Restaurants Can Go Real-Time with Instagram Live

Instagram unwrapped an early Christmas gift for everyone last week by debuting their new feature – Instagram Live.

It’s much like Facebook Live, in which users can record and stream live video through their Instagram account. Unsurprisingly, Facebook owns Instagram.

Unlike Facebook Live, however, Instagram Live video doesn’t save to your account, so once you sign off, the video is gone forever. A lot like Snapchat.

Instagram Live appears in the Stories navigation bar up top of the app. Some users may get a notification when you go live. Notifications are determined by Instagram’s algorithm that decides who’s most likely to want to watch you live based on their previous interactions with your content. From there, your followers can leave comments and add “hearts” to the stream.

Not everyone has access to go live just yet, but Instagram is rolling it out to users over the course of the next couple of weeks.

How to start an Instagram Live video

The process for going live is pretty simple.

  1. Tap the camera icon (or the + icon) in the top left of the screen, or swipe right anywhere in your feed.
  2. Tap Live at the bottom of the screen and then tap Start Live Video.
  3.  Boom! You’re live! Have fun!

To turn comments off, tap *** and then select Turn Off Commenting.  When you’re done with the video, tap End in the top right and then tap again to confirm.

Three ideas for using Instagram Live

So how can your sports bar or restaurant use Instagram Live for your social media marketing? Here are just a few ideas:

Give ‘em a behind-the-scenes peek. Give your guests a behind-the-scenes look of your restaurant. Chat up with staff and show off tonight’s specials.

Make ‘em feel like they’re missing out. Show your followers what an amazing time they’re missing by sitting on their couch while people are having a blast watching the games at your bar. You can also give them peeks into any live music and entertainment you have going on, too.

Give ‘em some cooking classes. Your guests love your food, right? Have one of your cooks do a mini-cooking class by showing how to make one of their favorite appetizers. Or, similarly, have one of your talented bartenders show how to make a popular cocktail