When Twitter first launched, many people were confused as to why anyone would ever want to be so up to speed with anyone’s movements; why should we care that Russell Crowe loves maps? Who really needs to know that Paris Hilton lost her Blackberry? It all seemed like this new platform was giving consumers more than they bargained for, and this irritated a lot of people. But since then, consumption of “in-the-moment” content has sky rocketed to the point where we’re so obsessed with what’s going on right this very second, that live streaming has become one of the most popular mediums for posting on social media.
So what’s the secret here? Well, one clue is in the name: it’s LIVE. Your audience don’t have to process large chunks of text to extract information, it’s right there in front of them. If it’s easy for people to use, they like it, and this is especially the case if your content is entertaining.
The other bonus of streaming content immediately to your followers is that it can boost trust in you and your brand. Allowing people to engage with your product or brand in a more organic medium than scheduled posting, increases transparency. Having people trust your brand can improve the chance of conversions too – Lexus wouldn’t have been voted best car manufacturer 2017 if its consumers didn’t trust it.
Using live streaming is also more likely to encourage your followers to engage with your content. According to Stretch Internet, live content on Facebook receives TEN TIMES more comments than scheduled video posts. Whilst this may not seem like a big deal, comments and engagement are far more likely to translate into conversions and purchases down the line. So if there’s a chance to not only see increased traffic coming to your website because of live streaming, but also receive a much higher interest in your brand and product, surely it’s worth considering?
As with any other social media strategy, you need to think through all aspects live streaming. To help you really get your head around live streaming as a strategy, we thought it would be a good idea to discuss useful topics like when to use it, and how to ensure it benefits your brand’s online presence.
Evidently, live streaming is a tool that can be easily overused. Much like the response that your friend’s Facebook post generates when it refers to the dietary issues of their 1-year-old (seriously, I don’t need to know that little Timmy hates rice pudding), it is all too easy for over-sharing to put people off. So to avoid this problem, here are three of the top scenarios during which live streaming is appropriate.
If an event is unfolding that you think your followers would be interested in, for example you’re picking up your newly designed product from the manufacturers, do a quick live feed to get people excited about it and to pique their interest.
Creating an event from which you can live stream, can really help to engage your followers. If you’re doing a demonstration on how to ice the perfect cupcake; if you’re opening your first store; if you’re at a seminar hearing a speaker talk about the latest trends in interior design: introduce it, film it and share it with your followers.
Want to really boost trust in your brand? Show customers what it’s like working in your company. Have a think about doing a “Day in the Life Of…” feature showing followers the ins and outs of your business and how their favourite products are made.
If you’ve been convinced that live streaming is a medium that can help your brand, that’s great, and if you’ve got ideas for the content ready to go, then that’s even better. But how can you really get the most out of the live streaming session? It’s important to consider the before, during and after aspects of live streaming when attempting to milk it for all it is worth.
The element of surprise isn’t likely to be your friend with live streaming, so make sure that your followers know what’s coming up. This way, they can look forward to it and know when to tune in so that they can follow. Create an Event Page on your social media which provides details of what and when you’re going to be live streaming, this will generate some anticipation and also allow your followers to share the information, which would hopefully attract a larger audience.
Whilst you’re streaming, use that event page as a type of forum where people can comment on what’s happening. This is handy as it shows followers how much engagement your stream is getting, simultaneously boosting trust in your brand. Have another member of your team ready to interact with people who post, whilst also continuing to post relevant content to the page such as related videos or articles.
If you’ve reached the end of your “day in the life of…” live streaming and have seen for yourself the engagement that it can bring with it but don’t want the interaction to end there, it doesn’t have to. You can re-use your content and create posts that link back to it so that it generates more long-term interest and allows your followers to see more content that they like.
Although we often reject the idea of instant-sharing on social media because we claim that we’re just not that interested, the stats don’t lie so it might be time to consider using tools such as live streaming to your advantage. If you can’t beat ‘em, then it’s definitely worth your while to join ‘em because Live Streaming is only set to increase.
and calculate your budget and timescale