If you frequently use social media for your business, you’ve likely heard of the live streaming video options for social media giants Facebook and Instagram.
Maybe you’ve tried it or maybe you’ve stayed away from it because the term “going live” intimidates you.
Or, maybe you just don’t know how. What should I talk about? What would I even say? What if I make a mistake?
It may seem stressful at first, but, as with everything, a little practice goes a long way. As much as you’d like to, you can’t hide under the covers and hope live streaming will go away. Truth be told, live streaming isn’t going anywhere.
As a matter of fact, the video streaming market is on track to be worth $70 billion USD by 2021.
Live streaming seems to be the way of the future, feeding into our “now culture syndrome,” meaning that we want things right now, on demand. And, if done correctly, live streaming can be more effective than posting edited video content.
Let’s delve into why it’s useful and how to do it.
Instagram vs Facebook Live
If you have profiles on either social media platforms (or both), you’ve probably noticed when people on either accounts have gone live when you receive a push notification (if you have it enabled) letting you know that the business or individual is going live.
While Instagram and Facebook appear quite similar—and are both owned by Facebook—there are subtle differences in terms of using live streaming.
How Are They Similar?
- Both give on-site and push notifications that a brand or a person is going live.
- Both tell the creator how many views they are receiving.
- Viewers can engage and leave comments, which the live person will able to see and interact with.
- Both are filmed live and are done through the camera in the app.
How Are They Different?
A lot of the differences between Facebook and Instagram Live have to do with the accessibility of content after you’ve finished recording.
We’ll look into Facebook first.
Once the video is over, Facebook gives you the option of saving your video to your page. This is useful because it gives the opportunity for those who were unavailable at the time of your video or new users to view or comment on the post.
Instagram Live is incorporated into Instagram stories, which disappear after 24 hours. If your page gets clicked on, users have the option to view your live story or watch any other video content you have created. Instagram doesn’t give you the option to save your content after it’s created, which does create a sense of urgency. It can be disadvantageous for you, though, because it leaves no option to repurpose the content after it’s gone.
Content that appears for a limited amount of time is referred to as ephemeral content. Ephemeral content is the “quick-fire” content you see on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. It’s a great way to evoke curiosity and test out new products or concepts without worrying about fussing over top-notch video-editing or filters. Ephemeral content ties into the “now culture” of wanting to see and experience things on demand.
You can use this to your advantage by using the sense of urgency, such as posting about sales on products being offered for a limited time. You can also advertise the topic you will be discussing live ahead of time, so that people will tune in for it.
Some Tips for Going Live
Do a Bit of Planning Beforehand
While going live is supposed to appear spontaneous and raw, you don’t want to go into it without knowing what you’ll be talking about. It doesn’t have to be scripted by any means, but you should establish what you want to talk about beforehand so that you don’t babble on and make the video a lot longer than it has to be.
Some topics you can discuss include how-to’s, live Q&A’s, or announcing/demoing new products. People who are fans of your brand will love to see announcements of new products.
Build Up the Hype
If you’ve got a brand-new product coming onto the market and want to announce it live, post about it beforehand. When posting it on Facebook, “pin” it, so that it saves to the top of the page. A pinned post is the first post users see when interacting with your page. It’s important to tell people when you will be going live and what the broadcast will be about.
Use a Good Internet Connection
A good internet connection is essential when you’re going live. Otherwise, you may have poor audio quality, or your viewers will experience the awkward scenario where you’ll be speaking and your words won’t align with your mouth.
Always test sound quality by doing a practice video and check it for any background noise or poor quality.