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live streaming

Real time content has rapidly grown over the last several years. Social media platforms encourage users to engage with current events and keep up with popular news and stories as they happen. But the platforms have also encouraged users to create their own real time content through the function of live streaming video. As a marketer, it’s important to know which platforms are best for each type of event and content to best leverage live streaming for your company. Audience, industry and nature of the event are key factors when choosing your real time network. Let’s dive into each platform and discuss the best place for your organization to go live! 

Facebook Live is a great way to reach a wide, diverse audience since the platform typically caters to the widest range of followers. From interviews to events, live streaming on Facebook supports a variety of video formats and lengths. Facebook is a more modest platform in comparison to Instagram and Twitter, so it’s recommended to use a steady camera on a tripod instead of a more amateur, hand-held look. During the live stream, encourage your audience to engage with the video by reacting, commenting and sharing. Facebook allows your organization to see the comments and participate in the conversation in real time. For non-profit organizations, a Donate Button is available for viewers to make a donation while viewing the content. Once the live stream is over, the video can live on the company’s page as a video asset and be shared again in the future. 

The popularity of Instagram Stories is really taking off thanks to added elements like quiz and poll stickers that drive engagement, the addition of GIFs and live video streaming. Unlike Facebook, the Instagram audience is more receptive to a casual, guerrilla style production. Followers want to see their favorite brands and influencers in the field while still accessible for interactions. The restaurant industry has seen success with influencers streaming live from a grand opening or foodie event. Similar to Facebook, encourage your viewers to engage by asking questions during the live video, but be prepared to respond immediately! Although the video will not live as a post on your account, you can save it as a Highlight at the top of your profile page. 

Twitter’s live video capabilities are powered by Periscope, which was the first of its kind when live streaming started to gain interest from social media users. Since Twitter can act as a news forum, Q&As perform best for live streaming content. For example, a university could live stream a Q&A session with a guest speaker. The students can engage through Twitter by asking questions and then they’ll receive an immediate response. Periscope allows users to invite other viewers to help expand the reach past tweets. Although Twitter’s live streaming has less bells and whistles than other platforms, it serves its purpose within the medium and appeals to concise, news-junkie tweeters. 

New to the crew, LinkedIn Live is currently in beta and accessible through invite only. A recent announcement alerted the marketing community that a wide release is in the near future! Once the streaming service is mainstream, several industries, including trade associations, will benefit from the ability to stream webinar, interviews, presentations and conference events directly to their LinkedIn network. The live stream will be viewed by a specified group, your followers or all of LinkedIn. Stay tuned for more details to come as the platform rolls out this new feature.

Whether you’re trying to reach a specific audience or stream a certain type of event, selecting the right platform is the perfect starting point. Going live can be very intimidating, but as social media platforms continue to meet the demand for real time content, organizations should feel at ease because the process is becoming more streamlined.

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