We’ve all seen that notification saying our favorite celeb or company is ‘going live’, but should you be doing this?

Like most features on social media, there are pros and cons to partaking.  Check out these benefits, tips, and warnings before you jump into the live video trend!

Let’s start with the basics. Where can you go live?

Facebook

Facebook introduced the ‘Live Video Streaming’ in April 2016 for all of its users. The purpose of Facebook Live is relatively simple, to broadcast a real-time video straight to the users smartphone, tablet, or computer, with a touch of a button.

Instagram

Instagram offers a “Stories” and a “Live” feature.  Instagram Stories are media (video, or images) that will be shared with your followers for 24hours. Instagram Live allows the recorder to share real-time with their followers and develop a dialogue (if you so choose). Live recordings are meant to be enjoyed in the moment, and will disappear after the recording is ended.

*There are many other platforms that support Live streaming (like Periscope, Twitch, etc.), but Facebook and Instagram are currently the big players. These tips can be applied to other platforms as well!

Benefits

  • Real-time: Although Live recordings are in real-time, they can also be scheduled (i.e. tell your followers when they are happening – so they don’t miss out!).
  • Engagement: By scheduling live events, or just recording spur-of-the-moment, you can increase engagement with your viewers.
  • Interactive: with “commenting” turned ON, you can see what people are saying during the video on your screen (as can all of your viewers). This allows you to actively respond and converse with your followers.
  • Authenticity: Live videos are great for boosting your brands authenticity and customer’s trust. They allow your followers to see what you are doing in the moment – without having the safety of editing and filters.

Tips:

  • Have a strong connection: no, not that kind of connection – an Internet connection. Without a strong and consistent Internet connection, live videos can turn into laggy nightmares. Don’t fall into that trap!
  • Shh: Make sure you are in a quiet place to record your live videos (especially if this is an interview or scheduled recording). This will not always be possible for all recordings, but do your best to make sure your followers can hear you.
  • Lighting: Try to record in bright spaces, with a stable light source.
  • Prepare: Although much of the beauty of live videos is their unpredictability, map out what you want to say and the message you want your viewers to hear.
  • Repeat: Viewers can join a Live session at any time; so don’t think that they will know what you said at the beginning of the video. It is okay to repeat messages and ideas throughout the video – but try to address this by acknowledging why you are reiterating something. I.e. “for those of you who just tuned in…”.

Warnings

  • It’s live – anything can be said, especially in an interview. Be prepared for mishaps!
  • There are no breaks: help combat this by creating an outline before you begin.
  • Interactive: yes, this is also a benefit – but viewers can comment during live streams and they may not be appropriate.
    • You can kick viewers out of your live streams at any time – or turn off commenting!
    • Blocking an inappropriate user from your stream is usually the best option – as it still allows for other viewers to interact with the video

Let us know if you try out a Live stream! Or if you have any tips you think others should know!