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“According to statistics, 80% of brand audiences would instead participate in a live stream of the brand than consume any other form of brand posts.”

Facebook and Instagram Live are both growing in popularity, for makers and consumers alike. When one of the members of the Artisanry Co. community asked for more information on how to use these tools, we decided it would make a great topic for one of our virtual coffee sessions.

These digital meetings are one of the ways that we share marketing tips with the makers in our community, encouraging a conversation of growth. Our recent discussion on Facebook and Instagram Live left everyone excited to use the platforms and connect with their audience in real-time.

Facebook and Instagram Live lets you stream events, performances and moments as they happen. You can do this either on the Instagram or Facebook mobile app or on the desktop for Facebook.  Viewers can watch as the action unfolds and react by liking, commenting, etc.

Facebook Live vs. Instagram Live

Although owned by the same company, Facebook and Instagram Live are two different live streams. So while they are similar in many ways, they serve a slightly different purpose.

Similarities

Both social media platforms send push notifications to your followers when you start a live stream. This alerts your followers to jump online and join the session. They are also similar in that viewers can engage with the video by commenting and reacting.

Once the stream is finished, both platforms provide analytics for the session. This is very useful in knowing what could work for future live streams.

Facebook specifics

  • Not all followers are notified at the start of a stream
  • Once complete, the stream is part of your profile for as long as you want (just like a regular post)

Instagram specifics

  • All followers are notified and the live session is placed as a priority in the “stories” feed
  • Once complete, the stream is only available for 24 hours

Overall, Facebook Live works better as a permanent feature on your profile, while Instagram live is more effective for getting a wider reach.

Top tip: if you want to keep your Instagram Live session, then you can screen record your stream.

Benefits of going live

The benefits of using live streams are plentiful, especially for artisans. One of the top perks is the opportunity to build an authentic relationship with your audience.

It’s a great way to share immediate information to an engaged audience (in real-time). This is particularly effective when sharing exciting news, such as a launch, or showcasing moments that are best experienced live.

Live streams are known to have a broader reach than normal posting, this is largely due to the push notifications that are sent to your followers. Once you have your followers engaged, you can build relationships with them and drive them to your social media pages.

Another fantastic benefit of going live in the assurance of creating unique content without breaking the bank. A live session is a cost-effective video strategy.

Going live in the world of artisans

There are countless fun ideas to use in a live stream. As a creative, you can use your imagination to think of even more. But to get the ball rolling, here are a few ideas to begin.

  • Host a Q&A – this could be about your process, getting to know you as the maker, discuss a theme in your art such as sustainability, etc.
  • Put together a virtual exhibition
  • Share behind-the-scenes of the making process
  • Discuss a launch of a product or exhibition
  • Collaborate with a guest and host a discussion
  • Build hype about your commissions soon to be on Artisanry Co. online shop

How to optimize your live stream

One of the best parts about hosting a Facebook or Instagram Live is the organic way in which the session unfolds. There’s an authentic connection with the audience and an opportunity to showcase your personality.

With this in mind, there are still a few ways to make sure that you leverage your live session.

Firstly, emphasize the urgency of your live stream. Why are you going live? Why can your story not be a normal post? Use your regular posts and stories to promote the upcoming live session and encourage your followers to join you.

During the session, encourage people to engage with you. You can ask your audience to comment, “say hi” or give you some love. Alternatively, you can ask questions during the stream and encourage your followers to respond.

Invite another maker or someone in your community to join your live stream and add them as a guest (on Instagram). By doing so, you’re cross-pollinating audiences while providing unique content.

While organic streams are sometimes the most effective, it’s a good idea to practice and plan what you want to share. Especially if it’s your first stream and you’re feeling a little bit nervous.

Don’t forget to promote your brand throughout the session. People have joined to hear from you, so don’t feel shy to tell them all about yourself. Constantly give context for people joining mid-stream, reminding them of the purpose of the session, who you are, and that you’re grateful for them joining.

Join the Artisanry Co. Community

Begin building your online network by joining the Artisanry Co. community. We offer a supportive and inclusive community for small, independent UK-based makers, helping take care of the business side of the creative process. 

We also have some exciting news!

We’ve started the countdown to the launch of our online shop. Soon, you’ll be able to connect with the makers in our community and order handmade, bespoke pieces of functional and aesthetic art. If you’re a maker yourself, you’ll be able to sell your products on an ethical platform that prioritises the creative community. Make sure that you sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest happenings.