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Utilizing Social Media Live Videos

film reel of social media icons

Marketing has changed more in the past 20 years than in the past 200. First it was the internet, introducing email, blogs, and websites as entirely new places to direct customers. It gave brands more opportunities to become a part of the consumer’s home. Then, social media came into the picture. Brands could now directly interact with their audiences more than ever before. This technology changed the game and continues to change it, especially since social media continues to evolve.

One such evolution is the birth of social media live videos. Now, fans can watch performances of their favorite bands from the comfort of their home, enjoying a concert at the same time as their friend who’s broadcasting the video. The politically interested can watch speeches and debates right in their social media feed. Brands already know the power of video marketing, but many are still trying to figure out how best to use live videos on social media. Here are some tips to get you started with social media live videos.

Why Live Video Works So Well

Man filming with smartphone

Image via Flickr by Das Fotoimaginarium

Are you still not sure what the big deal is? Why would live video make a good fit for your digital marketing strategy? Change is often painful, but this adjustment to your strategy is well worth your while. Since live video is still a fledgling technology, barely leaving the nest, companies haven’t seen many of the long-term benefits of live video, but they’ve seen enough to isolate some major strengths that can benefit your brand.

First and foremost, live videos are extra video content. You already know that visitors to your social media page are more likely to watch video content than to read long, text-heavy posts. Live videos present another opportunity to make sure more users are viewing your masterful content.

Secondly, live video platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer opportunities for viewers to comment and immediately react to and interact with content. That gives you instant feedback on what’s working and what isn’t. You can also respond to this feedback, either during the live video or afterward, either to simply strengthen your relationship with viewers or answer questions and concerns. Either way, it’s guaranteed to increase brand loyalty.

Live videos provide the means for users to have immediacy with their favorite brands, even if they can’t physically be there. For example, you might host a class, workshop, or lecture. Those who can’t attend in person can still take part thanks to the live video feed. Also, if you decide to go this route, people can see behind the scenes of your business, and you can show everyone what you’re all about. Viewers can see who’s really behind the brand.

How to Use Live Video

You can expect bumps in the road, as you would when you learn to use any new means of marketing. So, you should show patience. Everyone will put their own spin on how they use live video, as you should, but there are some pretty standard tips that you should follow.

As with any digital media content, make sure that your live videos follow your social media strategy. Live videos may not require the planning of high-budget video content, but every video should serve a purpose somewhere in your strategy, whether it be to increase traffic to your website or sell products.

Once you have your strategy, set a schedule for how often you’ll broadcast live videos. Using social media live videos is a commitment. It’s not a one-and-done situation. Will you provide your followers with fresh live videos daily? Once a week? It will likely depend on the content of the videos, but a recurring schedule will give followers something to anticipate. Before your scheduled broadcast time, remind followers that you are starting a live video soon. With this notification, you will have the greatest number of viewers ready to see what you’ve created.

Whatever you choose to do with your live videos, let your brand shine. Use your videos to show viewers the essence of your brand. You’ll strengthen brand recognition, build brand loyalty, and establish your tone. With luck, your live videos will improve your relationship with current customers and expand your base to welcome new customers.

Which Live Video Platform Is Best?

The goal here isn’t to settle the debate about which social network is best, but as you know from your previous social media marketing efforts, some sites are better for certain content strategies. Read on to learn the differences between various social media channels.

Facebook and Instagram are currently the most popular platforms for broadcasting live videos. Here are a few comparisons between the two:

  • Once your live video ends on Instagram, it disappears. On Facebook, live videos can be posted to your feed once the feed ends. The only way to get around an Instagram video disappearing is by posting a video to your Instagram Story. Then, the content will remain on the site for up to 24 hours.
  • Instagram allows you to broadcast for an hour, while Facebook allows for an hour and a half.
  • On Facebook, live videos can be shared, increasing audience and views.
  • Both platforms allow you to notify followers when you start a live video. Even with this capability, you should still post your broadcast schedule so that viewers are ready before the video begins.

YouTube also allows for live video broadcasting, but if you decide to go the YouTube route, make sure to point followers to your website, since users are less likely to just scroll through YouTube and find your video, as opposed to seeing it in their Facebook or Instagram feed.

Don’t feel the need to limit yourself to one social media platform. Maybe one will work better than the other for a certain live video, but things could change the next week. Plus, once live videos are posted to Facebook or Stories are posted on Instagram, you can download the video to your device and share on other platforms.

The possibilities are endless. How will you go live?

About the author

Michael Walton

Michael Walton is a freelance writer, editor, and novelist dedicated to delivering engaging content that satisfies readers' needs and leaves them wanting more. When he's not writing content, you may find him writing novels, writing about writing, reading, or hiking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.