Live On Air in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Last week Instagram launched their own live stream video broadcasting option. Similar to the Facebook Live application, it allows Instagram users to broadcast short live videos to their followers. This is a new weapon in the social media features arms race going on between the major platforms.
It now means that YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat all have some kind of ‘live stream’ option, allowing content producers to respond instantly (or at the very least, quickly) to any responses from their viewers.
Wave of Live Stream Video
The key to live stream video broadcasting, from a brand’s point of view, is interactivity and informality. If you’re thinking about doing a live broadcast on Facebook or creating live content for Instagram, you need to be doing something that warrants a live broadcast and will actually have an audience.
Some of the better live content I have seen on Facebook so far has been from businesses with ties to sporting events. For example CrossFit, the popular training methodology, have used live stream broadcasts to promote their live competitions, offering Facebook fans some behind-the-scenes access that wouldn’t warrant a fully produced YouTube video, or being on ESPN. Giving their hardcore fans a little extra insight that they wouldn’t usually get because of the informal nature of a Facebook live broadcast.
Another successful brand in a different space is Tastemade. The food and travel company created a video called Tiny Kitchen, which is exactly what you’d expect. The video received 125,000 views live, but since that initial live broadcast has had over 3 million views, showing that while you need some viewers live, if the content is evergreen it can still go viral.
Tiny Kitchen aside, both Facebook and Instagram’s live stream features are designed to be recorded on smartphones which help to make the experience personal. Don’t expect to start seeing really high production value videos. Try and keep things rough and off the cuff. Audiences expect their host to be informal, while still remaining coherent and professional.
Don’t Forget to Find an Audience
Just like hosting a party and nobody turning up, you want to avoid doing a live stream broadcast that only your mum attends. While there’s no real harm in doing a live broadcast for two or three people, it perhaps isn’t an efficient use of your time. If you’re planning on doing a live event, then make sure you promote it. If you don’t have a large follower base, consider advertising. By sharing details on your live broadcast — like how long it will last and any special reasons to tune in — will help your loyal followers encourage others to join in.
If you’re building a social media presence from scratch, I wouldn’t recommend live stream broadcasting to be your first step. You’ll need to build up a following or, at the very least, some partnerships with other businesses/ influencers who can encourage people to check you out.
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