Before, During + After: Tips for Going Live on Social Media

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I’m a big, if not THE biggest, John Mayer fan you’ll meet. Aside from being an insane guitarist and singer, Mayer is crushing it on social media with his “Current Mood Shows” that are glorified Instagram Live videos. Every week, leading up to the show on Sunday, Mayor teases special guests and what he’ll be talking about, which is usually just funny ramblings about anything the audience asks during the live event.

The team behind his show – or anyone that has launched a successful live video – knows it takes serious planning for streaming to be successful. I’ve made a list of planning steps to take before, during and after launching a live video:

Before

  • According to Live Stream, 80% of users would rather watch a live video than read a blog, which means your video should provide value and interest to your audience. Our team at LEAP Amp helps brands do this by tapping into social data through social listening tools. This discovery provides valuable insight on your consumer’s conversations on your channels to tailor your overall “story,” or message for your live show.
  • Write out the main talking points and get opinions from your team on what should or shouldn’t be discussed.
  • Most importantly, incorporate time for audience engagement, where you can answer questions or comment on topics your viewers are discussing, in real time. Facebook has stated live video generates 6X more interactions than regular video. Not only will responding to viewers make you or your brand seem more authentic, it will also keep the audience tuned in.
  • After developing an overall outline and determining who will be featured in the live video, practice in front of a camera and, eventually, in front of an internal team. A good tip is to have cue cards behind the scene so the moderator can stay on track.
  • Don’t skip on checking your Internet connectivity or else you’ll be in a world of hurt.
  • Additionally, before going live, practice with the equipment in the space you will be using during the event. I suggest using a live gimbal or an iPhone tri-pod so the camera stays steady. Depending on your environment, having good lighting tools, like a Ring Light Kit, could also be valuable. And, if necessary, audio tools such as a converter and adapter, for optimal sound quality.
  • If you’re wanting a more advanced approach, consider adding additional cameras or transitions using graphics and other video clips related to your topic.
  • Before advertising your live event, consider if the time you want to go live is a peak time for your audience to be on a specific platform. Hint: it’s usually not during the 9-5 workday.
  • Dig into your marketing and develop a strategy a few days, or weeks, in advance for your upcoming Live event through paid content promotion to the exact target audience you’ll want to reach. Whether advertising is done through Instagram stories or an exclusive Facebook event group, branding and consistency are important across all marketing channels. Remember, the messaging should emphasize the value of why a viewer should tune in.

During

  • Hours before your live launch, send out an email to subscribers, direct messages to followers or a final post to remind fans you’re going live in a certain amount of time. People are busy. A simple reminder can go a long way.
  • Relax, be natural and roll with the punches. When using platforms like Instagram Live or Facebook Live, you don’t know what fans are going to say. Be prepared to engage with comments or ignore comments while keeping track of your overall messaging.
  • Having a dedicated community and media manager scanning conversations during the live video is also a great additional resource.

After:

  • After you’ve conquered your live event, save the video and optimize it for different platforms, like YouTube or an Instagram Story Highlight reel.

  • Build a content calendar with an allocated media budget to promote the video on different platforms and consider setting up retargeting campaigns for users that tuned in.