January 19, 2017

5 Ways Canadian Businesses Can Start Slaying Instagram Live Today

It’s finally here. 🇨🇦 While all of us up north have been jealously side-eyeing our phones whenever someone in the U.S. went Live on Instagram Stories (since late November of 2016), we can now rejoice and bask in the glory that is Instagram Stories Live in Canada.

The major difference between Instagram and Facebook’s Live function is that on Instagram, the videos disappear once they end; Facebook hangs onto them for later.

Now that we’ve had 48 hours to play with it, it’s time to get serious. How can your Canadian brand take advantage of Instagram Live? Here are some great ideas to get you started.

1. Broadcast Your Brand’s Personality

People buy into people, not brands, so Live gives you a chance to really show off the personalities behind your company. If you’re a small-to-medium sized business, this is the perfect way for you to peel back the curtain on your brand and give your followers a dose of what you’re really about without all the pretence that can often come with social media.

Whether it’s a quick daily rant, ‘Thought of the Day’ or something in the style of Gary Vaynerchuk (the master of Instagram Live), as long as it gives your followers an alternative perspective on your brand and an insight into something that you don’t normally show via social, you’ll win.

One key piece of advice: keep the Live sessions short and sharp, five to ten minutes maximum (unless the engagement is high). You want to leave people wanting more, keeping the attention for the duration of the session rather than having a ton of folks dropping out because you kept them too long.

2. Behind-The-Scenes & Live Events

Instagram Live is basically made for live event coverage. Whether you’re running the event or just attending, going Live during key entertaining or engaging moments can make your followers feel like they’re right there with you. From concerts to conferences, festivals to festivities, bring your tribe with you wherever you are (especially if you’re in VIP).

If your everyday life isn’t all velvet ropes and green rooms, an office tour or glimpse into the daily shenanigans of your company is just as valuable. You could even use it as a soft recruiting tool – when people see how much fun it is to work with your brand, you’ll save yourself a ton of time fishing on Craigslist.


3. Deliver Industry-Specific News

What is Live for if not a vehicle for news? This is especially valuable if you’re in an industry or segment that changes quickly – Live gives you an avenue to be at the forefront of breaking news for your followers.

Right now, the uptake in Canada for Live will be low. This is your chance to be a first-mover in your industry and really own the space moving forward. Even if you’re not in a fast-moving arena, there’s still room to be the first one speaking about industry changes in-depth, establishing your brand as a ‘thought leader’ and tech early adopter.

4. Q&A Session or Class

Winning at social is all about giving away quality, valuable information for free and nothing is really better than a class or a solid Q&A session. If you’re an influencer, industry-leader or someone of note in your specific arena, this is where you’re going to shine.

Going live will give your followers the chance to ask you a slew of questions on the spot about what equipment you use, how you manage your time, how you grew your profile; essentially how you do exactly what it is you do that makes you so successful. This information is invaluable and going Live will give your followers the opportunity to really pick your brain, to ask the big questions that you may not always answer via your social posts.

Broadcasting a tutorial on something your company does, a product, a skill, or anything that holds value and is relative to your follower base can be beyond valuable for your brand. If what you do requires a class, then set it up and put it out there. They’ll be coming back for more of that real 1-on-1 attention.


5. Showcase, Preview or Demo a Product

This is the counterpart for those offering a service. If your primary offering is a product, here is your chance to show it off in real-time to your followers so they can truly get to know it in-depth.

There’s so many ways you can do this. If you’re an artist, show some of your new work (new songs, new paintings, new designs), and explain it in detail. If you’re a retail store, show off some of the new items in stock, talk about how you can best utilize some of your hottest products. If you’re a company about to launch a crowdfunding campaign, here’s your chance to show-and-prove why you’re asking for money.

The Live functions of the major social networks are the future. Get on board early so you’re part of the conversation when it really blows up.

Need help incorporating new social media features into your marketing plan? Let’s work together. 

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