Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Best Practices for Live Streaming

Best Practices for Live Streaming

Hands down, video is a popular and an effective tool for attracting attention in social media. Video works on any major social network, from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, not to mention TikTok and Snapchat.

Short recorded videos work well as do videos with embellishments like captions and emoji, but the type of video that continues to gain popularity is live streaming videos. Live streaming takes the attraction and engagement power of video to a new level, in real time.

What should you live stream?

Like any medium, live streaming video can take many different formats:

How to videos such as product demonstrations

  • Behind-the-scenes video like a tour of a company’s headquarters
  • Covering an event such as a conference, including virtual events
  • Q&A interviews like a talk show
  • Video workshops or classes

The key to successful live streams is to be properly prepared.

How do you prep for live streaming?

As with any video production, pay close attention to lighting and audio. While you can’t always control the conditions surrounding a more spontaneous live stream, having the right equipment can make a difference in quality of the video as it streams live.

While you can use a smartphone to handle most live streaming, consider purchasing additional lighting, such as a ring light. Another way to film a live stream is through your laptop or desktop computer. Invest in a high-quality external microphone to better capture your voice and minimize other noises.

For in-the-moment live streams, you don’t have the ability to create a visually pleasing setting, but when you are streaming from the office or a consistent place, arranging furniture, décor, and accent lighting can create a more pleasing visual.

Not everyone is familiar with – or able to – speak to a video camera unscripted. At the very least, prepare an outline of the points you’d like to make. Reading a script on a live stream can feel stilted and ring false. Practice what you want to say in advance so you can speak to your points, not read them

How to record your livestream

While there are many third-party solutions for recording a live streamed video including Zoom and Crowdcast, unless you are organizing an event where people register, or even pay, to attend your livestream, you can use live streaming capabilities in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Note that LinkedIn requires that you submit an application to use their LinkedIn Live feature and not everyone is accepted as a broadcaster. Using social network tools to livestream immediately provides a notification to your followers or subscribers to promote your livestream as it is happening and attract a live audience.

Each social network allows you to archive raw livestreamed videos after they’ve happened and most of them let you download them to edit them further. For those that don’t have a download feature, such as Instagram, you can use a third-party app to capture the video and download to your phone. Then you can edit on your smartphone or transfer the video footage to your computer for more formal edits.

How to leverage your livestream after it’s live

While the raw archived video footage is content to populate your social networks, editing the video or excerpting it gives you additional visual content to use in all of your social networks. If you have a YouTube channel but you used Instagram to record your livestream, you can still upload the footage and add it to a YouTube playlist. If you recorded your livestream on Zoom, you could have chosen to simultaneously livestream on Facebook or YouTube, but even if you didn’t, you can upload the videos to either after the fact.

Shorter video excerpts from your livestream can be used on the main social network that allow video uploads as posts as well as your Instagram and Facebook Stories, Pinterest and TikTok. Treat your longer form video as a starting point for developing shorter ones that extend the life of your livestream.

With the right equipment and preparation, you can use livestreaming video as part of your social media marketing. As you can see, after you record a video live, you can get even more use out of the video footage over time.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman