OK! You’ve done your homework and have decided to live stream an event or announcement on social media. Below the most popular social apps for going live are shown and how to use them.
(Keep in mind that this article was written in November of 2019 and some app / website features may have since been updated and changed.)
The first decision you need to make, is which app or website will you live stream from? Many social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram have live streaming features built in for free, but there are a number of websites such as Livestream.com and Periscope who focus solely on live streaming services, sometimes at a cost. First, let’s talk about some of the most common services.
At its core, Facebook is the social networking website with the most users in the world. While many apps only support live streaming from a phone, with Facebook you can broadcast from either your phone or your computer. Facebook also offers the option to post the recorded live stream to your page after the broadcast has ended, to allow the video to garner more views, and also give viewing access to those who may have missed it in real-time. With such a staggeringly large user base, Facebook may seem like a no-brainer for live stream hosting, but keep in mind that the average Facebook user age is 40.5 years old with fewer than 10% of users below 18 years old.
To go live from Facebook on either mobile or desktop, simply select Live from your Facebook home page.
Once within the live feature, you can adjust basic settings such as where to share the video from, and whether to broadcast to Friends or the public. Select the Live button to begin broadcasting.
Instagram is another vastly popular social networking site. Like Facebook, Instagram allows you to post your live video to your page after the stream has ended for future viewing. However, unless you add the live streamed video to your story, and then your Highlights it will disappear in 24 hours.
While perhaps not an uncommon feature, Instagram live videos display users’ real-time comments on the side of the screen, allowing you to easily shout out viewers as they tune in, and answer questions on camera. The average user falls between the ages of 18 and 24 years old, consisting of 75% of the Instagram population and making Instagram a great choice to reach teens and young adults. Find the live stream feature within the Camera of your Instagram app.
Click the Camera button in the top left corner.
From the options on the bottom, swipe until you reach the Live setting.
Now all you need to do is hit the Go Live button, and you’re on the air!
40% of U.S. adults who use Twitter are aged between 18 and 29 years, which makes Twitter another great way to reach a younger audience.
To go live on Twitter, select the New Tweet button. From the following page, select the camera icon.
This brings you to a page where you can add a description and / or location (great if you’re at a trade show or live event such as a concert or fundraiser).
From there, simply select Go Live to begin!
YouTube has the unique advantage of appealing to a vast audience age and demographic range. Over 90% of American internet users aged 18-44, over 80% of 45-64 year olds and over 50% of internet users 65+ frequent the YouTube website and app. YouTube Live is simple to use with your computer’s webcam or phone camera.
To go live on YouTube, simply click the camera icon in the upper corner.
From here, you can either upload a pre-recorded video, record a new video or go live. To begin your broadcast, simply select the option that says Go Live.
Regardless of which site you choose, it’s important to look at all the variables that go into it. What is your target audience demographic? Which app or website are they most likely to be using? Will the website be accessible to everyone with or without a smartphone, or laptop? Will your viewers be in the same time zone as you at the time of your broadcast?
Every live streaming social media service has a set of pros and cons. However, the technology of live streaming is ever-evolving and the reality is that there is no longer a need to choose one specific site. Sites like Redstream allow you to broadcast to multiple sites from one phone, computer or camera. The only downside to this, is your audience is broader making it harder to connect with viewers and respond to individual comments.
Live streaming is a powerful marketing communication medium that allows you to engage your audience, garner brand trust and transparency, and turn passive viewers into active audiences.