As you are all probably aware, Facebook Live is one of the newest and biggest features to grace our screens, be that on your phone, tablet or desktop. Yes, desktop. Weird right? Who actually uses Facebook on a desktop anymore? Anyway, moving on.
Basically, Facebook Live has turned us all into major or minor broadcasters overnight, depending on a number of friends, followers or page likes we have.
So, naturally, Facebook was going to roll this feature out to its sister platform Instagram. Instagram Live was first available in the US in November but has now been rolled out to the UK as well as Germany, France, Brazil, Canada and Japan.
I personally, along with the vast majority of people, was expecting the roll out to be in the same format as Facebook – a dedicated Live button which would allow you to go Live whenever you wish, upload the broadcast to your feed/story and be there forever.
Instead, Instagram, in my opinion, have done so much better than that. They’ve given us the ability to go LIVE and then drop off the face of the Earth again as if it never happened. All via Instagram stories and with them racking up a cool 150 Million daily users, it’s a pretty good place to start.
So, why is this good & why should you be using it in your business?
Well, let’s all sit back and think about how much thought, time and effort we put into producing and sharing content on our business channels? Think about how you constantly strive to maintain a specific tone of voice, talk about the same service/product offering and more importantly, try to make sure everything is “On Brand”, whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Instagram Live instantly gets rid of all of these problems for you as you simply ‘Go Live’. Broadcast whatever it is you want to show off – be it a collection of your products, the hardworking team you have in the office, deliveries being loaded or your favourite pet… Whatever it is that makes you unique can and should be communicated through LIVE.
You get the benefits of showing your followers the raw, stripped back, hard-working business you have built up, but you don’t have to compromise the appearance and theme you have worked so hard to build and maintain.
Now, the question I know everyone is going to be asking me over the next few weeks is “How can I actually use this in my business & why?”
So besides the quick points I have made above, what this really does for businesses is encourage marketing teams to step over that line they are so so scared of crossing.
All too often I find myself in conversations with marketing teams who are more than willing to talk about ideas but never act upon them due to fear of backlash from either their audience, the client or internal management. Instagram Live encourages us to let our hair down, try new ideas, tell new stories and gauge reactions for new content through the comments (that can be toggled ON & OFF by the way) and then instantly disappear again the second we stop broadcasting.
We don’t have to compromise the aesthetic of our accounts or worry about the content fitting with the overall theme. All we have to worry about is being creative and be willing to try new things.
Instagram Live as a whole won’t change the game for your business, but it will give you an incredible excuse to try new things. After all, as marketers, if we aren’t trying new things, we are just another voice in a crowded arena.