It feels like everybody and their dog is hitting Instagram Live (as well Facebook and others of course) right now.

I’m definitely in that category of people experimenting with this side of social media.

It’s rare to peruse Instagram without several notifications popping up of friends and people seeking to best use their influence jumping on IG Live. As someone who has recently gone from zero to slightly more heroic, I thought I would share some quick tips on how to do Instagram Live well.

One thing is for certain, I’ve seen (and partaken) in a lot of awkward moments that would be better to leave behind.

1. Make a good first impression

We’re all aware of the obvious social importance of bringing your best face to new opportunities and conversations. However when it comes to live streaming, we tend to stare gormlessly at the camera or chunter away because we feel like no one is watching.

However, nothing could be further from the truth. People are jumping in to connect because Instagram really prioritises notifications for IG Live.

It’s just that there is a short delay between them joining and you seeing them join.

Many of us are missing that valuable moment to connect, say hi and most importantly retain those keen beans in the conversation.

Secondly, when people watch back when you share it to your story (which you should), those awkward first few moments are going to be what everybody sees.

We’ve all been there, but now might be a good time to stop.

2. Be aware of mic technique

Most of us are using the default mic inbuilt in your phone which tends to be fine for Instagram Live. Just be aware that this tends to be at the bottom of your phone. If you are using some sort of case or particularly a holder, be sure to check that this is not obscuring your sound as it can cause some tricky feedback loops or horrible noise that is rather hard to fix on the go.

If you are using an external mic, sometimes this can remove your ability to hear the other person.

It’s worthwhile testing these things if you’re doing anything complicated.

3. Interact with the comments

This is live after all and people love a good bit of interaction. Send out some shout outs (but not too many) and stir the crowd. You can also pin a comment (such as your own to have a link or otherwise) by pressing down on the comment.

It can be a great way to help direct your followers to your product, service or event.

4. Encourage sharing

There is a button to share in Instagram Live. This comes through as a direct message to whoever it is sent to.

This means that everybody in the live stream can share it with their friends.

Quite simply, do ask people to do that and share it with people. It’ll help more people get in the room.

5. Have a conversation

One of the great features in IG Live is the ability to bring others in the conversation. Not only is this much better watching and more enjoyable but it also alerts not only your followers but the second person’s followers to.

This is a great way to expand your reach and get your message to more people.

This happens for as many people join the call so if you have for example a 30 minute IG Live with three people on at different points then you’re creating quite a good opportunity for people to discover you.

If you can, it’s worth co-ordinating this in advance so it’s not awkward or wasting people’s time.

Attention and engagement is everything so five seconds of faff will lose some people.

6. Don’t move around too much

Camera movement can make us feel giddy and distracted. Try to keep to a single, simple shot for best engagement. Be aware of how close you are to the camera too – if you’re miles away, the shot might look nicer but we might struggle to connect.

7. Keep it short and sweet

There’s nothing worse than getting bored when it comes to Instagram. If you’re out of content, wrap this thing up.

It’s much better to leave us wanting more because everything about this Instagram Live is telling us whether we want to come check out your next one.

8. Tweak your lighting

Lighting really is such a big (and often easy) part of getting a great shot. Don’t have your back to a window and try to use natural daylight where you can. More is generally better.

9. Think about vertical positioning

By default we tend to be looking down at your phone but this can not always be the most flattering perspective. Hello #DoubleChin. Get a phone holder of some sort or get someone to help you set the perfect shot.

10. Don’t forget to share it to your story

The great thing about Instagram Live is that you have the option to share this to your story which will be there for 24 hours.

You also have the opportunity in that time to download your video.

This can be really useful in terms as a long-form piece of content to derive smaller snippets and bitesize portions to be used in other places on social media.

Maximise the moments you’ve created to increase your potential impact.

Are there any other things you’ve learnt along the way when it comes to Instagram Live? Let me know in the comments below.

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