WLTW: Pros and Cons of an IG Live Show

Each Friday Annie Schiffmann hosts What I Learned This Week a Facebook Live show to find out what artists have learned about promoting their work on social media. This week: the pros and cons of an Instagram Live show.

Why What I Learned This Week Began on IG Live

We started WLTW on IG Live for a few reasons.

First, it was a platform that we didn’t use all that often, and in January of 2018, it had started fairly recently. So it was worth playing with.

Second, we have more followers on our Instagram account than on our Facebook Page. So it made sense to connect with our audience where they were.

Third, IG Audiences are often more engaged than on other platforms. Since we were hoping the show was going to be interactive, it made sense to host it on a platform with maximum engagement.

IG Live Challenges

Once we started playing more on Instagram we noticed a few problems.

First, there was always a fear that someone would call on the phone. If this happens, the Live momentarily pauses - making it very easy for audiences to leave.

Second, once you have someone join your Instagram Live show, you are no longer to save the video. So then reposting it on IGTV, YouTube, or Facebook became a big pain. We would use a screen capturing app (the one that’s built into an iPhone X) to grab the video. The only problem there was that any time a notification came in, or someone called or texted you it would show up in the video. Not ideal. It was a huge time suck to try to get an uninterrupted video.

Finally, when there is a guest on the IG Live, the two accounts are stacked - one on top of the other. When other people comment on the video (which, of course, you WANT) the comments would scroll and cover their faces. Ultimately this just seemed too rude to do to our guests.

A Pro/Con on Time

Since Instagram Live shows disappear after 24 hours, the Downstage Media strategy was to upload them to IG TV so they could have a longer shelf life. IGTV has a ten minute maximum for non-verified accounts. Since Downstage’s account is not verified we had to make sure that the raw video was ten minutes long.

The ten minute time limit really helped to get the show tight. There isn’t a lot of stalling or wasting time on WLTW shows because there is such a concern about time. And that is a good thing.

But it’s never good when the conversation is flowing to have to cut off a guest. And that happened a few too many times for our liking. The IG Live could go longer, and then we’d edit it. But that just added much more work onto the process.

Bottom Line

There is absolutely a place in your strategy for Instagram Live. Think about the people capturing the Broadway performers out on the street singing and dancing during the recently NYC blackout - great use case.

An interview-type show on IG Live, though It’s more of a square peg in a round hole.


Join the Fun!

Want to share what you’ve learned? Create a post on IG or Twitter sharing what you learned and tag #WLTW.