April 3, 2020

Livestreaming 101

by joeyphoenix

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by Ashley Nunez of Old Growth Alchemy

Chances are, your world just became a lot stranger. 

If you have been a long time maven of social media and following trends in engagement, then likely the transition has been a lot smoother for you into the virtual and digital world we are enhancing every day.

If not, then never fear: there are many resources out there to support any level of comfort with online marketing and media. At Creative Collective we are starting a series to focus on some of the tips and tricks of this virtual realm to help traverse uncertain terrain!

There are a lot of ways to catch the eye of your community and audience but as you may have noticed yourself, live streaming is quickly becoming a favorite.

Across all industries (bars, restaurants, small boutique business, artists, musicians, etc.) a live-streamed broadcast from your Facebook or Instagram is a way to bring your business, your personality, and your work directly to your audience. It helps bring a touch of humanity and puts a face to a brand or a business while also offering direct real-time interactions with your followers. 

Where to begin?

Before pushing the live button, there are a number of important steps you can take to ensure a smooth and engaging stream. 

  • First and foremost, make sure the equipment you are using is functional and working. This seems obvious, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, and no one wants to see you have to troubleshoot on camera. 
  • Make sure you have a general idea of what you are going to do on the livestream. Keep the same focus and energy throughout even when interacting with viewers. 
  • Use this as an opportunity to directly engage with your viewers! Keep your streaming device close so you can keep up with their comments to show that you’re there with them. Glitches in the system or streaming will happen, but don’t get too caught up in it. This is a good chance to showcase the human side of your brand/company and everyone expects a few hiccups now and again!

Tricks of the Trade

Maintain eye contact and keep a good posture!

You want it to feel as though you are having a natural conversation with your followers. Sometimes having another person to bounce dialogue back and forth can be helpful in keeping you both at ease.

Once the stream begins, remember that it will take a few moments for followers to start joining.

This is a good opportunity to greet people as they join and preface what you are going to be talking about or demonstrating.

Make sure you’re comfortable!

Dress how you would as if you were greeting customers/patrons out in the world and try not to fall in the trap of excessive at-home comfort for the streams (unless that is your brand, then by all means please do don that zebra onesie). Also be sure to keep water close by as dry mouth will definitely happen from excessive talking. 

If you’re streaming for Instagram, be sure to keep your device vertical

The platform doesn’t automatically shift the view for your followers tuning in. Facebook is a bit more forgiving and will auto-correct itself. A handy way to check is to test it out on your personal feed first and then you can adjust for your business!

When starting a livestream on Facebook, you can write a caption for your post.

Make sure it is something that very briefly captures what you are doing so when it crosses someone’s feed they can quickly grasp what they are looking at.

Share your stream!

If you can, try to have some friends or coworkers share the live stream (for Facebook). Particularly when it is over, you can turn it into a direct post that will be archived on your story (Instagram-for 24 hours) or permanently (Facebook).

Be mindful of timing.

If you are doing something that requires constant attention then a live stream may not be the best platform. Instagram will also kick you off automatically after 1 hour so keep your eye on the clock to be sure you don’t lose the posting ability!

People will come and go, and it’s ok!

People will jump on and off the live stream-very few will stay for the entire duration. But don’t be discouraged! It can sometimes be a little frustrating to see those numbers dip, but they will go up again!

This is a fairly evolving medium as many are now taking advantage of it given our present circumstances so look around at some other businesses and see what they are doing. While you should remember that this is still a public reflection of you and your work, don’t be afraid to experiment a little and have fun.

Now head out there and make some live content for your followers! 

Ashley Nunez in this temporal iteration is a freelance writer, artist of dark and questionable intention, and creatrix of Old Growth Alchemy. Curious for more? Peruse her work at www.oldgrowthalchemy.com

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