Instagram is known for consistently adding new features for its users, especially since the boom of marketing and business expansion via the platform. One of the most popular features is Instagram live, which was introduced in November of 2016.
Over 1 million users watch Instagram Live Video every day, so this feature is a good one to implement if you’re looking for new ways to engage your followers and expand your exposure on Instagram.
What is Instagram Live?
Instagram live came on the tail end of Instagram stories, allowing users to broadcast live streams via the Instagram story feature. This makes content immediate and gives users a minute-by-minute look into their favorite accounts.
When you go live on Instagram, you can connect with your users in real time for up to 4 hours.
Some common things that people do via Instagram live streams include:
- Q and A sessions
- Product feature videos
- Collaborative discussions with other users
- Behind the scenes
These aren’t the only possibilities, but they are some of the most common types of content that people put out via the feature.
An Instagram live video appears in the stories feed to the users that follow you. It will have a pulsing colored ring around your account’s profile picture and it will say “LIVE.” Users will also receive a notification that your account is live.
Also, Instagram users who have live video broadcasting get pushed to the front of the Instagram story feed, so you’ll be able to be seen by your followers as soon as they open the app. 82% of people prefer watching live videos to seeing in-feed social media posts, indicating that you should be using Instagram live when you can.
You can also include other profiles and users in your video to do a collaborative Instagram live, which is great for partnerships and features. Viewers have the chance to comment right into the Instagram live feed, and you can respond to them in real time.
Now, Instagram has introduced the shopping feature, which means when you’re going live on Instagram to discuss different products, users will be able to shop from directly within the Instagram live feed, which is a huge deal for brands and businesses, and even influencers who are working to promote products.
While Instagram live is a great feature that offers a world of possibilities, as with any other tech feature, you may encounter some issues. It can be very frustrating if you have issues with Instagram live, especially if you’re trying to get things going and you just can’t get on.
Here we’ll discuss some common issues that occur with the feature as well as the best troubleshooting tips to help you get things on the road again.
How to Fix Instagram Live Problems
It can be tough to figure out what the problem is when your Instagram live isn’t working, and there are a couple things that you may be experiencing:
- You can’t find the Instagram live feature at all
- You can’t view Instagram live videos
- Your Instagram live video won’t start
- Instagram live closes out and force closes the app
- Your video quality is frozen, lagging, or unclear
Before you worry too much, you should check for any updates and make sure that your device is working properly.
Here are some things you can do to troubleshoot your Instagram live:
- Try restarting Instagram. Sometimes mobile apps simply bug out and they need to be refreshed. Close out of Instagram and wait around 30 seconds. Reopen the app and see if the feature has been refreshed as well.
- Restart your device. You may want to restart your device altogether and see if that will help to reset your Instagram app. Wait around 30 seconds and then turn your device back on, then open Instagram for a fresh session.
- Open Instagram on a different device. If you find that Instagram live isn’t working on the primary device that you’re trying to use it on, you can try opening it from another device and see if the feature becomes functional again. Along the same lines, if you have an alternate Instagram account, you can try opening that one and see if the Instagram live issue is across all accounts, or just your primary one.
- Check for Instagram outages. Sometimes Instagram goes down or has trouble on its end, so it may be something you just need to wait out.
- Reinstall the app. If none of the previous options work, you could uninstall the app and reinstall it to see if that resolves the issues with Instagram live.
Solutions for Instagram Live Didn’t Work
If the above solutions didn’t help Instagram live to come back up, you may need to get in contact with Instagram via their support center. They can help you to diagnose and troubleshoot the issue so that it can come back up, as well as let you know if it’s something that’s going on because of Instagram itself.
It’s important to keep your followers informed; if you’ve been promoting an Instagram live session and you can’t go live due to tech issues, make sure to release an Instagram story that explains it to your followers.
If you don’t, they may consider you to be flaky or that you don’t follow through when you promise something. Let them know you’re having tech issues and that as soon as you can you’ll update them to get the Instagram live back on track.
Give them some content via Instagram stories that can make up for it; ask them to engage with your IG stories using interactive features like polls, asking questions, ratings, and quizzes. Then they’ll be able to participate and you can get some valuable information from your followers that you can feature when you are able to go live on Instagram.
