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Live Stream Usefulness: Brand-Audience Connections in Real Time

WP post 4-27-16

Live streaming isn’t just for news stations. Heavyweight brands are already optimizing real time video and advertising, but small businesses and organizations have opportunities on live platforms as well. Don’t know where to start? There are plenty of ideas floating around out there, and below you’ll find a nice list of such live streaming potential.

I had heard of live streaming platforms like Periscope, but never played with it because I have no time to watch my news. I listen and read my news… quickly, then get back to other responsibilities. Also, no one around me seemed enthralled with any live feeds, so I quickly lost interest.

Now that it’s on Facebook, as I learned here, I definitely want to play. (Facebook is larger than Twitter for news in my area.) It also helps that I will be in charge of someone else’s social media eventually, and need to be familiar with each tool. Here’s why you should want to play with them, too!

  1. Insider’s Look and Sneak Peeks – Who doesn’t love an insider’s look on an organization they love to support? Do a “Meet So&So, the person who answers your phonecalls” or “Check out this event in the works!”
  2. Party with Viewers – Already hosting the event? If it’s a hit, make people want to be there with you by livestreaming from the best seat at the party.
  3. Announcements – Is there a great sale, new product, or a limited time offer that your audience would enjoy? Announce it with a cool video or advertisement. Your closest followers will know first, giving them an incentive to follow you.
  4. Tips of the Trade – At certain, pre-announced times, give your audience some advice from the industry. You have insider know-how to share with people who don’t-(yet)-know-how. Let them learn from the best.
  5. Entertaining Happenstances – Does your job lend itself well to click-worthy amusement? Examples include a zoo worker with baby animals playing with each other or an office meme war. Record the funny stuff and share it on your channel when your audience is watching.
  6. Two Way Communication – Offer a real-time appointment for your audience to connect with you or another professional to ask questions about your work. You could even ask people for their ideas. Talk about audience engagement!
  7. Hot Fresh News – And, yes, there is still plenty of room for news updates via live streams. If something is going down in your industry, your audience might want to know about it. Keep them updated with interesting or emerging news and they’ll want to check in with you more often.

A word from the wise:

As I researched how small businesses might “go live,” I ran into some advice that can’t be skipped.

  1. Always announce a live stream with enough time for your audience to decide when to keep their eyes peeled for the actual stream.
  2. It takes time to build a following, so don’t be discouraged when your videos start out with a low viewer count.
  3. The third piece of advice is from me. Live streaming should still be planned out. Not only will you be better prepared when you are faced with a live audience and live feedback, but you can integrate your current campaigns and promotions into the streams.

As you can probably tell, I am more than excited about live stream opportunities. Sure, there are some shortcomings – no editing can be a scary concept, and live video doesn’t work for everyone – but the eyeballs might be well worth the risk. Have fun with it! I plan on finding me a way to practice soon. I hope my Facebook friends are ready for such nonsense.

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