Benefits and Tips for Going Live

January 23, 2024

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Going live on social media may sound stressful, especially if you’ve never done it and aren’t used to putting yourself out there. But if you’re trying to market your brand or business on social media, hosting live events and creating live content can be super beneficial.

7 Benefits of Going Live on Social Media

Of course, those benefits may not be super obvious to someone who’s never tested or played around with live features. While static, on-demand content should be the backbone of your social media content strategy; live content can provide a necessary sparkle for your online brand. Here are seven benefits of going live on social media. 

1. Real-Time Engagement

The first and most important benefit of going live is that you get direct engagement and instant feedback from your followers. This time allows you to ask questions, get to know your audience, and learn more about what they want from you in real time. Few opportunities offer this benefit, so you should definitely take advantage of it. 

2. Live Content Screams “Important!”

On the content hierarchy, “going live” sits at the tippy top of the pyramid. It’s typically reserved for important news, events, contests, or announcements and should be used accordingly. 

As a result, people prioritize live content and engage with it more often than other content. For example:

3. Reaching a New Audience

Live content accounts for about 23% of global viewing time. Whether you’re the type of person who views live or not, the fact remains that there are lots of social media users who primarily or regularly view live content. So, if you aren’t using live features, you’re missing out on a large portion of potential customers, followers, and fans.

4. Live Notifications

Every time you go live, an instant notification is sent to your followers who have push notifications enabled, which represents more than half of all smartphone users. So, the minute you go live, many of your followers are instantly notified, which boosts your engagement. Not only will that help increase the number of people who see your live event, but it also puts your name and brand in the notification bar on your audience’s phones, which ultimately helps build brand awareness. 

5. Building Brand Awareness

Speaking of brand awareness, over 163 million people have watched live content so far this year. That’s a staggering number that reflects the importance of live content for brands and businesses. And combined with the fact that people tend to prioritize live content, throwing some live events in your content schedule could also significantly boost your brand awareness.

6. Reusable Content

Another significant benefit of going live is that it isn’t limited to just live events. Once you’ve gone live, you have a large piece of content that you can break down into manageable chunks to repurpose and share later. It’s like batch-creating a bunch of videos all at once, just without the breaks and with a little more pressure.

7. It’s Free!

And last but certainly not least, going live is absolutely free. And not only is it free, but many social media platforms have made their live features so user-friendly that going live is almost a no-brainer.

7 Tips for Going Live on Social Media

While it’s readily apparent that going live on social media can greatly impact your brand and business, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, creating a boring or badly timed live event could also harm your brand, your online presence, and your confidence. So, here are seven tips for going live on social media.

1. Tell People Ahead of Time

While it’s true that you can partially rely on the live notifications feature to get people to your event, that won’t work for everyone. That’s why it’s vital to make as many people aware of your live event ahead of time as possible. After all, the last thing you want is to host a live event where no one shows up. 

Of course, if you do host a live event and no one shows up immediately, don’t give up hope! There are a couple of reasons why you should still go forward with your planned content. One, there’s still time for people to show up late. And two, you can still break your live event into multiple pieces of content to share later. Ultimately, your live event should have a purpose, which still exists, even if no one’s watching.

2. Plan and Rehearse Beforehand

We cannot stress how much better your live content will be if you plan and practice beforehand. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to create a script and write your own lines. In fact, if you’re diligently following a script, it might make it more difficult to interact with your audience. But it is super crucial that you create and practice with a set of talking points, ideas, and thoughts you know you want to share beforehand.

Remember: don’t go live for no reason, and always have a plan. If you aren’t sure how to fill 20 to 60 minutes, hold off until you do. 

3. Ask Questions

One of the most effective ways to create engagement during your videos is to ask questions. We’ve all seen live videos where followers spout off questions, and the live host rattles off answers as quickly as possible. But that won’t happen for everyone.

If you want to guide your engagement and interact with your audience directly, you should try to ask questions and respond to answers. Don’t rely on your audience to engage with you first. If you want them to interact, you have to be the one to put yourself out there, encouraging interaction and leading the event. 

4. Feature a Guest

Going live can be a little stressful, so why not invite another brand or business with an online presence to go live with you? Featuring a guest at your live event offers a few benefits, including:

  • A guest can take the pressure off you to talk the entire time.
  • A guest might bring their own audience, effectively doubling your reach.
  • A guest adds content to the live event via questions, stories, opinions, etc.
  • A guest offers guaranteed back-and-forth engagement because you have at least one person to talk to. 
  • A guest can make the live event more interesting for your audience.

5. Invest in Gear

If you want to create high-quality live content, you must invest in your gear. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to sink thousands of dollars into a new camera setup and film-quality lighting, but it’s important that your live content doesn’t look shabby. So, here are a few things you should invest in:

  1. One of the latest, high-tech phones on the market. It doesn’t have to have everything, but a super-quality camera is a must-have for going live.
  2. A phone stabilizer or tripod so your phone doesn’t shake, move, or fall during your event.
  3. Clear, warm lighting that works well with your skin tone and background (light stands, LED rings, etc.).
  4. A condenser microphone or lapel mic for better sound.
  5. Video editing software, so you can break your live video into chunks later. 
  6. A green screen if you want to experiment with backgrounds. 
  7. High-speed internet connection that won’t lag.
  8. Laptop or desktop computer capable of running multiple video platforms at once.

6. Mind Your Background

Even if the content you’re presenting is super engaging, social media users have spent their entire lives watching videos, and it’s almost like they’re specifically trained to notice every tiny detail on-screen. So, if you give them a background with messy, embarrassing, or otherwise distracting elements, they will notice. 

That’s why it’s crucial to create a background for your live event that won’t steal focus. In fact, there’s even an argument to be made to use your background to add to your live event. Banners, fun lights, arresting imagery, behind-the-scenes snapshots, and green screens are just a few examples of stuff you can use in your backgrounds that could ultimately make your content better.

7. Aim for 20+ Minutes 

If you’re going to invest your time and energy into creating live content, don’t make it short. Of course, if you run out of things to say, don’t just stay on for the sake of staying on. The last thing you want is an endless monologue that bores your audience more than it excites them.

But you also want to make sure that when you get people excited about a live event, you offer enough to make it worthwhile. Remember, live events are the perfect opportunity to provide value and build trust, so use them wisely. We recommend aiming for at least 20 minutes without exceeding 1 hour. If you can fall right into that sweet spot, you should be good to go.

Embrace Going Live Today!

There are many reasons why you should embrace going live and use it to build your business online. Live content can significantly boost your online brand, give you prime opportunities to interact with your audience, and provide reusable content to be shared later.

And with millions of people viewing live content every year, the potential reach of a successful live event is enormous. So, don’t wait – start planning your next live event today!