Everything a Small Business Owner Needs to Know About Instagram Live

With most of the world staying home right now, we are all looking for ways to connect while social distancing. We miss seeing our friends, family and colleagues in person and we need live social interactions now more than ever.

As society tries to adjust to this new normal, many of us have turned to social media to well, get social! Instagram Live has seen a 70% increase between the months of March-April 2020! Connecting live is an amazing way to help replace some of those day-to-day conversations we are craving.

And luckily for small business owners, Instagram Live is a really intuitive feature to use! Now is the perfect time for small businesses to test out Instagram Live. Not only is Instagram Live a great way to engage directly with your customers, but it’s also a very quick and cost-effective way for you to create content and promote your small business.

Instagram Live How-To: A Step-By-Step Guide For Small Businesses

If you’ve never hosted an Instagram Live before, it might seem daunting. Once you know what you want to do while live though, it’s actually very easy! Instagram live was very recently released to

Here is our easy step-by-step guide for small business owners on how to host an Instagram Live:

  1. Find and tap the camera icon in the top left of your Feed.
  2. Scroll to select Live then tap the Broadcast button.
  3. You or your viewers can add a comment anytime by tapping Comment.
  4. Once you are done with your Live session, tap End in the top right then tap to confirm.
  5. Afterwards, be sure to tap in the top left to save your Live video to your camera roll. Then you can share it to your story or feed.
instagram live

Pssst… Here are a few helpful hints about Instagram Live:

  • You can see the number of viewers at the top of the screen and their comments can be seen at the bottom
  • If there’s something important in the comments, you can tap a comment then tap ‘Pin Comment’ so stays at the top for easy viewing
  • As of April 2020, you can now view Instagram live sessions from desktop. Try it out — you may prefer the experience of watching Lives on a bigger screen.

7 Instagram Live Ideas for Small Businesses

Now that you know how to use Instagram Live, it’s time to brainstorm what you are actually going to do. There are so many ways a small business can use Instagram Live to connect with their customers right now. Here’s a few of our favorite ideas for small businesses to use Instagram Live:

1. Host a Live Sale: One of the things people are really missing right now is going to the store and browsing products. Why not help your followers enjoy some ‘virtual retail therapy’ by hosting a live auction? Video is a great way to show off products and gives your customers the chance to ask questions live before purchasing.

2. Behind-The-Scenes Tour: After spending so much time at home, people are looking for some type of escape! Take your customers on a series of tours and help them take a break from their own homes right now. People love a behind-the-scenes look into their favorite businesses – you can show off where you store your products, how you ship out their products, your home office or even what your business looks like during the pandemic.

3. Self-Care Challenge: Life is extra stressful right now. Can you help provide some helpful self-care activities to help your community relax? Think about some of the things that you love to do to relax and bring customers along on your favorite self-care routines like meditation, yoga, painting or baking. Bonus if you can incorporate your products or services into it!

4. How-To Tutorials: Some people are using this extra time at home to learn new skills. Are there any skills you can teach your customers? For example a restaurant could teach people how to plate their takeout food to look just like it would if they ordered it at your restaurant. Or a hair salon could provide some (much needed!) advice on how to give yourself or your partner a trim at home. This is great content to save and share to your feed later on.

5. Coffee Chats With a Friend: Nervous about doing an Instagram Live alone? Invite a friend to join you! Collaborate with another small business owner and pick a topic to just chat about! This could feel like a podcast episode and allows you to talk about anything from how you feel right now, how you are coping, how this is affecting your businesses.

6. Provide Entertainment for Kids: Everyone who is a parent is feeling extra exhausted right now and they are all running out of energy and ideas to keep their kids occupied! Can you help take a load off of parents by helping to keep their kids entertained, even just for 10-15 minutes? Host a sing along, do story time, a kid-friendly workout, introduce your pets, etc. Your customers will love you for thinking about their kids!

7. Get to Know Me Q&A: Have you ever taken the time to really introduce yourself to your Instagram followers? You and your customers might finally have a little extra time to spare so now is the perfect time to open up and let your customers get to know you.

Ask your followers to ask their questions in the comments then answer their questions live. People love getting to know the people behind their favorite businesses and it’s a great chance for you to share your story.

Instagram Live 2020

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