Social Media Live Streaming

Social Media Live Streaming 101

Over the last couple of weeks, you’ve probably seen live videos popping up on your Facebook and Instagram timelines left and right. In fact, Facebook reports a 50% increase in Live stream usage in the last month. With fewer options for entertainment given the current global situation, brands, public figures, and users alike are turning to social media live streaming on these channels to pass the time. If your brand is considering social media live streaming, here’s what you need to know.

Facebook- Live vs. Premiere

On Facebook, brand pages have a couple options to choose from for broadcasting live content to fans – Live video or Premieres. While the two look similar to an outside eye, they have some key differences that could make a big difference in your live stream.

Facebook Live vs Premiere features

Now that you have a feel for the two live video formats on Facebook, it’s time to pick which type you’re going to roll with. As always, there are a few key best practices to adhere to, regardless of the type of live stream you will host.

Facebook Live Best Practices

  • Establish a script/timeline ahead of time – plan out key talking points that will keep users engaged throughout the duration of the broadcast.
  • Notify fans when you are broadcasting ahead of time – we recommend sharing a post at least 24-48 hours in advance that announces the date and time of the Live broadcast.
  • Go live when you have a strong connection – connection to WiFi is best. If WiFi is unavailable, you will want a 4G connection. If your connection is too weak, the ‘Go Live’ button will be grayed out and disabled.
  • Engage with viewers throughout the live broadcast – encourage ongoing interaction by responding to users’ commentary.
  • Broadcast for a longer period of time to reach more users – while on-demand videos should remain shorter, Live videos have a higher likelihood of being discovered and shared the longer the broadcast lasts. We recommend going live for 5-10 minutes to reach more users.

Facebook Premiere Best Practices

  • Plan ahead to notify fans – Premiere videos can be scheduled up to 7 days in advance and must be scheduled at least 10 minutes in advance. Viewers can subscribe to notifications on your Premiere – those subscribers will receive notifications before it begins. 
  • Include important details in a pinned comment – Pin important information such as links in the comments for easy access.
  • Make sure video fits all Premiere requirements – MP4s work best, must be at least 30 seconds long & the file must be smaller than 10GB. For more requirements, click here.

Instagram Live

Going live on Instagram has a different feel to the live streams of its parent company. On Instagram, Live broadcasts have a much more casual and conversational feel. If that is more closely aligned with your brand personality, you may want to opt for an Instagram Live over Facebook. Here are some tips for success to get you started.

Instagram Social Media Live Streaming

Instagram Live Best Practices

  • Give followers advance notice – Consider sharing a feed update and leveraging the countdown sticker in Stories to tease your Live stream to followers. If you are hosting a Q&A-style broadcast, this will give fans an opportunity to submit questions that you can prepare for.
  • Check your connection – As with Facebook Live streams, WiFi connection is best and will help ensure a high-quality stream.
  • Turn on comment moderation – Ensure this feature is turned on and set up ahead of time to help facilitate a positive community experience.
  • Save and upload your video – After your stream has concluded, be sure to save the video and add it to your Story. To extend the lifetime of this content even further, you could create a custom Story Highlight on your profile or upload it to your feed as an IGTV video.

For more details on best practices for live streaming on these networks, and others, check out our post on social media live events.

Now that you have the basics of going live, it’s time to put your broadcasting skills to the test. As always, if you are looking for support from our experts as you navigate these waters, let’s talk.

Also, keep up with what’s happening in the social media marketing world by subscribing to our bi-weekly e-newsletter, Social You Should Know, below.

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