Instagram Live Tips
Now that we’ve gone over some troubleshooting options for Instagram live, we’re going to give you some tips that can help you make sure your streams are a success when you use the feature.
It’s always good to continue to expand your understanding of Instagram features and try out some new, innovative ideas on your account, so you can employ these five tips and take your Instagram Live broadcasts to the next level.
Promote in Advance
One of the most important things you can do to gain more viewers for your Instagram live is to let your followers know in advance that it’s coming. You should consider your Instagram live video sort of like an in-person event: let people know when it’s happening and give them a chance to be prepared to check it out.
Give them information about when, what, where, and why you are going live. You can use your Instagram to promote, via Instagram stories, as well as your in-feed content.
Not only that, you should market your Instagram live session on other social media networks to funnel traffic to your Instagram account. You can also include information in any email marketing or newsletters that you have going out.
You can target a specific segment of your leads through email marketing, which is valuable if you feel that your Instagram live is especially beneficial for or appealing to a particular part of your audience.
You can notify your followers and leads a day before, or even a few days in advance to build up interest in the event. Make sure that you give them a reason as to why they certainly don’t want to miss it and what they will get out of viewing your Instagram live.
Engage Your Viewers
One of the most attractive features of Instagram live is that it gives you the opportunity to engage in real-time with your followers and viewers. Any attendees can comment as your video is going on, so you can see what they’re saying and give shoutouts or respond to them.
You aren’t necessarily required or expected to engage with every content, but try to stay on track and don’t ignore the engagement that your followers are putting forth.
This is an opportunity for you to truly connect with your audience; this can be in the form of a question that comes into your live session, or acknowledging comments from your followers. When you give your users real-time attention, this builds a bond and increases loyalty.
If you need help as you are doing your live, you may have a partner or co-worker track the comments and star the ones that you will be replying to. You can also do a Q and A at the end of your session to make things more manageable.
Plan Your Live
If you have something that just popped up and you really need to get some time-sensitive information out to your followers spontaneously, you can still do that. In general, however, you should take time to plan out your Instagram live and set specific goals and markers for your broadcast.
You don’t have to plan everything out word for word; in fact, Instagram live is known to be a more casual and engaging content format, but you should have at least a rough outline as well as a goal for your Instagram live broadcast.
You can use the SMART format for setting goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-sensitive.
When you have your objectives set, you should create a schedule/outline for your Instagram live video. Are you going to be doing a Q and A session? It’s a good idea to get some questions from your followers in advance via Instagram stories so that you can respond to them during the live.
Doing a behind the scenes, product preview, educational session, office tour? There are tons of things that you can incorporate into your Instagram live, but if you don’t set it up in advance, you will be left sitting there hoping that people engage and that you can think of something to say.
Link to Any Products Via Instagram Shopping
If you’re doing a product feature or sharing information about things that you want your followers to purchase, make sure you prepare by setting up your Instagram shopping feature in advance and linking to the products from within your Instagram live.
This is a fairly recent addition to Instagram live, so you may want to check out Instagram’s guide to setting up live shopping so that you can prepare this in advance and make sure you feel comfortable using the feature.
End with a CTA
When you are finished with your Instagram live and ready to wrap things up, you’ll conclude by thanking your viewers, thank any co-hosts or anyone else involved in the live, and also provide your viewers with a call to action.
After all, the idea is that you reach your goals via Instagram live, and by asking your followers to do something specific, you are more likely to reach those goals.
Remind them to follow you if they don’t already; you may have other specific goals like filling out a form, liking your content, sharing with a friend— you should align your CTA to match whatever your objective was for your live video.
You want your CTA to be clear but also avoid being too salesy or desparate. The more authentic and engaging you can be, the more likely users will be to follow your CTA.
Final Thoughts: Instagram Live Not Working
It can be frustrating when you’re trying to do something on Instagram and it won’t allow you to. That’s especially the case with Instagram live, considering you’ve likely put some time and effort into getting ready and then you’re simply left with no way to get your content out.
If you are trying and just can’t get access to Instagram live, you might record your content instead and post it as an Instagram story or an IGTV video. That way, you don’t have to waste your day completely and can still get some interesting content out to your followers.
When IG live comes back up, you can reschedule your broadcast and use the above 5 tips to make it even better.
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