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Why am I suddenly being invited to Instagram Broadcast Channels?

Like many things on social media, it started with one invitation to the Instagram Broadcast Channel of a followed account and suddenly it became a tsunami.

Instagram users have been inundated with requests to get on board with the feature, which was launched in the UK on September 19th 2023. So, what is it and can businesses use it as another tool in their arsenal for social media marketing?

What are Instagram Broadcast Channels?

Instagram Broadcast Channels have been described by Meta as a way of “giving millions of creators a new way to directly engage with their social media followers at scale in real time”. The tool is an opportunity for accounts to send multiple messages to followers at once.

At present, text, photo, video, voice notes and polls can be circulated through Broadcast Channels, but Instagram has said more features will be rolled out soon. Followers are limited to sending reactions or participating in polls as the channels operate as a one-to-many channel.

Why are invites suddenly being sent now?

Instagram Broadcast Channels was originally announced in February 2023, with rollout across much of the world in June. It’s only just recently the feature has become available in the UK, which has led to many creators sending invitations to their followers.

How can businesses use Broadcast Channels for marketing?

While Broadcast Channels is still in its infancy, there are many ways it can be useful for businesses as part of a social media engagement strategy. The first is that the tool is an effective way to deliver big updates to your target audience safe in the knowledge they’ll be seen.

The messages will appear in followers’ inboxes and can be generated by anyone with an Instagram Creator account. Users have to sign up in order to receive the updates, which is why there’s currently so many notifications being sent.

Meta has launched Broadcast Channels as a result of more users posting to Stories and sending Direct Messages than publishing content on their Instagram Feeds. Utilising the new feature will therefore allow businesses to target the most engaged of their users.

Broadcast Channels has the potential to take segmentation within social media marketing to a new level. Sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business or exclusive discount codes with a specific group of engaged followers will likely be among the most common uses for the tool.

If you’re already using Instagram Subscriptions, think about creating an exclusive channel for the followers you’ve been targeting there. As Broadcast Channels evolves, there’ll be more opportunities to integrate it with other features of the platform. For example, it’s predicted previews will be shareable to Stories to help drive traffic to your channels.

How to create your own Broadcast Channel

Broadcast Channels can only be set up on Creator accounts, but on these the process is fairly simple. The feature is accessed through the Messages section of the platform and offered when you click on the icon to compose a new DM.

After selecting ‘Create Broadcast Channel’, you can customise it with a name, the audience you want to target and whether it shows on your Profile. Existing channels can be edited after they’ve been created if you wish to change anything. Then you can start inviting your followers to your channel.

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