Ways to Use Instagram Live for Your Small Business

Ways to Use Instagram Live for Your Small Business

If you’re not using Instagram Live for your small business yet, you’re missing out!

Since its debut as a photo-sharing platform, Instagram has improved significantly, going from an unknown startup to a social media behemoth with more than 600 users as of December 2016.

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Today, businesses of all sizes recognize the platform’s incredible marketing potential as its newest feature, Instagram Live, takes business communication to the next level.

Should Small Businesses Care?

The answer is simple. Yes!

Small businesses need to pay attention to the platform for two reasons. First, Instagram Live provides a direct channel for two-way communication between your business and your audience and secondly, you probably already have an Instagram following that you can easily convert into customers using Live Videos.

Ways to Use Instagram Live

Here are some ideas for efficiently and effectively using Instagram Live for business.

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Host an Interactive Q&A

Use Instagram Live to engage with your audience, answering their questions in real time. Each video feed comes with a comments section that your audience can use to engage with you as you broadcast. They can also react via “likes.”

Tip: Before hosting a Q&A, always let your customers know well in advance that you will be holding a Q&A session. It would be prudent to ask them to send their questions in advance via Direct Message. This should help you with preparation. You can also have them ask questions during the live broadcast. This should make for a more interactive experience.

Stream a Live Workshop or Tutorial

In a similar manner as you would with a Q&A session, inform your audience ahead of time that you will be hosting a tutorial or workshop on Instagram Live. If you own a bakery you can host a fun baking live video on how to make lemon bread, for example. Or if you own a gym then you can host a tutorial on how to keep fit during winter. The advantage with Instagram Live is that you don’t have to worry so much about time limits as the platform allows you to be live for up to an hour.

Offer a Behind-the-Scenes Perspective of Your Business

Besides tutorials and Q&A’s, you can also use Instagram to humanize your business. Usually, when you post something on social media sites, your audience doesn’t get to see the hard work that went into the production. However, a behind-the-scenes perspective opens your world to them. In a world of  spam and never-ending memes, connections such as this are not easy to establish, yet Instagram Live makes it so easy for you to build a sense of transparency and trust among your customers.

Things to Consider Before Using Instagram Live

Create a Plan for Engagement

It’s good to always remember that the reason why many people watch live videos is because they want to connect with the people behind the brand or business. You, therefore, need to have your broadcast plan in place with points to guide your conversation. Do your best to have answers ready for all the questions that may be asked. This will ensure you have a smooth broadcast.

Include a Call to Action

Always leave your viewers wanting more. Tell them of other ways that they can keep in touch, which could include subscribing to your newsletters or following you on other social networks. Whatever works for you.

The possibilities of how to use Instagram Live for your business are endless. The secret to success, however, lies in your creativity, so keep trying new ways to spice up your broadcasts.

Are you currently using Instagram Live for your business? What do you love most about it? We’d love to hear from you.

Live Stream Photo via Shutterstock

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Antony Maina Antony Maina is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. His beat includes social media, general business reporting and exploring how people relate to technology. With a background in freelance writing, he is a contributor to other tech websites and can be found at Word4Bloggers.

5 Reactions
  1. The tutorial has to really be short though. There is a limit on how much you can record.

  2. I’d be more inclined to use Instagram Live Video if it didn’t vanish right away. Maybe if they allowed it to be put into Stories, but it seems like a diminished opportunity to only reach those followers who happen to be online when you are broadcasting.

    • Fair point, but it’s good for practice as far as people who want to get comfortable with broadcasting many times a day. P.S.: I’m not saying people should unequivocally broadcast many times per day. I’m just saying if they plan on doing that and need to be comfy in front of a camera first, then IG Live might be a great skill-building confidence-boosting tool.

  3. Antony: I will start to test it out in the near future. I have now ordered a video stand (and sturdy selfie stick), so I can have my smartphone in a safe place during the Instagram live sessions.

    I want to create behind-the-scenes for the backers of my crowdfunding campaign and other tea enthusiasts.

  4. I’m with Jeff, if they actually kept the video’s on the site and under our accounts I’d be more invested in using it.

    I would like to see a couple more insights on leveraging the tool though, more to point, how to get more viewers. Someone like me would be targeting business owners, for example, how would we go about looking for that audience and the “likelihood” that they are currently using Instagram at X time to hold live streams during that time.