live streaming

8 Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Live-Streaming

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Live-Streaming isn’t a new tactic, it’s been around awhile now with companies such as Live Stream and UStream just to name a few. In the past couple years however, live-streaming has become more accessible to the average Joe, making it so that if you have a smart phone and a connection, you can stream anything to your hearts content. Google Hangouts was a step towards the live-streaming applications available without a cost and then came MeerKat (remember them?), Periscope, and now Facebook Live has come into the market to make certain that there is an option for everyone. However, before you start getting your device ready to live stream, here are some do’s and don’ts that you should make sure you are aware of.

The Do’s

Do Check Your Connection

This cannot be stressed enough, before you even attempt to live-stream to your audience make certain that you will have a good connection. If you’re going off site to live-stream, visit the location ahead of time and test it out or bring along a mobile hotspot such as a MiFi so that you’re not relying on someone else’s network or your data connection.

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Do Check into Permits

Depending on where or what you are planning on live-streaming you may need a permit or a press pass. Make sure to check with the venue, location or event coordinators ahead of time so when you show up there are no surprises.

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Do Rehearse Ahead of Time

Whether you are streaming a cooking lesson or a Q&A with the cast of Sesame Street, it’s always best to rehearse a day or two before. For more scripted live-streams such as an instructional video, grab a friend and record a practice session first. For Q&A sessions make sure to have some sample Q&A questions ready to go, just in case you need them.

Do Have a Plan B

Not everything goes as planned, while we hope for the best there are sometimes obstacles that show up that are beyond our control. The weather can play a big part in throwing wrenches in plans. If you have an outdoor event, make sure you have a plan to go indoors if it’s an option. There are other elements such as loss of network connection, cancelled events, celebrities bailing, the list can go on and on, but if you have a back-up plan in place ahead of time it will alleviate a lot of stress.

The Don’ts

Don’t Forget to Promote

If your audience doesn’t know you’re going to be hosting a live-stream until the last minute you might miss out on getting some valuable impressions. Don’t message too far ahead of time however, because people may forget. We recommend promoting a week prior to the live-stream, the day before, the morning of and within the hour leading up to it.

Don’t Be Overly Script

While it’s advisable to rehearse and know what direction that you are going to go in for your live-stream don’t be overly scripted. When on camera it’s best not to look like you are reading from index cards or the notes on the back of your hand, it’s more authentic and fun to watch for your audience if you appear natural.

Don’t Have Dead Air

The dreaded dead air. When I was a kid and the television went dark in between a show and a commercial someone would always joke that someone just got fired for the dead air. While I don’t think that ever really happened, it can instill fear. With live-streaming be ready just in case you run into an instance where the person you are interviewing or talking to isn’t ready, tell a funny story or something that relates to why your audience is tuning in.

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Don’t Stress Out

It’s almost impossible not to, but really, try not to stress out. It’s a live-stream and just like live television, there is always the chance for something to happen that you weren’t prepared for. Be ready to roll with the punches.

Now that we’ve armed you with some basic do’s and don’ts for live-streaming, get out there and show your audience what you’ve got. Take a look at the different platforms available to live-stream and see what fits your needs best. If you’re looking for more information on Periscope specifically and what other brands have done, you can see what Zagat had to say here. If you have any questions on how you can best live-stream for your brand or still aren’t sure which platform to use, hit us up and we’ll be glad to help.

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