Utilizing Live Streaming to Benefit Your Business

By: Sarah Kalvaitis

You’ve seen it on your Facebook and Instagram news feed. You might have even engaged with a few too, but have you created your own live stream video yet? Facebook Live and Instagram Live are social media features that give users live streaming capabilities. All you have to do is tap the live stream icon and you can start live broadcasting right off of your smartphone or tablet.

Nervous about messing up because it’s LIVE? Don’t be! These tips will help guide you maximize the results of your live stream:

Before you take the plunge and go live, promote your live stream. Making sure viewers are tuned in to your broadcast is key, so let your audience know about your upcoming live video with news feed posts or by posting to your Facebook and Instagram Stories. If your video is important enough, you can even boost your video announcement posts by paying for ads.

Preparing and practicing your live stream will help ensure that viewers will be able to hear you, participate with you, and even watch your future videos. Try to minimize background noise and set your phone to forwarded calls so that you and the viewers won’t get distracted during the stream. You can even do a practice video ahead of time (without it being really live) on Facebook by setting your video privacy settings to “Only Me” can view this.

Be personable. Relax, get comfortable, and enjoy yourself. When you’re smiling and having a good time it helps your audience engage and enjoy themselves while they are watching your video. It’s also important to address everything that you are going to cover throughout the entire video so that your viewers will stick around until the end or at least until the topic they are interested in is addressed. Similarly, when you are getting ready to wrap up your video make sure you entice your audience with a “what to keep an eye out for” on your next video. Most importantly, be sure to make it easy to contact with you so that viewers can get in touch with you on any feedback they may have.

To end your live stream, simply click the “End” button and check your analytics to see how many people in viewed your live stream. On Facebook you can view the total number of people who watched at least a portion of your video, along with a running count of how many viewers you had at different points in time. On Instagram, your live video analytics will pop up right after you end the video. Instagram Analytics (as of now) does not show any data from live videos or stories, so if you want to keep track of your viewers, definitely screenshot that screen.

Now that you know how to make your live stream effective, what are you supposed to live stream? The options are endless! But to give you a few ideas on what is best to stream to benefit your client or business, here are a few ideas:

Showcase Events. Having a conference, panel, meeting, or anything else that you think is significant enough to live stream? Then do it! It’s great to let people in on the action when they can’t be there in person. It can even spark interest in viewers that don’t know much about you, such as potential clients, potential partners and cooperators, potential employees, etc.

Behind the Scenes. Clue people in on what they aren’t seeing. Planning a huge event? Live stream some of the planning process to get people excited and let them know you are working hard to make sure the event will be a success. Or maybe just live stream your company’s lunch hour to show-off the awesome and fun personalities that work hard day in and day out to ensure your company’s success.

Hosting a Flash Interview. If you want to give a quick and easy information session, then you should consider hosting a flash interview. You can live stream an interview with one of your clients on a new product launch or ask one of your colleagues to describe how to make the perfect pitch. It’s really up to you! It’s a flash talk–it’s not supposed to be long.

Going live is a huge trend in social media right now, so don’t have any regrets about not joining in on the fun. Utilizing live streaming can help to improve your social media engagement, as well as inspire and ignite your Facebook and Instagram fans!

Have you ever had an awesome live stream experience and want to share some advice? Share it in the comments below!