Want to use Instagram to provide personalized customer service?

Wondering how live video chat can help?

In this article, you’ll learn how to use Instagram’s live video chat feature to enhance your business relationships.

How to Use Instagram Live Video Chat for Business by Jenn Herman on Social Media Examiner.

Why Use Instagram Live Video Chat for Business?

As customers turn to video to get answers about products or services, Instagram live video chat can help you stand out from the competition. Live video creates trust and establishes credibility, and Instagram’s live video chat feature is one more tool at your disposal.

Here are a few creative ways you might use this feature for your business:

  • Provide customer service. Schedule or set up calls with customers to answer their questions or resolve their issues with a real person on-camera.
  • Close a sale. If a potential customer has questions about your product or service, or is on the fence about purchasing, a quick live call can be the solution and push their need to buy.
  • Do product demos. Whether offering a first look to prospects or helping a customer with a newly purchased product, a live demo can show them how to use your product, speeding up the process for everyone.
  • Set up client consultations. If your clients need some guidance or support, offering that advice via a video call can establish trust and loyalty with that customer.
  • Hold team meetings. Instead of Skype or other video tools that may cost money, use Instagram video chat for small team meetings, regardless of where you are in the world.

Because Instagram’s video chat tool requires both (or all) parties to be present for a call, it’s best to schedule the calls in advance. Select a time that works for all participants to ensure calls don’t go unanswered.

Now that you know some ways you might use video chat, here’s how to get started using it.

#1: Know Whom You Can Connect With via Video Chat

The live video chat feature is now rolling out to all Instagram users. To find out if you have it yet, open any direct message conversation and look for the video camera icon in the top right.

Instagram video chat calls can include up to four people in the conversation. However, you can’t call just anyone.

You can video chat with users you’ve shared regular direct messages with on Instagram. To video chat with someone you haven’t direct messaged on Instagram, you must start a direct message thread first. Then you (or the other person) can initiate a video chat.

Also, if you’ve blocked someone or someone has blocked you, you can’t have a video chat between those accounts.

#2: Initiate a Live Video Chat

When you’re ready to start a video chat with one or more people, open up the direct message conversation for that person or group.

Then tap the video camera icon to begin the video chat and call the other participants. Your camera will open and initiate the video call.

The recipient on the other end will get a notification that a call is coming in.

Notifications will appear in your direct message list or within the direct message conversation with that person or group.

If you’re calling a group of people, everyone in that group chat will receive the video chat notification. When a video chat is live, the video camera icon turns blue to indicate that there are participants in the video chat.

For a two-person video chat, the two callers appear one above the other on the screen. When three people participate, your video is at the top and the other two participants are split in the screen below. For four participants, all callers have an equal quarter area of the screen.

#3: Navigate Live Video Chat Features

Once you’ve launched your video chat and the other participants are present, there are several ways to navigate the conversation or even other areas of your mobile device.

The video defaults to the front-facing selfie camera for video chats. One or all participants have the option to switch to the rear-facing camera at any time during the chat. To do this, tap the double arrow icon in the top right of your screen.

Use the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen to turn your camera off or back on, mute or unmute your microphone, and leave the video chat.

If you turn off your camera, it will enlarge the other participant’s video to fill the screen or reposition the video placement for multiple participants.

You also have the option to minimize the video chat while remaining on the call and navigating around your mobile device. You can scroll through your direct messages or your Instagram account.

Another option is to minimize Instagram altogether and explore other areas of your device. Only you can see what’s on your screen. The other participants continue to see only what your video camera displays.

To minimize your video chat, tap the square-in-square icon in the top left of the screen.

To leave a video chat, simply tap the red disconnect button at the bottom of the screen. If only two participants are in the chat, the call will end for both people. If more than two people are in the chat and one person leaves the call (regardless of who started the call), the other participants will remain in the video chat until they end it as well.

What do you think? Have you tried Instagram’s live video chat? Are you excited to try using this new feature for your business? Please share your thoughts or tips in the comments below.

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