With most people under safer-at-home orders, it’s no surprise that people are spending more time on social media. In fact, studies show that social media engagement has increased 61% due to the effects of COVID-19. As a result, a lot of businesses are turning to social media as a platform for sharing important information and engaging their customers.
One platform that’s really shined amid COVID-19 is Instagram—specifically their “Live” option. Instagram Live, which allows users to stream content to and engage with their audience in real time, had a 70% increase in use in March.
Thinking about going live? Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your IG Live is a success.
Think of your IG Live as a TV show. How often will it air? When can people expect a new episode? Our Founder & CEO, Laurel Mintz, does an IG Live every Friday at 1pm PT. It’s important to have a set time and date for your IG Live so your audience can clear their calendar or come prepared with good questions. When you set your schedule, use your IG Insights to choose the day of the week where you already have the most engagement.
The length of your IG Live will depend on the content. However, a good time limit to set for yourself is around 15-30 minutes. You want to make sure your audience is engaged and doesn’t get bored, and anything longer than 30 minutes might drive your viewers away. Instagram caps the time limit for an IG Live to an hour but, again, you shouldn’t need that much.
No doubt, it can be difficult to run a show on your own. After all, not all of us are good at one-sided dialogue. Booking guests is a great way to have fun conversation while also increasing your viewership. Instagram allows two accounts (including yours) to do an IG Live together, and the stream will show up on both of your pages. This way, you can share audiences and give your customers and clients some new content.
No pressure, but a big part of an IG Live is that it’s, well, live! It’s kind of like public speaking but from the comfort of your own living room. I’ve seen my fair share of IG Lives, and there’s nothing more awkward than watching someone who doesn’t know what to say. Thirty minutes is a long time, so be sure that you have enough to say or that you’re comfortable with improv. I’d recommend writing an outline on the topics you plan to discuss and having them on a whiteboard behind the camera.
A lot of IG Lives end with a Q&A session. That is, the host reads the questions that the viewers have submitted in the comments. If you’re doing an IG Live, it’s important to leave some time at the end to allow yourself to engage with the audience. With that being said, don’t rely on their questions. What if no one asks any? Do not, and I repeat DO NOT, sit there silently waiting for questions to be asked. You need to be prepared with topics to discuss, even if it’s something as simple as the weather. Before your IG Live session, it might be a good idea to jot down some frequently asked questions. This will give you something to address at the closing of your session if nothing else pops up.
Last, but certainly not least, assess your setting! There’s no bigger turn-off than a bad quality IG Live. Make sure you film your IG Live in a clean and well-lit area. If you want to be more professional, invest in a ring light. Aim to film somewhere with a solid or minimal background so you don’t distract your viewers. Your phone, or whatever you are filming on, should be stable. You certainly don’t want to be holding your phone for 30 minutes! A phone stand would be great, but if you don’t have one, you can make your own stand. And of course, minimize distractions as much as possible. Turn your phone to silent and tell others in your area to be mindful of their noise.
With these tips and tricks, your IG Live will be a huge hit. Want to see how it’s done? Tune in to @laurelmintz on Friday at 1pm PT.
Carly Steinberg, Public Relations Coordinator
Elevate My Brand