Do you want to ensure your most important messages reach your followers on Instagram? Then, it would help if you tried Instagram broadcast channels.
This feature was initially introduced in February 2023, but only for specific accounts. Now, channels are available to all users with a Creator profile this month. The Broadcast channel is a one-to-many messaging option on Instagram designed to help creators maintain a more exclusive chat experience with their most devoted followers.
This short guide will help you learn everything you need to know about Instagram broadcast channels.
Let’s get started.
- What are Instagram broadcast channels
- What are the benefits of using Instagram broadcast channels
- How to create an Instagram broadcast channel
- Four tips to maximise Instagram broadcast channels
What are Instagram broadcast channels?
Source: About Instagram
If you want to understand what Instagram broadcast channels are, imagine a conversation in your Instagram DMs, but the messages come in from only one side.
This is the best way to explain what Instagram broadcast channels are because everything else resembles receiving a DM from a friend.
Here is how:
- Followers can react to the Instagram broadcast channel updates that a creator posts and vote in polls.
- If you look at the image above, you can probably guess that channels created by creators can be found in a followers’ Instagram DMs inbox.
Quick fact for social media managers: Meta, formerly named Facebook, Inc., also owns WhatsApp and has rolled out broadcast channels on WhatsApp as well. If your audience is active on WhatsApp, you could consider starting a broadcast channel there.
What are the benefits of using Instagram broadcast channels?
From a business perspective, there are a few key benefits to investing time and resources in staying active on an Instagram broadcast channel.
1. Build and interact more directly with followers
The beauty of broadcast channels is you get to interact with your account followers more directly thanks to the messaging platform-like set-up.
Take Tank Sinatra, a meme sensation, as an example.
While he uses his main feed to post content, he uses his channel to update his closest followers on merch he is releasing. He updates them before he updates the rest of his followers on his main feed, which helps foster a deeper connection with his biggest fans.
2. Make important announcements
If you run your company’s social media and are active on other platforms, you could use your Instagram broadcast channel to announce the new newsletter or a new article posted on the blog.
Alternatively, if you are an entertainer, author, or entrepreneur who frequently travels to meet fans, announcements are part of getting people excited for the event.
While your main feed may not be the best place for these types of announcements (since you do not want an event or newsletter announcement to live forever on your feed), your broadcast channel could be exactly where it should go.
Josh Richards, a media personality, uses channels to update his followers if he drops a new trailer or a new TikTok video.
3. Get feedback from followers
While followers can not reply to your messages in the broadcast channel, they can react to your messages and vote in your polls.
This is a great way to ask your followers what they think. Here are some ways you could employ this benefit in your own strategy:
- Ask channel followers what they think of new merchandise design ideas.
- Let your followers vote in a poll asking what new feature they want to see in your tool.
- At the end of one of your broadcast messages, ask your followers to react with a certain emoji (like a thumbs-up emoji for "Yes" or a thumbs-down emoji for "No").
4. Collaborate with creators and influencers
If you are looking to grow your Instagram channel by collaborating with other creators and influencers, inviting them to your broadcast channel could be a great way to connect with them.
You can give another account access to your channel by letting them be collaborators. This way, they can message your audience within the channel and potentially bring their own audience with them.
5. Grow your advocacy marketing
By creating a community within your channel, you begin to attract followers who become brand advocates. Popularly known as UGC marketing, advocacy marketing brings interest in your company when passionate followers share their positive feelings about your brand.
This will help grow your company further since nothing holds more weight than a genuine recommendation from a friend.
How to create an Instagram broadcast channel?
Creating an Instagram broadcast channel is as easy as pie and can be done in a few simple steps.
- Head over to your Instagram DMs.
- Select the button on the top right-hand corner that looks like a little pen and pad emoji.
- Tap on ‘Create broadcast channel’.
- You can then name your channel, choose to show your channel on your profile or choose the audience for your channel.
- Now tap on ‘Create broadcast channel’ to finish the process.
How would a follower find their favourite creator’s channel?
A follower must go to their chat with the creator’s account to find a creator's channel.
If they have a channel, the follower will see a button that leads directly to it, like the one below for Chloe Kim’s account.
The follower can then decide to join the channel to receive future updates. The creator will often post updates on the channel that their audience can react to or polls that people who participate in the channel can vote in.
If a follower does not want to receive updates but still be part of the channel, muting the channel is also an option.
Finally, if a follower would like to share a link to the channel, they can find a shareable link for any channel they visit. They can also leave the channel at any point.
What does this mean from the point of view of a social media manager? You have a couple of options on how to get an audience for your channel:
- You can share your channel’s shareable link on Instagram on any other platform.
- Your channel can be shared with a story on your company’s Instagram account.
- You can hold down one of the messages posted on your channel and select ‘share to the story.’ Your story will then include an image of the message leading to the channel.
Four tips to maximise Instagram broadcast channels
1. Share voice notes
Sharing voice notes on your channel is a great way to add a personal touch to your messages. This could be a simple greeting or an update about your brand.
2. Use multiple formats for messages
The great part about channels is they allow you to post multiple different message formats like polls, attached media (like photos), classic messages, or links to a website.
Utilizing all of those different messaging formats will allow you to connect with your audience in different ways.
3. Launch your new product
The key to maintaining an active channel is to make it feel more exclusive than your general Instagram feed.
Letting your audience vote on important brand decisions (like your next feature release) or having a soft launch of your product on your channel is a great way to keep your channel audience engaged.
4. Create multiple channels for different topics
If you cover multiple topics as part of your brand, creating different channels catering to your different audiences would be a good idea.
That way, your followers are not getting content that may not appeal to them, and you can segment your audience further. This is always good for future product announcements and improving conversion rates.
Wrapping it up
As you wrestle with whether creating a channel is the right move for you, take a minute to step back and reevaluate your Instagram strategy. Using an Instagram audit checklist (ours is free!) is a good first step.
You might discover your goals are no longer what they used to be or that the audience persona you are trying to connect with has changed. Either way, in social media strategies (and life), taking a step back is often a big part of positive change.