Social Video: To Go Live Or Not?

There has been lots of talk about video in general, but most recently, a lot of brands are talking about using live video as part of their overall strategy on social. We’re here to help you determine when it’s best to use live video vs. using pre-recorded video.

First, determine if video is the best format to use in telling the story that you’re trying to tell. Don’t fall into the trap of doing video for the sake of doing video. If video is the format you choose to convey your story, next determine the how.

Live or pre-recorded video?

That is the question. We’ve seen so many brands go live for the sake of going live, but with little or no preparation, execution falls flat. When thinking about using live video, it’s important to keep in mind what’s in it for them? What would make your audience tune into your live video?

Here are some things to keep in mind for a Facebook Live:

  • Use it if there is an opportunity to give the audience an exclusive look (keeping in mind the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor)
  • Keep it under 10 minutes (ideally under 5 minutes)
  • Schedule the Live before through Facebook and promote it to increase viewership. This way, users will get a reminder to tune in.
  • If a host is used he/she, should have on-camera experience and ideally be recognizable or influential in the space
  • Be engaging and conversational in tone
  • Create a script and prepare any necessary props
  • Test your internet connection before going live

Using pre-recorded video is also an excellent way for your brand to tell a story. Using video is a great way to extend the life of content beyond just sharing one post. For example, a three-minute video that may have been recorded for other marketing purposes could be re-purposed into different formats that are socially friendly— a GIF, a shorter version of a video, stills for a carousel—to name a few. Remember, social has a different rhythm and the attention span of your audience is short, as there are a lot of other things to capture their attention in the feed.

Here’s an example of how our Outer Banks client re-proposed a video that was initially shot for another purpose, into a highly engaging social video:

Have you ever wondered what it looks like to be in the barrel of a wave? 🌊

A post shared by The Outer Banks (@theouterbanksnc) on


What makes this so unique is that it was edited for social specifically, engaging users in an experience as they scroll through their feed.

As you’re thinking about video for your brand, remember that you can always shoot video as evergreen content. Your audience may not be as interested in a behind-the-scenes look at an event that you’re at (because they’re not there), but more around the story that you can tell with the captured video.

Need help with video content for your social channels? Drop us a line. We’re here to help.

Ignite Social Media