Live streaming loosely defined is when people literally “go live” on video via Facebook, Instagram or YouTube and friends can watch in real time and engage with you while you are live. A few best practices for going live on Facebook is to always make sure your phone is fully charged because Facebook Live drains your battery. The longer the better, usually 45 minutes to an hour of live streaming will bring in more and more viewers, increasing your audience and engagement. These practices can apply to other platforms that allow you to live stream such as Instagram.
When going live, remember to have a fully charged phone and a backup charger might not be a bad idea either. Turning your phone to airplane mode will temporarily block calls and push notifications that can distract and take away from your live stream. Clean your camera lens before going live, observe your surroundings and be aware of lighting and angles. If possible, use a tripod to keep the camera steady, but remember to move it around once in awhile to give viewers that 360 panorama, making them feel as if they are right there with you.
One thing that comes with live streaming is the constant questions and comments. The best way to manage the questions that flood in would be to have a buddy on a different device handling all the Q & A’s as they come in while you continue to live stream. They should not only take care of responding to questions but also be aware of the trolls, and ignore them! As you and your friend pick out comments to respond to, the person in front of the camera should orally acknowledge the person commenting by their name and be sure to repeat their question aloud before answering for the rest of the viewers. This can help assure your viewers that you care and it may answer someone elses question all while engaging in real time.
When going live, keep in mind your audience and the capacity of people your video can actually reach. If young children and minors are captured on video, you may need written permission to put them online. People value privacy and may not appreciate being exposed, knowingly or not, on the internet. Easy to forget but maybe the most important ethical consideration is you and your team’s safety. Staying alive is much better than shooting a great live video.
If you are going live to contribute to the promotion of a brand or business, the more knowledgeable you are on the subject being discussed, the more attractive your live feed is, allowing you to gain a bigger audience. There are many different reasons one might want to go live. When there is breaking news and people need to know and see what is happening, go live. Anticipation news is when all the right elements are there for a great moment to be captured live. Immersive news is when you are there and want to share what is happening in the moment, taking your viewers with you. Interactive news is great for business because people and possible customers can participate and ask questions or leave comments that you can later use to boost analytics and engagement. Then there is counter programming, which is another great reason to go live to promote a business because if you go live at just the right day and time, you can actually steal the competitions audience and drive them towards your business.
I believe from personal experience that people like the idea of live streaming because they are watching something happening in that very moment and feel like they won’t miss a thing. However, people tend to watch for a few minutes and move on if they don’t feel engaged. But, if you consider the day and age we live in with technology literally at our fingertips, we have the luxury of going back and watching a live stream on demand later which can be useful for business purposes. With the internet constantly changing, right now marketing on social media using the feature of live streaming is very successful and useful. Do I think something bigger and better will eventually come along and live streaming will be pushed to the back burner? Absolutely. But for now, live stream your hearts out.