Many social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, have added livestreaming functionality. But livestreaming isn’t just for celebrities and influencers; businesses are increasingly using livestreaming on social media as a marketing tool.
Businesses can use livestreaming as a form of social media marketing to connect with customers, generate more followers, demonstrate products and services, and educate and entertain viewers while moving them closer to a sale.
We’ll explore what livestreaming is, how it can benefit a brand, and how to get started.
While most social media platforms let users upload video content, livestreaming is video content in real time. Since it’s in real time, livestreamers can take and answer questions and interact with viewers. You can also record livestreamed presentations and post them online later to reach a larger audience.
In the past, livestreaming was solely a function of the best video conferencing services, such as Zoom, Skype, and Webex by Cisco. However, livestreaming via social media platforms is now the norm. Major social media platforms have enormous potential audiences for livestreamers. Since users already have social media apps and mobile browsers on their smartphones and tablets, they don’t have to download or set up additional software to view a livestream.
According to 2022 Wyzowl video marketing statistics, a typical user consumes an average of 19 hours of online video per week, an increase of an hour from the previous year. With such a ready and receptive audience, here are a few upsides to using livestreaming for your brand.
Not every business will benefit from livestreaming. It could be a good idea for your company if these statements are true:
The most effective livestreaming social media services are Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, TikTok and Twitter.
Facebook Live is one of the most popular livestreaming services due to its early rollout and huge user base. With Facebook Live, you use your equipment to broadcast live on your page’s stream to all your followers.
By establishing an easy-to-find, easy-to-use Live button on new posts – and the ability to save what’s streamed so you can post it later – Facebook Live makes livestreaming seamless. You can control who sees your broadcast, whether that’s anyone (on or off Facebook), friends, specific people, friends you’ve tagged, all friends with some exceptions, only friends you select, or only you (which is good for trial runs).
Provide a text description for those who join late and add filters and other effects to the video to retain interest. You can even write and draw on top of the screen, a useful tool for highlighting important items or ideas.
Instagram, owned by Facebook’s parent company Meta, also has a livestreaming capability. Tap the plus sign from anywhere on your news feed and select Live. Add a title, choose your broadcast audience, and tap Record.
Followers who are currently online will receive a notification when you go live; the livestream will appear at the front of the Instagram Stories menu, enabling you to enlarge your audience beyond those already aware of your event.
You can see and reply to real-time comments during the event, increasing the livestream’s interactive nature. You can block specific commenters or filter out particular phrases and keywords so you don’t get distracted by haters and trolls. Instagram Live events are limited to one hour, which is a shorter time period than other platforms.
The birthplace of online video, YouTube has continued its quest to bring video of all kinds to its more than 2 billion users. Most people on YouTube Live use a desktop or laptop computer rather than a smartphone. In fact, you are required to use a computer for livestreaming unless you have at least 1,000 subscribers, in which case you can stream from mobile.
Because companies on YouTube are usually familiar with video marketing, they’re more likely to have high-end cameras, lighting, and microphones, so the video quality tends to be higher than on other social platforms.
Existing subscribers will be notified of your livestream event, and you can use your channel and stream to boost each other with YouTube’s cross-promotion features. To start your live YouTube stream, select the camera icon in the top right corner of your browser or the plus sign on the mobile app, followed by Go Live.
TikTok is the short video social media network of choice for Millennials and Gen Z users. If this user base describes your target market, TikTok livestreams are likely a good choice. As with other livestreaming apps, you can use filters and create a title and cover photo. A unique feature of TikTok’s livestream is the ability of viewers to send “gifts,” digital rewards that the streamer can redeem for real money. This allows you to turn your livestream into an instant revenue-generating event.
Like on Instagram, TikTok livestreams are limited to one hour. This is likely ample time for TikTok’s user base.
To livestream on TikTok, you must be at least 16 years old and have at least 1,000 followers on the platform; you must be at least 18 to receive gifts. To start a livestream in the TikTok app, tap the plus sign and scroll until you see the Live option in the menu. If you don’t meet the livestreaming requirements, you won’t see this option.
TikTok Live is the only livestreaming social media platform that allows you to earn money directly from your livestream within the app.
Twitter used to own Periscope, one of the original livestreaming platforms. A few years ago, Twitter absorbed Periscope and renamed it Twitter Live. Twitter Live doesn’t have the same filters and effects as other platforms. However, one nice feature is the ability to have multiple hosts by tapping Invite Friends.
Use Twitter hashtags in your description to help people find your event in their feeds. Twitter users are often interested in news and technology, so if your company provides that kind of product or content, Twitter Live is a good choice for your livestream event.
To start your livestream on Twitter, tap the Compose button and the camera icon, and select Live from the bottom menu. Or, if you want a more professional broadcast, use Media Studio Producer, which also allows you to monetize your live video stream.
Twitter Live is the easiest livestreaming platform to use if you have special guests as part of your livestream or if you’re featuring remote employees.
Livestreaming is an engaging way to showcase your company, products and expertise. It’s also an excellent method for enlarging your customer base.
To take advantage of this technology, consider the following streaming strategies:
Eleonora Israele contributed to the writing and research in this article.