In recent years, skilled command of live social media has become a distinguishing trait of a successful marketer. Interacting on social media used to be all about making the right post at the right time or using the right graphic. However, it has evolved to become a process of using the most modern technology available to connect with users on a more personal, intimate, and unique level.
Enter: live-streaming technology.
Today, platforms like Facebook and Snapchat get more than 8 billion daily views on their videos. The people who use YouTube or watching hundreds of millions of hours of video content on a daily basis.
With those numbers in mind, it’s no surprise that live video on social media has become so lucrative for marketers. In addition to being inexpensive to produce, live social media is also highly personal, unique, and authentic. This is really what makes it the ideal social content for today’s discerning and on-the-go audience.
Understanding Live Social Media: What Is It?
When marketers talk about live social media, they’re not necessarily talking about somebody posting in real time. Instead, they’re typically talking about marketers who use platforms like Facebook live to create live video content.
“Social video,” as it’s called, is an umbrella term that encompasses many different things. On the one hand, “social video” could be something as elaborate and carefully planned as a multi-million-dollar Super Bowl commercial. On the other hand, it could be a simple, live-stream video that shows customers the back end of the company’s production process. Or maybe it offers a sneak peek of a new product.
Regardless of how social video differs, it all shares the following things in common: it is shareable, it is authentic, and it is optimized for different channels. The latter provides a series of unique challenges since videos that work well on Instagram will not necessarily work well on Facebook.
The companies creating social video in the modern world need to be able to adapt, shift their approach, and dominate various marketing channels according to their corporate goals and outlooks.
Why Social Video Is So Critical For Today’s Marketing
Although many people see social video as another trend in the ever-changing world of social media, it goes much deeper than that. Today, the entire web is trending toward video. In fact, experts predict that 74% of all web traffic by the end of 2017 will be dedicated to video content.
Today, social media networks are creating their own native video and supporting the growth of video content overall. Social video appeals to powerful, yet hard-to-reach demographics. Video as a whole provides a unique and highly authentic way for companies to interact with their customers.
Social video is already growing at an alarming rate — businesses that don’t hop on board now are likely to be left out down the road.
As if all that were not enough, social video also has the power to create an incredible ROI. Today, a massive 72% of companies that use video in their social media marketing programs report that it has boosted their website conversion rates. If it can do that for these enterprises, just imagine what it can do for yours.
The Difference Between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube
To fully understand live social media, you have to understand the differences between each platform available. Since there are so many, however, this can be a challenging experience. Here’s a simple breakdown of each platform, its benefits, and features:
- Facebook Live. Facebook Live was rolled-out to celebrities in 2015. Shortly after that, it became available to regular Facebook users. As the largest social media platform in the world, any tool offered by Facebook provides marketers with the option to reach a very broad audience. The platform is simple to use and one of the most popular live social media apps out there.
- Twitter. In late 2016, Twitter announced that it would now allow users to live-stream directly from the app, without opening Periscope, which Twitter owns. Simple, user-friendly, and versatile, Twitter’s live streaming function allows users to send live social content directly to their followers from the mobile app itself.
- YouTube Live. YouTube Live offers the same archiving capabilities as Facebook. On YouTube, live social videos can be saved and watched at a later date. The original video platform, YouTube stands out as a popular option for people who want to enhance their video content strategy. The only issue is that, since the platform isn’t hooked into social sharing, it can be difficult to share videos effectively.
How To Use Live Social Media In Your Marketing Strategy: 6 Expert Tips
Although many companies are excited about the prospect of live social media, many more are confused about how, exactly, to break into it. Fortunately, getting started with live-streaming is easier than it may seem.
Decide On The Platform
The first step to dominating live social media is understanding which platform you should be using. Today, virtually every social media outlet offers some form of live-streaming video capability, so your choices are almost limitless. As with all social media-related activities, your decision should be based on where your customers spend the most time.
For example, if most of your customers come from Facebook, you’re best off starting with Facebook live. From there, you can adapt your video content to suit secondary channels and reach your audience as a whole.
Test All Your Video Content
Just like any other form of new digital marketing you undertake, live social media will require some testing. Not everything you create will go off like gangbusters with your audience, so it’s essential to test, retest, and test again the video content you create.
Doing so will allow you to get a grasp of what your audience likes and what they don’t like. Then you’ll have a better idea of what direction to take your video content creation in the future. Beyond that, you should consider testing metrics like posting frequency and social platform.
Keep It Authentic
When people think about filming marketing videos, they immediately think about posing and creating a highly polished environment. The rise of live social media, however, has changed this. Today, customers don’t want as much posed corporate content. They want authentic, personal, off-the-cuff material.
With this in mind, be sure to make the most of your company’s impromptu, genuine moments. Give customers an idea of what your business looks like a behind the scenes. Consider using a platform like Periscope to introduce your viewers to a new staff member or manager.
The simple, authentic glimpses into your company culture can serve to cement customers and their affection for your brand, making your culture more accessible.
Utilize The Chat Feature
Today, most live-streaming platforms feature a chat box, which you should be using to engage with your fans while creating your live-stream video. If this sounds too overwhelming, consider taking a page out of General Electric’s book and creating a second profile. This way one of your employees or marketers can engage with the audience who is engaging with the live stream.
This will help brand you as an involved and attentive company while also ensuring that your customers get as much value from your content as possible.
Plan Your Video Content in Advance
Live social media, by nature, only offers one shot. While you could shoot and re-shoot a commercial, you do not have a chance to redo live social content. With this in mind, plan the circumstances for your live streaming video ahead of time. Although you don’t want to come off as overly scripted or staged, it is important to consider the essential details of the live stream. This way, when the time comes to start filming, things should go off without a hitch.
Make Your Customers the Hero of the Story
The more customer-centric your live videos can be, the better. When you create content for your users by your users, it’s a fantastic way to not only make your company more memorable but also to showcase your willingness to focus on your customers.
Live Social Media: the Way of the Future
While social media changes drastically every year, live content stands out as one of the biggest shifts of recent memory. Unique, authentic, and highly interactive, live social content is taking marketers and customers by storm. Providing a platform for companies and the people who follow them to interact, connect, and build relationships, live social media represents the wave of the future for platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and won’t be disappearing anytime soon.
Not sure where to get started with live social media? Contact Thrive Internet Marketing and let our team help you create a digital social media strategy and use live video to flesh it out.