How to Use Instagram Live to Grow Your Followers (1/2)

Use Instagram Live

Instagram Live lets users stream live videos to their followers via their Instagram Stories. It’s great for increasing engagement, connecting directly with your users, sharing news, and establishing your brand.

However, maybe you are thinking, “Isn’t live to stream just a passing fad?” Well, let’s take a look at the numbers (Source: New York Magazine and Livestream.com):

  • 80% of audiences would rather watch a livestream than read a blog post
  • 82% of audiences would rather watch a livestream than see a social media post
  • 67% of audiences who watched a livestream purchased a ticket to a similar event the next time it occurred

Live videos are prevalent—and the trend shows us that they are here to stay. That’s why it’s so vital that your brand knows the way to use Instagram Live and leverage it for your audience.

Let’s walk through exactly how you could begin using Instagram Live, some tips on using it, and some ideas you could use to make an amazing Instagram Live stream today.

How to go live on Instagram in 3 simple steps

Going live on Instagram is easy.

To begin, you should have an Instagram account (surprise!) and phone since many of Instagram’s functions are only available on mobile.

Then jump into the first step:

Step 1: Choose the camera on the top left

camera symbol in Instagram app, highlighted top left

From your profile, choose the camera icon on the upper left. This takes you to your Instagram camera where you could usually take pictures or videos for your Instagram Story.

Step 2: Swipe over to Live

selecting Instagram "Live" button
Like Tinder but without the creepy messages.

Swipe until you arrive at the Instagram Live screen. Alternatively, you could just tap on Live.

Step 3: Choose Go Live

Select the Go Live button. Instagram checks your phone’s internet connect briefly before streaming your live video.

"Go Live" button highlighted in Instagram Stories dashboard

Voila! That’s how to go live on Instagram in 3 steps. We told you it was easy.

Pro tip: Your number of viewers shows up at the top of your screen. Additionally, you will see all of your viewers’ comments as they come in.

Still from an Instagram Live video featuring a young woman talking into the camera, one heart from a live viewer in bottom right corner

 

Don’t be distracted by the flying hearts that appear on screen too. That’s just your viewers’ method of showing they love what they see!

At the bottom, you have a number of different functions you could utilize in your video.

Instagram Live dashboard, 2 faces icon is highlighted with text "Add a guest to be live in your video"

They are:

  • Questions. You could ask your viewers a query in your Instagram Story before you go live. Once you jump into your stream, you could access your viewers’ answers here (more on this later).
  • Send. You could send your live video to a user on Instagram during a broadcast.
  • Add a visitor. This permits you and another user to share the live video. Once you add a guest, both you and your visitor will appear in the video via a split-screen.
  • Face filters. Because the puppy dog face filter just makes everything better, doesn’t it?
  • Change camera. Switch the cameras from selfie mode to regular mode.

When you are done filming your Instagram Live video, tap End on the upper right corner. Pat yourself on the back. You just completed making your first Instagram Live stream!

3 ideas for using Instagram Live

When you really wish to take your Instagram Live videos to the next level, employ these tips during your stream.

Set a SMART goal

Understanding how to set good goals is crucial for social media success — and your targets for Instagram Live are no exception.

It’s the difference between jumping into a live stream with no plan and no goal and doing one where you understand exactly what you wish to do and how to do it.

To do this, you should set a SMART goal.

SMART stands for particular, measurable, attainable, related, and time-based.

SMART acronym

  • Particular. Your purpose is focused on. For instance, a bad goal would be “I need a good Instagram Live video” because it’s vague. A better purpose would be, “I wish to have 50% more viewers in our next stream” because it’s more focused.
  • Measurable. There’s a benchmark for success and you understand what accomplished seems to be like. Example: “I wish to gain 100 new followers on Instagram,” is a great goal because you could measure the number of followers you gain.
  • Attainable. It’s actually doable for you and/or your business. For instance, “I wish to have the most followers on Instagram” likely will not be possible (unless you are world-famous soccer player Cristiano Rinaldo). Whereas, “I would like 1,000 followers on Instagram,” is totally attainable.
  • Relevant. Does this goal matter to you and your company right now? If not, pursue one that’s.
  • Timely. Having a deadline for your goal is essential psychologically. It offers you more focus and drive to pursue your purpose. For instance, “I wish to host three Instagram Dwell streams with friends by Q4,” is a great and timely goal.

So ask yourself: What SMART goals should you make for your brand’s Instagram Live objectives?

Create a video map

Think of your Instagram Live video as a road trip: You need to know all of the pits stops you want to make as you travel to your ultimate destination.

That’s why it’s necessary to make a map or outline of your video. Write down all of the points you want to cover, as well as how long you wish to cover them.

Are you interviewing industry thought leaders? Write down all of the questions you wish to hit, once you wish to make introductions, and when to take questions from your audience.

Are you introducing a new product to your viewers? Write down every function and benefit you want to show off.

Are you sharing a quick “how-to” for your viewers? Write down all of the steps they should know and any other ideas you want to offer.

This helps keep your video targeted and on track. Otherwise, it’d easily run off the rails.

Engage your viewers

Like everybody’s favorite starship captain says:

Jean Luc Piccard says

Instagram Live offers you an ideal platform to engage with your customers in actual time. Once you do so, you establish a relationship and build trust with your audience—all essential elements for a thriving brand.

Like any good relationship, though, engaging and building a great relationship with your audience takes time and energy. It’s not enough to just answer a few questions on a live stream. You should listen to your followers and give them what they want.

Only then will they reward you with their trust.

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