Every day, the average adult watches more than 5 hours of video.

Increasingly, younger generations are replacing standard television channels and cable with streaming services. These solutions allow them to customize their entertainment experience. From Netflix to Hulu, streaming is everywhere – including on your social channels.

When platforms like Twitter and Instagram began to introduce video as a content format, the response was overwhelmingly positive. 55% of people said they’d pay closer attention to video than any other form of content. However, only the companies with the right access to video equipment and editing software could get ahead with recorded material. The development of live streaming on social media changed everything.

What is live streaming on social media?

As social channels everywhere began to enable live streaming, companies and individuals started sharing unedited, raw footage of their day-to-day lives. This helped remove the stigma that video must be well-produced to succeed online.

As audiences began to crave greater authenticity for brands, raw and genuine video grew in popularity. 80% of customers now say that they’d rather watch a live video than read a company’s blog.

By live streaming to channels like Facebook or Instagram Live, companies create eye-catching content that captures the attention and respect of customers. Benefits include:

  • Increased engagement: Live video gives businesses a new way to create valuable content. Engage through Q&A sessions, live discussions and interviews that boost engagement.
  • Better relationships: Raw, authentic video makes customers feel more connected to brands. People believe that they’re seeing “behind the scenes.”
  • Improved reputation: Live video demonstrates transparency for a brand. It helps companies to generate trust and loyalty.
    How to start live streaming

Like any other social or marketing campaign, live streaming works best when approached with a strategy in mind. To make the most out of live-streamed content:

  • Choose your platforms: Decide where you’re going to be live streaming. This choice should be dictated by where your customers spend the majority of their time.
  • Plan types of content to share: Through live streaming, you connect with customers in countless ways. Try using live events, behind-the-scenes content, interviews and Q&A sessions, updates, announcements, how-to guides and more.
  • Develop a schedule: Use tools like Sprout Social to understand when your audience is most engaged, and develop a plan for when to stream on your social channels.
  • Focus on engagement: Remember that live streaming is all about having a conversation with your audience. Look for ways to make your customers feel like they’re interacting with you, not just watching a video.

Keep in mind that live streaming video doesn’t need to be perfect, but it will represent your brand. This means that you should attempt high-quality video if possible. Invest in a good camera or phone and make sure that you test the sound and streaming quality of your video before going live.

Optimizing your live streams

Practice makes perfect with live streaming.

The more you explore the features on different social channels, the more comfortable you’ll feel with these platforms

Remember, like any other part of social media, it’s also important to track your results to pave the way for optimization. Track how long your streams need to be to maximize engagement and whether your customers respond better to certain types of content.