Social Media

Video on Social Media: How to Execute a Live Stream

Grace Meadows

Grace Meadows
Jul 27, 2020

Social media video: live streaming tips and tricks

There’s no question. Live streaming is gaining in popularity. In fact, 47% of live stream viewers worldwide watch more live videos now than they did a year ago. It is a cost-effective way to reach users, with less production and equipment needed than a formal video shoot — and it can be executed across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. This makes it more accessible to marketers across the globe.

Phone live streaming
Why you should consider live streaming content

Social media live streaming offers several benefits when thoughtfully being used as part of your channel and content strategies. As a feature that is unique to social media, we consider these benefits when developing campaign, trade show, channel, and content strategies:

Live streaming gives you instant feedback from your customers. They can comment with their thoughts and questions in real time, allowing you to cater your message and your content for future marketing campaigns.

Personal and authentic interaction is important to customers when looking at brands. Live streaming puts a face to the brand and makes customers feel a connection, which can ultimately lead to brand loyalty.

Algorithms on social platforms are constantly changing. Live videos are prioritized in most algorithms, helping your brand get noticed by your followers.

Live streaming can be a very cost-effective way to reach your audience. While you have the option to make a big production of a live video, you can also grab a tripod and a phone to get started.

Social media live streaming tips

Now that you’re sold on the benefits of going live and you’ve included it in your upcoming plans, we recommend partnering with your social media team. They can help you to go through training on the best practices for planning, executing, and measuring the success of a live stream. (Hint: We can provide this training!)

Once you understand the basics, we recommend taking a deeper dive into the specific objectives for your upcoming live streams and following these steps:

Girl filming herself

Make a plan. While things are very fluid and ever-changing when live streaming, you should have a plan in place of where you’re going live, what you’re going to say and promote, and what your CTA(s) will be. This will keep you on track and give your audience the best experience.

Promote before going live. When you have a set time, date, and place, be sure to promote your live video beforehand. Encourage employees to promote that you’re going live, especially if they’ll be featured in the video. You can also cross-promote in any groups you manage on your other channels if budget allows.

Engage with the audience in real-time. Welcoming users by name as they join and answering questions using the customer’s name is a great way to build a relationship with a user, even if you can’t directly speak with them. Again, it will humanize your brand and make your customers feel heard.

Reintroduce yourself throughout the live stream. As users join throughout the stream, we recommend periodically reintroducing yourself as you’re welcoming them so they know who you are, what you’re talking about, and that they should feel free to engage with you via the comments section.

Have someone moderate comments. If you can’t answer every question, adding another person behind the screen to catch questions will enhance the viewing experience and give value to the customer. This person can answer questions in the comments as they are posted.

Have a clear call to action. Be sure to state your CTA throughout your stream for people that may join the live stream later. You can also articulate this CTA in the comments or description of the post. Make it as easy as possible for customers to access it.

Take the time to dive into your live video analytics. Make sure after you go live that you’re taking the time to understand the success of your video so you can apply learnings to your future social media live streams!

When you should choose a live video over a normal video:

Social media live streaming is a great option, but we should also address that standard video has a time and place on each platform. When thinking of what type of video to use, we recommend going live when:

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You are looking for direct feedback.
Live streams are a great way to get instant feedback from users. You can encourage use of this functionality with things like a live Q&A, webinar, expert panel session, and product walkaround.

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You’re at an event.
If you are attending a trade show or public event, live streaming is a great way to give people who couldn’t attend a taste of the event, show what promotions you may have running, and introduce users to your team.

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You want to provide the inside scoop.
Live video is great to use when you’re doing a takeover — whether by an influencer, customer, or employee. It’s also a great way to give your audience behind-the-scenes access, which could be used to showcase your location(s), team, manufacturing processes, events, and more.

Live streaming platforms to choose from

You can livestream on many platforms. The one you choose is based on how it best reflects the audience you are trying to reach with your message. Are most of your users on Facebook? Are you looking to appeal to your younger demographic? These types of questions will help you decide where you will maximize your reach.

Facebook Live
Go live instantly. The video will save to your timeline once you are done.

Instagram Live
Go live instantly. The video will be available for 24 hours after ending, unless you choose to not have it save after ending.

Twitter Live/Periscope
Twitter partners with Periscope for live videos. The video will save and publish as a tweet once completed.

    YouTube Live
    Go live instantly with viewers. The video will save and publish once completed.

      LinkedIn Live
      Go live with your industry followers/employees. It is limited to certain accounts and you must apply to be considered for use

            Whichever platform you choose for live streaming, remember to consider your audience and participate in training to ensure your success. Need help along the way? Just reach out to us.

            Grace Meadows
            Get to know Grace

            Grace Meadows is an email & marketing automation manager who supports multiple clients across the agency in building email campaigns, automated email programs, and mapping customer journeys. When she's not at work, she enjoys biking, hiking, and checking out craft breweries.