Just like a live television broadcast, live streaming is the practice of broadcasting across the internet in real time, usually through a social media platform like YouTube, Facebook Live, Instagram, Twitch, Vimeo, etc.
The benefits of streaming:
- You have the ability to flatten communications and speak directly to your audience about an issue or subject that is important to them.
- You can capitalize on interest for something happening in the moment.
- You'll get instant feedback regarding the audience you're attracting and the value of investing your resources into streaming.
- You'll create a sense of transparency; unlike a video, nothing gets edited out.
- You can keep the production value simple.
- You'll skip the algorithm and push your content to the top of the page (McLachlan, 2020).
Should I Go Live?
Social media and smartphones make live events more accessible than ever, so it's tempting to stream anything and everything. However, many events broadcast with the best of intentions fall flat.
Before tapping the "live" button, carefully assess if the event is:
- able to be live streamed without interruption. (WiFi, cell signal, bandwidth, etc.)
- unique, such as an event featuring a notable or impactful VIP guest.
- happening in the moment which benefits from the anticipation that livestreams give.
- one that invites two-way communication with the viewers.
- permissible for broadcast, so there are no security concerns.
Streams that hit all five of these characteristics draw the largest audience, generate the most engagement and leave a lasting impression.
Consider setting up a regularly scheduled live event such as coffee chats or training events like DINFOS Live. Other well-received live streaming events include town halls or interviews with special guests that answer viewer-submitted questions.
What Doesn’t Warrant Going Live?
Routine events that run long and involve a lot of repetition are not good choices for live streaming. Promotions, award ceremonies and change of command are not worth the high bandwidth and low engagement. Highlight videos will retain and magnify all those smaller moments without becoming dull.
It's better to save social media live streaming for truly significant, attention-grabbing moments.
Certain events don't warrant going live on social media as they do not appeal to digital stakeholders; however, they may appeal greatly to your internal stakeholders. We recommend going live via Zoom, Google Meet or another privately shareable link for those sorts of ceremonies.
Set Up Your Stream for Success
If you decide your program is fit for a livestream, it's time to set things up properly. Before you go live, explore each of these steps related to the tone, host, setting, platform and promotion to gain and sustain an audience eager for more.
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5 Key Steps Before You Stream
Bybyk, A. (2021, August 27). Live streaming 101: Tips & checklist. Restream | Blog.
McLachlan, S. (2020, April 22). The ultimate guide to social media live streaming in 2020. Hootsuite.