Guide to better live videos on social media

If you want to connect with your audience, video, and especially live streaming is the best way to do this and grow your business.

And the facts are that 78% of those who use the internet watch Facebook Live videos.

If you want to learn how you can start live streaming today and reap the rewards, keep reading as I go over the benefits of live streaming and how to get started in a few easy steps.

Want to watch the Video where I explain this? Click here

What is live streaming?

Live streaming technology lets you watch, create and share videos in real time, a bit like live TV.

All you need to be able to live stream is an internet enabled device, like a smart phone or tablet, and a platform (such as a website or app) to live stream from.

Current popular live streaming apps include Facebook Live, Instagram Live stories, and of course YouTube.

All of these big social platforms prioritise live content in their newsfeeds. Facebook Live videos, for example, get six times more interactions than pre-recorded ones.

Unlike pre-recorded videos that can be cut and edited, live streaming is just that – live and uncensored.

Some live streams can be private. For example, video conferencing, like Skype or Zoom, uses live streaming technology to allow you to talk to people you have invited.

To make sure they stay private, they should be password protected and passwords shouldn’t be shared with people you don’t know.

Some live streams are public and might be watched by hundreds or even thousands of people on social platforms, but you can also select your audience within a platform such as a specific Facebook Group.

Viewers can comment and interact live by posting messages that appear beside the live stream. They can also share emojis and images to show their agreement and appreciation.

By live streaming to channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and even LinkedIn, you’re creating eye-catching content that improves your positioning in their news feed algorithms.

Social media streaming also gives you the opportunity to attract viewers and bring them back to your own website.

Sometimes maintaining a social media presence can feel a bit like spinning plates. With so many platforms competing for attention, it’s hard to focus your energy on just one. Many organisations struggle to give equal time to each platform.

It doesn’t have to be this way – streaming across social media platforms is easier than you think.

Live streaming is so popular because it is real and authentic, and it allows for a stronger connection in the digital era we are in.

Live video (and video in general) adds a human touch to posts that text and images can’t compete with. In 2018, an estimated 47% of global consumers reported an increase in their live streaming from the previous year.

That number is only set to grow with estimates showing that 82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2022 and from those videos, consumers are watching live video 10 – 20 times longer than on-demand content, we can see why this is the method to be focussing on right now.

What are the risks?

Tech glitches can happen, power outages can mean you cut off mid-live.

And of course, because it is live, you need to speak to the audience and be prepared for comments and trolls that can distract and impact the engagement.

All of this is pretty much preventable or can be ignored when you know in the bigger scheme of things, it means so much more for your engagement and audience.

If it is because you don’t know how to, well let me get right into that.

Going “live” is actually quite easy.

There are a few best practices and preparation you can do to help you. Then the next big thing is confidence, but that just comes from practice, and repetition.

You will never get comfortable with it, if you don't start somewhere.

How to Stream Live

Anyone with an internet connection (or data plan, for mobile users) can stream to Facebook or Instagram Live. The streaming platform was designed with the novice in mind, making it easy to stream directly to your profile, business page or group in Facebook or your Stories in Instagram.

*Note: you cannot stream to both platforms simultaneously unless you have multiple devices. But you can download the live after wards and upload to the other platform as a video.

For Facebook: If you’re streaming using a desktop computer or laptop, click inside the status update box at the top of your newsfeed and choose the “live video” icon from the menu. A browser window will open up, activating your computer’s webcam.

For mobile users: you can use the Facebook app. Simply tap the “live” icon beneath the status update box. Write a description for your video, set your audience (Public, Friends, etc.), choose a filter, and press “start live video.”

For Instagram: Using your phone, you click on your profile in the top left corner and hold to create a new story, and swipe until you get “live” and then go live.

The best idea when you are using a phone is to have a stand that can hold your phone to avoid movement, and also have good lighting.

Best practices for lives are general vertical orientation of the phone especially if you want to go live with someone.

*Pro Tip: going live with someone makes it a lot easier and takes a lot of the pressure off.

*Note: You can only go live with 1 other person on Facebook unless you use a third-party platform such as Zoom or StreamYard where you can have multiple people on that platform and stream onto Facebook via that platform.

When you first begin to experiment with social media live streaming software, remember to take things one step at a time. It’s better to channel your efforts into one great live event than a handful of hard-to-manage, simultaneous video posts.

Depending on your audience, they might prefer one platform over another, or have a presence on many places at once. After you become more familiar with social media streaming, it’ll be easy to expand your strategy to include other destinations.

Diversifying is a great way to reach viewers on multiple channels – your strategy should accommodate those viewers.

Quick tips before you start streaming:

  • Promote your live stream so people know it is coming and can join you.

  • Prepare some topics you want to discuss: this can be solutions you have to offer, personal insights, a review, and interview or general questions you have had from your community. All these are excellent ways to drive the conversation and add questions into your live stream to keep engagement up.

  • Have a hook, there needs to be a reason why they need to watch and stay tuned for the whole time. So add a special offer, teach something, or have great value or entertainment for the audience.

  • Have a team. If possible have some people ready to help you during the live should anything go wrong, or to answer questions and field any trolls..

  • Prepare and test. Check your audio and video, check your internet connection, make sure there are no scheduled or potential power outages.

  • And a great idea, if you are streaming from your phone, switch to silent and do not disturb. You do not want a call to come through mid-live and pause the live or throw you off your focus.

  • If you are sharing your screen with a presentation, you would then need a third-party platform, and test all those mechanics beforehand.

  • Have a call to action for your viewers, what should they do after the live- connect with you via social pages, go to your website? Have those links ready for them so they can click through.

And then it takes practice and persistence.

By going live consistently you will see an uptake in your stats as well as potential growth in your audience.

Have any more questions regarding going live? Pop them in the comments below and I will answer.

If you want help growing your business to mayor success and income, head on over to the Work With Us section, so we can do a strategy session with you to see where your opportunities lie!

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