To live or not to live - that is the question.
Social media is all about the now, and what is more now than live? Periscope and Meerkat paved the way, but things moved quickly. A short time later, we can now go live on just about any social platform, with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube leading the pack.
But just because your company can go live doesn't mean that it should. Here are some things to keep in mind when your company is mulling the idea of live video.
Testing the Appropriateness
Everyday people go live to show a whole slew of things - everything from asking followers, “What should I wear today?” to proclaiming, “Look at this duck I found at the park!” or “Check out this new trick I learned!” Feel free to go live all you want on your personal account and annoy your friends and family with (for the most part) pointless live videos.
But this isn't about you - this is about your company. So when is it appropriate to go live and when should you just say, "Nah?"
Mastering Your Timing
This goes without saying, but timing is everything. You won’t be hitting that live button if there isn't anything going on. This doesn’t mean that you should force anything either! Ask yourself, "Would I watch it?" That should be a pretty good filter to get you pointed in the right direction.
So say you do ask that question and you say, “Yes! My followers need to see this!” What do you need to do to make sure everything goes off without a hitch? Best case scenario is you have everything planned out in advance and you have all your ducks in a row.
Checking Off Your List
Before you hit that "go" button, make sure you've planned for the following:
- Make sure you have a strong connection (wifi connections are preferred)
- Take lighting and audio into consideration when applicable
- Determine whether someone will be holding the camera or you're using a stand
- Tell fans when you're broadcasting ahead of time
- Ask viewers to subscribe to live notifications
Use a test page to do a quick test of your location to see how it look and sounds.
So you're ready to kick things off - a few last things to truly make the most of your live video experience:
- Make sure you put some thought into your description so followers will want to view
- Introduce yourself, and give a quick explanation of what followers can expect to see
- Responding to comments will give you mega bonus points
- Facebook recommends going live for at least 10 minutes to be able to gain the most viewers (max 90 mins.)
- Tell your followers that you are ending the broadcast - don’t just end it and leave them hanging
All these tips and ideas are nice when you have plenty of time in advance to prepare for these things. But what about those situations that come out of left field and surprise you? The only advice for this is don't wait. Being early is is much better than being late and missing it all together.
If things start to go sour (i.e., your stream becomes choppy, audio is garbage or your followers just aren’t having it) don’t feel like you need to ride this sinking ship to a watery grave. Let the followers know you are ending it, and take care of any damage control if needed.