Instagram is one of the most popular social networks that can be used by streamers as another way to keep up with community. Along with interaction on a personal level, it’s possible to use Instagram for channel promotion. Statistically, women use Instagram more often than men. This is also true for the gaming world: female gamers on Twitch are more likely to have successful Instagram accounts if compared to male ones. Below are some useful tips on how to make Instagram work for you.
Is It Possible to Use Instagram for Game Live Streaming?
Although Instagram refers to live-streaming platforms, it cannot be used as an analogue to Twitch or other live-streaming service. With Instagram, it’s impossible to use OBS and other encoding software or save the full video of your broadcast, as you can only go live from your smartphone. Launched in 2017, Instagram’s Live Stories let you post the live videos in your “Story” Section with the availability of the content within 24 hours. The only thing you can do with the stories is making highlights and posting them to the special Instagram section below your profile photo. Live videos on Instagram allow you to record maximum a 1-hour video that will be automatically erased after you go offline. Both of these live-streaming options are not suitable for game streaming. So, if you want to try Instagram for live-streaming, use it as an additional way of your Twitch stream promotion.
So, when is Instagram a perfect choice?
- When you want to create a community of loyal watchers
- If you love making photos and can’t stand sharing them with the world
- In case you want to share some moments of your personal, not streaming-related life
And when not?
- If your existing Instagram audience has no interest in video gaming. But, you can always create a new separated account associated with your Twitch page
- If you want to keep your personal and Twitch life separate
- In case you don’t like visual content and have no idea of what to post to your Instagram
Best Instagram Practices from the Popular Streamer
Before we talk about some Twitch stream promotion tips for Instagram, let’s look at what other streamers are doing on Instagram. The list is not here to compare or copy. It only shows you some things that already work for streamers. When looking to somebody’s experience, never underestimate yourself and use all your creativity to stand out.
He is one of top 20 Twitch influencers who managed to attract the largest audience. On Instagram, Ninja has about 12 million of followers. In its majority, his Instagram posts feature short gaming clips from his Fortnite streams. There are also random photos of his daily routine and personal life which help people behind the screen better understand the things that the streamer enjoys.
This Dutch girl living in Norway is an example of a socially active streamer. Though she started streaming not so long ago (in August 2018), her following on Twitch has already exceeded over 1000. Among Gloss’ passions are people, gaming (EVE Online, ARK, Path of Exile, The Forest, Layers of Fear, SCUM), creativity, philosophy, and traveling – all these things you’ll find in her Instagram. She posts funny gaming memes, daily selfies, and professional shots, always accompanied by nice and humorous captions. Goldshiregloss is also good at placing relevant hashtags within every post.
If you visit Allie’s page, you will definitely stay there for a long. This gamer girl has a very light and positive Instagram account and excellent writing skills. Allie is a Heatherstone competitive player who travels the world and takes part in Blizzard tournaments. That’s why she gets so many wonderful pics from various places. When Allie is up for a new trip, wait to see many Stories on her Instagram.
With more than 2 million Twitch and 10 million YouTube subscribers, Syndicate has a popular Instagram account. Tom’s page is very personal with almost no gaming news. The focus is his daily life, pictures of family, pets (Tom has a lovely cat Gadsby and a bearded dragon Steeven), etc. Despite of his popularity, Syndicate is very simple-minded and sincere person. His Instagram shots don’t have a single colour-grade and style, but Tom probably doesn’t need it. His more than 1,6 million Instagram audience speaks for itself.
Dumm is a 31-year old partnered streamer who enjoys playing console/FPS games (WoW, Overwatch, etc.). She describes herself as “a nerdy gamer” that loves LOTR and Star Wars. Her Instagram account is related to streaming and games. Dumm also posts a plenty of personal photos, funny memes and announcements of the next streams. Though there are only 202 subscribers for now, Dummblond Instagram is on the right way: she has managed to build strong relationships with her followers. Everything the girl posts on Instagram is full of genuine love for gaming.
Pokemane is completing our list with a very bright and eccentric Instagram account. The girl managed to achieve an impressive following of more than 2,5 million people. Her professional photos and video highlights are pleasure to watch. Pokemane’s Instagram content is mostly personal and full of selfies and portrait photos. She also uses her account to promote clothing of her own brand.
Twitch Stream Promotion Tips for Instagram
Have a Schedule
Many people tend to post their content when they get a nice picture or have a mood to say something. But if you have decided to use Instagram for stream promotion, you should know when you fans are online. Decide on date and time when you can go live or post something. If you provide regular live streams, remember to notify your audience about the exact broadcasting time so that they can adjust their plans. Provide a temporary post announcing your live stream a day before and share Instagram stories some hours before the broadcast to remind about yourself. To get more information about your Instagram activity, convert your account into a business profile. Thus, you will get the information about what days and times most of your fans are online and which content is more popular.
N.B. If you have an inspiration to share something right now, do it via Stories. Or you can just save your thoughts in the notes and share them later.
Plan Your Content
You can make improvisational posts, but in majority try to plan your content beforehand. You should have an idea of what you are going to say during live streams. Elaborate the main concept for your content and visual effects of your posts. Don’t ignore writing long and catchy descriptions. Instagram is a place where you tell stories and open up the veil of your personal life.
Here are some content ideas for your Twitch stream promotion via Instagram:
- Share the “behind the scenes” stuff, for example, show how you prepare for your broadcasts, do a room or studio tour, show your backstage or take pictures of your setup.
- Post some personal stuff: the picture of your haircut or your pet (just take a look at Lirik account: his most common posts are the photos of cats). Fan love to know you better and become more connected.
- Provide tutorials, educative live streams, sharing some valuable info about your tools, techniques, etc.
- For your Instagram stories you can use the following ideas: a) making a video about your setup, showing your working place; b) tell people when you are going live and what game you are going to play; c) organize Q&A’s, use polls; d) provide reviews of the game you are playing; e) share any of your interests besides streaming: films, music, cooking, etc.
Although Instagram videos disappear from the app and you don’t need a perfect sound and video, try to make your streams and photos look professional. Avoid shaky camera and dark lighting, especially if you make tutorials. A simple tripod or gooseneck mount can be handy. As for the lighting, you don’t need anything special – natural daily light or a well-lit room. In case your shots or live streams seem to be dark, use a softbox lighting. Having a good phone microphone will make you sound better without background noises.
One of the basic and simple promotion tip for all Instagram users is using right hashtags. They don’t need to be the popular ones, but rather relevant to your area of interest. Before inventing your own hashtags, remember to check out existing hashtags for the game you are streaming. Use some of these tools to find relevant hashtags for your posts: Hashtagify.me, All-hashtag.com, Displaypurposes.com.
To create a dedicated audience, don’t just follow as many people as you can. Find relevant accounts of people that you really want to see. Try to leave meaningful and interesting comments,not just “wow”, “it’s cool” or something like this. Watching other people’s stories make them wonder who you are and why you are watching their channel. Provide giveaways only when you have a strong following. There are a lot of ways to organize a promotional giveaway on Instagram: Like to Win contests, Tag a friend, Post a picture, Share this post.
With all that said, Instagram provides a lot of promotional options and can be easily used by streamers as an additional channel to help you stay in touch with your community. In order to come up with your own content ideas and style, read and watch other streamers that you like on Instagram. Try to understand why you like them, what makes them funny, interesting, standing out. There will always be some gaps and new ways to make the same things better.