Over the past year or two, you may have noticed that most of the major social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, have been promoting new features and products that revolve around livestreaming. This is a good way for the social media companies to drive revenue and engage more with users, and there’s now more live content functionality being rolled out all the time and more sites getting in on the act.
Because video is a major trend and livestreaming is a good way for businesses to develop relationships with customers and increase sales and referrals, entrepreneurs, marketing managers and other parties should find ways to act on the trend.
If you’ve never created live content before, though, it can be a little daunting knowing how to go about it and how to get results. Read on for some tips you can follow today to make your social media soar.
Choose a niche or topic to focus on
One key way to outshine the competition with your social media content, no matter what avenue you use, is by focusing on a particular niche or topic.
Think about the type of content you want to be known for and, therefore, what your livestreaming sessions should broadcast. You might decide that this is in the same vein as your general social media updates, or you may choose to devote your livestreaming time to something in particular. This all comes down to your business and what you want to achieve.
Sometimes it can take a bit of trial and error to find the sweet spot that will work best for you and your brand. You should also consider adjusting your focus over time with feedback from viewers.
While you can stream anything relevant to your brand and your audience, for optimum engagement, you might like to consider telling a story (e.g., about how a particular product is being used by one of your customers), broadcasting an event (such as the opening of a new location or a charitable event you’re sponsoring) or discussing an anomaly (like a weird or funny happening in the workplace).
Keep in mind that people love entertainment that makes them laugh, makes them feel something and/or simply gives them a break from their everyday routine.
Select the best platform(s) for your goals and business
The next step is to think about where exactly you want to stream live content. There are numerous platforms to choose from, so make sure you consider the features that best fit your needs and goals.
Facebook Live, for example, is proving popular with many marketers. One of the key benefits of this option is that you probably already have a ready audience on Facebook that you’ve been building up over time. When you start advertising your first live sessions, you should have immediate interest and be able to gain traction quickly.
Another good alternative is Twitter’s Periscope application. It has been gaining in momentum this year, and it now has an analytics dashboard, which is very important for understanding the results of your livestream content.
The dashboard can track things like number of viewers, number of times videos are watched per viewer and video duration.
Other benefits of the service include the fact that Periscope integrates with GoPro, and that live content can now (when selected) be viewed live within Twitter’s curated news stories section, Moments.
Plan ahead to create interest and anticipation
There’s not much use creating live content if you don’t have anyone to watch it. To ensure maximum viewership, plan ahead and build interest and anticipation for your videos.
Try to create a sense of urgency and harness the “fear of missing out” by promoting upcoming livestreams to your audience with details on the place, date and time. You can promote on the platform you’re using for the content, other social media platforms, your e-newsletter or your website.
Stress the importance of people joining you live if you’ll be showing them something they can’t access elsewhere, or make a limited-time offer for viewers.
Dive straight into the action
When you hold your live event, remember that people have busy lives and are impatient. Capture their attention quickly by delving straight into the action. Unless you generate interest in the first few seconds, people will be inclined to click away for something more interesting. Avoid drawn-out countdowns to interviews, offers, events and the like; and try to ensure no significant periods of lag occur during the broadcast.
Going live is intimidating at first. A list of anticipated questions and prepared answers may help prevent dead air while you struggle to answer. It’s a good idea to have an assistant to read comments and flag important points for you.
Sherry Gray is a freelance content writer from Key West, Fla., currently suffering in the suburbs of Orlando. She is a science geek, a social media junkie and an unapologetic fan of all things bacon. Follow her on Twitter: @SheriSaid.