BEAM - How to use Reels, Stories and Live Video on Your Social Media

Reels, Stories and Live streaming videos have increased in importance in the last 5 years, engaging and capturing customers’ imaginations across all social media platforms. Understanding what these different features mean for your lampshade-making business is all explained in today’s BEAM post, and we've shared our ideas on the type of content that we feel suits each medium, with the hope you’ll consider using these influential tools, as part of your social media strategy.





Reels

Instagram Reels

Introduced in 2020 to compete with the popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels are just 60 seconds long, and unlike Stories, these stay on your feed.


How to use

The key to Reels is to create snappy engaging content which is authentic and personal but still reflects your brand. Great for inspiring and educating your customers, reels help you show customers things they didn’t know about your lampshades


Features of Reels

  • Reels' built-in editing tools allow multiple video clips, filters, captions, interactive backgrounds, stickers and more

  • Reels appear in your Instagram feed, your profile page, and on the Explore page. The latter is important as users who don’t follow you can easily find your content

  • If your Reels are shared on Instagram Stories (see below) they will disappear

  • Instagram will recommend trending Reels for users based on their interests and algorithms.


Reels Content Ideas for Lampshade Makers

  • How to clean a lampshade

  • Different types of light fittings your lampshades can be used with captions.

  • Behind the scenes

  • Showing your lampshade making process


Note: Facebook also introduced Reels in Spring 2022, but the take-up seems on Facebook seems not to have the impact that it does on Instagram. As Meta owns both companies, you can share between platforms, which you’ll be reminded of when you upload an Instagram Reel and if you have a presence on Facebook there’s no harm in doing this so your content is seen across both platforms.


Stories

Instagram and Facebook

Stories are the immediate and in-the-moment marketing, that needs to state exactly what’s happening now or coming up since they disappear after 24 hours. Both offer the opportunity to drive traffic to your website, blog, selling platforms and social media posts.


Features of Stories

Stories are only available for 24 hours and can be made up of images and video, on both Instagram and Facebook.


Facebook has editable with texts, filters, stickers, audio, including useful call to action (CTA) buttons and are prominently displayed at the top of your screen, ensuring your content gets seen on both the web version and the Facebook app.


Instagram has a similar range of features to Facebook and Stories appear at the top of the mobile app in the form of avatar circles that can be clicked on bu users to be instantly taken to your Stories.


Stories Content Ideas for Lampshade Makers

  • Promote a forthcoming sale or special offer that starts after the 24 hours

  • Teaser of new product launches or lampshades you’ve made followed by a more detailed post within a couple of days

  • User-generated content (UGC)– share images of your lampshades in your customer’s homes, when they tag you in and conversely remember to tag them in

  • A taster of new blog posts or services that you are offering that are linked

  • Promotion of competitions and giveaways that are linked to your Facebook or Instagram announcement post

  • A day in the life – be personal share your morning snack, your making habits, your dog, your favourite radio station and build a personal picture of what your day is like, inviting your followers in!

  • Reposts of your own posts – using just one image you can highlight your post so your coverage across the platform is succient and consistent


Live Stream


Instagram, YouTube and Facebook

Live Streaming has been a big factor of social media platforms for a number of years now, and to use live streaming for your business you’ll need to consider your objectives for live videos and possibly invest in a small amount of equipment, depending on the platform.


Instagram Live

Notifying your followers as soon as you start a live stream, Instagram Live is easy to use and on a platform where reels are becoming fast the go-to content, this medium fits perfectly in this highly visual environment.


Features of Instagram Live

  • Straight forward to operate, Instagram Live can be launched directly from your phone, and the platform allows you to do a practice session beforehand.

  • Offering the added benefit of being able to co-host a live stream with other Instagram users collaborative live streams are possible.

  • Live stream videos can be saved, archived and posted on your profile for followers to watch later

  • Live chat options are available

  • Thirds party hardware and software cannot be used directly with Instagram

  • Free to use


Facebook Live

Easy to use, needing only a mobile phone and an internet connection, Facebook Live

allows viewers to react, share, and comment during the stream, which is made available to everyone in your Facebook Feed.


Features of Facebook Live

  • Launched directly from your phone, Facebook Live requires no specialist equipment and usefully the platform allows you to do a practice session beforehand

  • A recording of the video is also published to the page or profile so it can be watched again later

  • Live chat options are available, as well as Live Polls, featured links, Live stories, badges and more

  • Free to use


YouTube Live

YouTube, known predominantly for its video content is, in fact, a social media platform in its own right. YouTube Live is its streaming function that allows you to connect with your follower in real-time.


Features of YouTube Live

  • To live stream on YouTube on a mobile device, you must have at least 1,000 subscribers.

  • YouTube allows you to make your videos private, unlisted, or public, which gives you to control the access level of the stream or video you are posting.

  • Has both 'Stream Now' and 'Events', the latter allows you to pre-scheduled live events, invite people to the event and use higher higher-quality cameras connected to encoders.

  • Best platform for SEO due to YouTube being owned by Google, meaning Live videos are ranked highly.

  • Free to use


Live Stream Content Ideas for Lampshade Makers

  • Workshops or Masterclass

  • Product launches

  • Q&A - pre-write or ask followers to send questions in advance of the live stream

  • Ask me Anything (AMA) a popular format for sharing expert knowledge

  • Product demonstration

  • Hints and tips – finding the right size lampshade for a lamp base

  • Free online classes – maybe consider a smaller product, such as making a lantern as a taster for your face-to-face workshops

  • Interview a fellow lampshade maker who you admire and have learnt from

  • A peek behind the scenes – share a live stream of your workshop, products and materials


More tips for holding a Live Stream Workshop?

Speaking from experience, after hosting three YouTube Live workshops during lockdown, we created our own step-by-step guide of what to consider before and after going live in our How to run your own virtual lampshade making workshop post. From promotion to equipment to format, the post is packed with hints and tips to get you started running your own Live workshops.



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