Live & clicking: How to leverage the new IG 'Live Rooms' feature


5 ways you can make Instagram's smart new 'Live Rooms' feature work hard for your brand.

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There’s one thing you can rely on with social media platforms: they’re constantly changing. Or at least, the successful ones do, and they have to – unless they want to end up on the pixel heap of the past (ahem, I’m looking at you Google+, Myspace and Vine). They have to stay on point by changing features, updating rules, improving tools and, of course, tweaking their mystical algorithms. Brands can stay on top of global trends and carefully watch for channel announcements, but these changes come as a surprise in most cases, which forces social media managers, digital marketers and influencers to quickly leverage the new features.

However, we’ve noticed one trend we can rely on: Facebook and IG are pretty good at looking at competitor models with unique features and then creating their versions. A few examples: Snapchat Snaps versus IG Stories; TikTok videos versus Reels; crowdfunding tools like GoFundMe and Venmo versus Facebook’s Personal Fundraiser. And now, Instagram has just announced its latest new feature. The live group appeal of the Clubhouse app has been used as inspiration, and the result: Live Rooms, which, once launched, will let you go live on IG with up to three other people – and anyone can use it.

The biggest benefits? IG Live during lockdown was used to interview celebs, make people fitter and healthier, share cook-a-long recipes and make-up routines, offer jam sessions for musicians, and even help show record-breaking rap battles. Now IG Live is even more powerful, and here’s why. Live Rooms offers greater reach, as all your live guests’ followers are also notified in every live session. There are more opportunities to drive sales and new ways to interact with audiences – and all in real-time.

Now you know what a ‘Live Room’ is, and that it will be easy to use once available. The question is, do you know how to make it work for your brand? Here’s how:

1. YOU CAN SET UP EPIC SELLING TEAMS.

We’re huge believers in streaming live product demos and tutorials – and in our opinion, shopstreaming is the future of e-commerce. Video is proven to be the king of digital content, and now this Live Rooms feature offers real-time selling through IG Live Shopping during the demos and tutorials. You can team up your most charismatic brand ambassadors and influencers, and the money will flow in.

2. you can create custom creator sessions and share live performances.

These can be impromptu jam sessions for musicians and creatives, or meet-ups and Q&A sessions for influencers – and they can be done from just about anywhere. Not only does this give your consumers real-time access to experts, but there are also plenty of collaborative opportunities for content creators to work with both influencers and consumers. Best of all, it’s inclusive – there are no costs or barriers to entry.

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3. host tailored events.

Whether it’s interactive quiz shows, competitions, panel chats, interactive fitness / cooking / baking classes, or even slick Ted-Talk type webinars, this Live Rooms feature offers new ways of speaking to your consumers – and you don’t need a third-party hosting site or service.

4. get feedback from your consumers.

That’s right, you can do free market research and audience feedback sessions. You can hear directly from your consumers and fans in real-time, and it can help with product development or improving your brand service. Not only does this offer plenty of opportunities for gaining valuable insight, but if you get this right, you might earn some more community loyalty.

5. earn additional money for creators and brands.

Separate to the Live Shopping feature, Live Rooms has a built-in monetisation option which relies on live viewers buying ‘badges’ for their favourite content creators – which is kind of like tipping them in real-time. But it doesn’t end there, brands and creators can also use the interactive Live Fundraiser feature too.

This smart new tool from IG really allows marketing teams to get creative, as there are so many ways they can use it to engage their audiences and build brand love. Keen to be one of the first brands to make their Live Rooms debut? We hope so, because we’re sitting around our ‘virtual table’ with a tonne of awesome ideas in front of us just chomping at the bit to bring them to life. Ready, steady, let’s go live!