to ask also gives you a little more control over the time the Instagram Live will take and where the conversation will go.
7. Exciting Promotions
One of the best ways to prep your audience for Instagram Live is to announce it ahead of time so they can plan to tune in. Whether it’s this idea alone, or tagging it on any ideas 1-6, this is a sure way to grab people’s attention and give them a special deal. Offer a flash promotion that is only available if they tune in. If you are solely offering a promotion, talk about your product or service, how it can benefit, what they can use it for, why they need, etc., and offer a promotion at the end! The one thing you would want to be sure to do is give enough time for people to attend the Live before you offer the promotion.
Instagram Live offers a way for you to connect with your audience and followers in real time. Be authentic and real, but also be prepared. Creatively use different ways to personalize your brand and enhance what you have to offer.