Top Tips for Going Live On Social Media From a Social Media Manager
(Want to listen to this blog post instead? Check out Episode 5 of The Social Brain podcast.)
Do you struggle when it comes to going live on social media?
You’re not alone.
In fact, most of our clients actively avoid going live on their social media platforms.
But utilising the live feature is a fantastic way to nurture your audience and turn your community into customers.
If you follow me on Instagram and are part of my ‘close friends’ crew, you’ll know I often pop up the little question box sticker to help you with your social media struggles.
I recently asked you what you wanted to know about live video, and these were the questions you asked:
🧠 Why can’t I go live on Facebook and Instagram at the same time?
🧠 I’m worried about going live - what are your top tips?
🧠 Why are you going live so much right now?
In this blog post, I’ll be answering each of your Qs so you can feel confident in what you’re trying to do, plus explain some of the many benefits of going live on social media.
(Psst: Want to join my close friends so you can ask me a question? DM @thesocialbrainuk)
Why can't I go live on Facebook and Instagram at the same time?
Facebook and Instagram are separate platforms, which means they need separate microphones and separate cameras to record and process the information being shared.
Once you’ve finished a live video on either Instagram or Facebook, the information is collated into a video that can then be reshared to your audience. In order to collate this information, the lives need to be done on two separate devices.
If you want to go live on Facebook and Instagram and the same time, have two devices set up. I use my laptop for Facebook and my phone for Instagram and I place the phone in front of the laptop so the cameras of each are aligned.
Alternatively, you can download your video from one platform and then post it natively to the other one.
I’m worried about going live - what are your top tips?
Firstly, it’s really common to be nervous about livestreaming. This is something I help my clients with when they have 1:1 coaching with me.
Secondly, you should treat a live as a normal video or reel. Every single piece of content that you share should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. And that's the same across the board with captions, with video content, with carousel content: they all need a beginning, a middle, and an end.
The beginning of your live should be a quick introduction. Don’t sit and wait for people to join before you start talking. Treat it like you've already got thousands and thousands of people watching because people want to be made to feel special. If you’re sitting there saying, “I'm just going to wait for so and so to come on”, people will lose interest because they won't feel important enough to you.
If you want to use a call to action during this part of your livestream, particularly on Facebook, you can say “Use the hashtag #replay, if you’re catching up on the replay” because that helps to bump your engagement up over on Facebook. This doesn't necessarily work on Instagram because it's considered just a hashtag as opposed to an engaged comment. On this platform, you're better off asking a question and asking people to leave responses in the chat.
Remember: if you go live on Instagram and people are commenting while you are live, you can't see those comments when you stop the live. So, try to leave a general call to action so people can comment afterwards, even if they didn't join you live.
This is the meaty bit. It’s the reason people have joined and the most valuable part of your social media live. You want to make sure that you stick to one topic because people have tuned in for that topic and you want to keep their attention on you for as long as possible.
Keep your talk to the point and try to keep it as concise as possible. The maximum amount of time that I probably would use a live would be no longer than half an hour. If I've got a guest on, that's slightly different, but try to keep it to the point. Remember that you are valuing other people's time as well as your own so you want to make sure that your live is as bite sized as possible so people can get the information they need, then move on.
The last part of going live on social media is the ending. This is the place for your call to action. What do you want people to do after they’ve watched your live? For example, maybe you want them to leave a comment with your key takeaway, send you a direct message if they want to join something particular, or visit your website to learn more.
Your call to action will depend on the sales phase you’re in. The easiest call to action is just to ask a question, but make sure the response takes the viewer less than three seconds, because generally, we're time poor right now. It could simply be drop your favourite emoji or answer a yes/no question.
Why are you going live so much right now?
Since the summer of 2022, I’ve been going live regularly on my Instagram page for several reasons.
Firstly, to get my confidence back with going live and having more faith in that technology. Last year, during a launch, I was on a live video when the tech failed completely. It knocked my confidence and made me want to avoid live video.
Secondly, it's well known across the board that engagement is down right now for everyone. It makes sense from a strategy point of view that I do what I can to nurture my current audience – the followers that I already have – so they can get to know the face behind my business and continue learning about the benefits of my social media services.
When it comes to nurturing your audience, the content formats that you want to use on Instagram are lives and stories. That's because they're not immediately discoverable by people who aren't already following you. As I go live, people will get a notification saying @thesocialbrain.uk is live. If they like the title of the video, they’re likely to join me and stay tuned for the entire live.
They’ll get to know me a little bit more, which will ultimately help them decide whether or not they want to work with me.
It’s exactly the same with stories. Hashtags in stories don't work anymore, so there's no outreach there to people who aren't already following you. But they are really great piece when it comes to getting to know your audience directly. You can do this via the interactive stickers, the polls, the question boxes, the slidey thing - all of those sorts of tools are there to help you create a buzz with your social media live!
When your followers are further down the funnel process, they’re more likely to buy from you because they know, like and trust you. It's always easier to buy from somebody who you like and who you've gotten to know compared to somebody who you don't know at all and you just see popup in these random squares on Instagram.
The third reason I’m going live regularly is to interview other business owners. I want to give my audience the best value I can, so I'm inviting experts within their fields to come and join me live, to give back something more and keep my content interesting.
It also gives something more to the guest’s current audience. Their audience may not know me just yet, but by inviting them to come live, I increase my brand awareness. The guest’s profile will also notify their followers that they're live with me and they then have the opportunity to join in or to not.
Overall, going live on social media is a good tool to use whilst engagement is down across the board. It helps people to get used to me and helps me to start really getting to know the people who are already engaging with me and my brand on some of the popular social platforms.
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