Going live: 7 tips for any social media platform

5 minute read
Going live: 7 tips for any social media platform

Going live on any social media platform can feel intimidating, but if you let fear keep you away from live videos, you’re missing out on an ample opportunity.

Live videos capture attention between 10 and 20 times longer than prerecorded, on-demand content, while more than 20 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. watch live-stream videos several times a day.

And keep in mind that you have the potential to reach about 1.7 billion users through Facebook Live alone. 

Social media live video happens in real-time, with no editing, so the footage is completely authentic. This makes live video content appealing to social media audiences.

Regardless of what social media platform you’re going live on, the following are seven tips to help you be more purposeful, engaging and successful.

Announce your live video ahead of time

It’s always a best practice to make sure that your audience is aware that you’re going live soon. This can be as simple as sharing posts announcing the live video in advance and sharing what viewers can expect to see.

But you don’t have to keep your promotion restricted to that particular social media platform. You can cross-promote on different platforms. You also can promote on other mediums, such as blog posts and/or email newsletters and so on.

Some platforms, like Facebook, allow you to create an event where you can include all relevant information about the upcoming live video. When users RSVP to the event, they’ll get notifications and reminders beforehand, which can help increase your overall live-viewing audience size.

Plan ahead with an outline

There is no reason to jump onto a live video cold with no plan. Spontaneity is inevitable, of course. You’re live, after all. But the more you can plan and prepare in advance, the better you’ll be. 

An outline can help prevent many silly mistakes and ensure that you cover exactly what you’re aiming for in your live video. Include any calls to action as well, such as visiting your website, subscribing to your email newsletter or something else.

Because it’s ideal for your live video to run for at least 20 minutes, the better your plan, the easier this video length will be to achieve naturally.

Invest in decent gear

Before you panic about how much “decent gear” might cost you for going live, remember that your gear only has two goals in which your audience should be able to:

  • See you well.
  • Hear you well.

That’s it. So, keep it simple. A basic tripod can prevent your live video from being shaky. A ring light can make it easy to see you, no matter what time of day it is. And wireless earbuds can stand in as your microphone so that not only can you be heard, but most will help cancel out any background noise as well. 

While you’re at it, double-check your WiFi connection and internet speed. There’s nothing worse than your live video crashing midway due to a weak signal.

Practice before going live

Live video on social media is definitely more casual than traditional, recorded videos, but you still want to represent your band well. 

It’s always a good idea to practice before going live. This can involve practicing what you want to say, testing your lighting and evaluating whether there are any potential distractions (such as background noises) that you can eliminate before going live for real.

Focus on connecting with your audience

Going live on social media should be about connecting with your viewers more than anything else. (It should be the priority over selling and promoting.) 

Live videos enable you to show your audience a behind-the-scenes peek into your brand. This helps them to connect with you and/or others behind your brand, creating that human connection.

Invite guests to your social media live videos

The engagement factor for live videos exponentially increases when you can bring guests on to liven up and enrich the conversation. The more dynamic the conversation, the more viewers you’ll get and the more comments that can be generated.

When planning out your live video topics, consider who might have expertise that can elevate the conversation. Some guests might be nervous about appearing on live video, so make sure to reassure them. It helps to talk them through your plan for the live video so that they know what to expect as much as possible.

Consider your timing (but don’t be ruled by it)

Ideally, you’re going live at a time of day when your audience can be most engaged. But it’s also possible that your audience is across multiple time zones, so while you generally want to target the best time for your audience, remember that most live videos are recorded and can be played back by users afterward.

This is particularly true if your brand is global. Target your timing for where the bulk of your target audience is, and then share and promote the recording afterward for everyone else. 

In conclusion

Truly, the most important thing to remember when going live on social media is to simply be yourself and have fun. Live videos are an authentic way to connect with your audience, and they will be able to tell immediately if you’re not being yourself. 

Success comes down to finding that sweet spot between being yourself and representing your brand.

Check out the eight most common social media mistakes and how to avoid them. Newer to social media marketing, explore these 17 free online courses to help you level up your social media skills.

While you’re planning out your next live videos for social media, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

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