Just when you think you’ve got to grips with the latest social media update, a new one is just around the corner. Lately you may have seen several messages pop up in your Instagram notifications saying “@username invites you to join their Broadcast Channel”, which no doubt has raised a few questions. What is a ‘Broadcast Channel’? Do we need one? Amy, our social media manager is here to answer all these questions, and more.
What are Instagram Broadcast Channels?
The easiest way to think of an Instagram Broadcast Channel is a WhatsApp chat between an Instagram Creator and its followers, or if you can remember, YouTube’s Community Tab. Anyone with a Creator account on Instagram can create one and invite all their followers into this mass group chat. Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri said that users are shifting more to private messages, and this feature allows Creators to capitalise.
How do Instagram Broadcast Channels work and should I create one?
Firstly, if you are going to create an Instagram Broadcast Channel you must have a Creator account. These types of profiles have a variety of special features, including follower insights, profile flexibility and shoppable posts.
Two important things to bear in mind before creating a Broadcast Channel
- Creators can only reach followers who have electively joined
- Followers cannot reply, only react with emojis
It is still a valuable tool giving creators a direct way to interact and create a more accessible relationship with their followers.
Building more personal relationships can help create excitement for product launches, give exclusive behind-the-scenes insight or share critical information with your followers without worrying it will get lost in their feed or amongst the algorithm. It also provides a quick way to react to any breaking news in your industry, creating a more conversation-led engagement with your followers. Both can be done, but with Broadcast Channels it can be done a lot quicker and give a gauge on how your following will respond.
Despite having many advantages, as will all of Instagram’s features and updates it has its flaws. I’m sure we’ve all heard our friends, family and colleagues say lately ‘can people stop asking me to join their broadcast channels?!’ I ended up turning off the notifications as my Instagram was being flooded with the constant requests.
To have a follower join your Broadcast Channel they must already be invested in your brand, its offering and social media content. Additionally, as with all new social media platforms and updates, you must make sure that you have the manpower and expertise to use this feature to the best of its ability. It can be very tempting to create a Broadcast Channel, ask followers to join, send out one message, and then forget about it. It must be incorporated into your wider social media strategy to be used most effectively.
How can I incorporate it into my existing social media strategy?
One of the key objectives of most social media strategies, and most comms strategies in general, is to create an engaged community for your organisation. Broadcast Channels would be extremely helpful in doing so and could even result in increased engagement on your organic Instagram posts as followers become more aware of your content and the algorithm adapts accordingly.
Maximise your content
Broadcast Channels don’t just use text, you can post videos, photos, voice notes and polls, to keep your content engaging and exciting to followers. This is the perfect opportunity for you to repurpose content from Instagram, and other platforms, to see how it lands with your channel audience. You can also answer some commonly asked questions about your business or brand in an effective way that reaches your most invested customers. It is an effective way to get customer feedback, asking your following questions that they can react to which will then help shape your social media, and wider marketing, strategy.
Use Broadcast Channels as part of their journey
An important part of a social media strategy is to get followers off the platform and onto your website, to either learn more about your business or purchase a product. The Broadcast Channels offer you a direct line to existing and potential customers, linking them through to the website for exclusive product teasers or early access. If you typically publish exclusive content on each channel, this can provide additional visibility and help with cross-promotion. As for now, Broadcast Channels are only available on Instagram however Meta did announce in early 2023 that it would eventually make its way over to Facebook.
As with all social media updates and features, it is very easy to get sucked in by the latest shiny new toy. Before delving into these, and spreading your team any further, it is important to decide if it will really benefit your business and its wider objectives.
If you need help with your social media strategy or want to chat further about how we can help elevate your social media and content, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be pleased to have an initial chat.