Two strong trends have emerged in the social media space recently. Live video streaming, that allows users to react and comment while watching a live video and Stories, that allow users to create a collection of videos and images which disappear after 24 hours.
Live Video and Stories can be great tools for activation and real-time storytelling or news-jacking.
Both are unique in their functionality, audience and potential uses. Once we’ve explored the mechanics involved let’s see how you can best use these mediums to reach connections and enhance your brand.
Understanding Live Streaming
With Facebook live being made available to every user in April, the world’s largest social network joined Twitter’s Periscope and gave users the ability to live stream from their phones.
Compared to the separate app and clunky functionality of Twitter, streaming your activities live on Facebook is a relatively seamless process. If you combine the ease of adoption with the much larger user base, and connections – Facebook live becomes a compelling tool to communicate with your friends and followers.
Facebook Prioritising Video And Live Streaming
On top of the larger user base, Facebook’s algorithm (prioritisation) for displaying content to other users, favours live video over and above all other content. They even have a separate priority push notification that you will receive if a friend or brand you follow goes live.
What And Why Would I Live Stream?
Live stream by nature suits to reaching your audience immediately. Here are a few ways to leverage the medium.
Local event – Streaming the bustling activity of a local fare or fundraising activity could be a great way to get more folks down and participating. Turn the camera to the scenery around you and let them soak in the action. Of course remembering to value their time, when the action’s over.
Thought leadership – As a business owner you could leverage the channel to highlight your expertise. When legislation changes or something significant happens in the market, live streaming could be a great way to bring your followers up to speed.
Being of service to your customers or followers should always be your first thought when sharing – even on live video. Think would I find this interesting or useful?
Another way to portray thought leadership and be of service to your client could simply be to bring a friend/colleague/expert into the conversation. For example if there was a current forest fire risk in your neighbourhood – bring on a fireman to advise clients on protecting their property.
Team Updates – As a business owner, an unconventional way to keep your team up to date might be live streaming to a closed Facebook group, you could give insights on the go and your team could catch up later if they missed you live.
Ask me anything or behind the scenes – Two final uses for live streaming could be answering questions from followers or providing a peek into your craft. I would use these sparingly and only when something unique or extraordinary is happening in your career.Remember this is Facebook not ‘bring a colleague to work day’.
A great example is Carlos Burle Brazilian pro surfer, who takes us behind the scenes at Waimea.
For more tips check out Facebook’s own ideas.
Try out personal live streaming
From your home screen there is a simple live button that allows you to:
- set up an enticing title, select your audience (Public, friends or a custom group you’ve created. If you launch the live stream from within a closed group it will also protect those privacy setting as well.)
- before clicking go live, select a spot where wind and background noise are at a minimum
- clicking the blue go live button commences a three second countdown that you can use to frame yourself or your subjects correctly and to start smiling.
Stream from your Facebook Business Page
By downloading the Facebook Pages Manager app it is also possible to stream you can access the functionality by selecting:
- the page you wish to manage
- choose a title and select which geography and demographics to target
- and then clicking go live, which again initiates a three second countdown.
As with all videos once uploaded they feature in your timeline and can be found by others. Remember to remove any videos that are only of relevance for a short time.
Originating in Snapchat, the ephemeral or short lived stories collections run in contradiction to the rest of the web and dissapear after 24 hours. Historically as marketers and salespeople our web and social media content was created to be of service to our clients, the more content we create, the more they answers a client could find and build affinity with our brand. Now, with Snapchat and Instagram stories, brands can create content in the moment, in a more playful, throw away form.
With almost double the user base or Snapchat, at 400 million (source) Instagram recently added their version of the functionality to its platform. Instagram has a more mature user base when compared to Snapchat. So if you’re looking long term to build a relationship with millennials then try Snapchat. For a more active group of higher net worth customers – try using Instagram Stories.
Creating your first Story item
From the home screen of your app the add to story icon is top left.
- Tapping the circle icon for an instant snaps a picture onto which you can draw or write (should your picture not speak the right 1000 words). Your drawing or words can then be moved around the screen and positioned.
- Holding the circle icon with record video for as long as you hold the icon, release the icon and the upload arrow is ready to add the recorded video to your story.
How to leverage Stories?
Stories could allow you to give insights into what it would be like for a client to work with you. Take the story beyond you just doing your job but the extra mile you go to ensure excellence. Be of service to your clients with a handy tip.
You could also use it to alert your followers of other longer format content – a new blog post or longer video, maybe even a live streaming event on Facebook.
@garyvee Owner and instigator of Winelibrary.tv and the social media agency Vaynermedia uses his Stories to alert followers of his latest motivational videos – linking to his DailyVee updates in his bio.
Showcase your customers and celebrate their wins and if there’s something topical in the new relevant to your client’s give them a quick update.
I’m sure there’s a whole lot more useful techniques for brands on Instagram Stories but for a few more ideas check out this article from buffer, with a list of inspirational users to follow.
My top pick for instant work stories jealousy – @chrisburkard who shows behind the scenes footage of his landscape photography.