In recent years, live video has emerged as a powerful tool and platform for businesses and influencers to engage with audiences in real-time and increase brand awareness amongst key audiences. Going live on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and more recently TikTok can offer immense opportunities to connect with your followers on a deeper level and create more genuine, engaging relationships with consumers.

However, going live can be nerve-wracking. Technical glitches or poor planning can hinder the flow and success of your live video, resulting in reduced viewership or worse, potential awkward moments!

To overcome your fears when creating your next live video and to help you navigate the world of live social media platforms, we’ve compiled five top tips to ensure that your next live video runs smoothly.

Prepare and Plan Ahead

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‘Failing to plan is planning to fail.’ Perhaps an overused expression but true nonetheless.

Preparation is crucial to ensure a seamless, engaging live video experience. Start by defining the purpose and goals of your live session. Are you promoting a product, streaming an event, sharing valuable insights, or interacting with your audience? Once you have a clear objective, outline the structure, including the topics you want to cover, potential questions to address, and any supporting visuals you might need. Check the visuals and audio to make sure the audience can effectively see and understand what is happening in the live stream.

Additionally, check your equipment and ensure that everything is in working order. Test your internet connection and camera to make sure it is working, without any sudden technical ‘glitch’.

By preparing and planning ahead, you’ll minimise unexpected hiccups and create a professional impression to both new and existing audiences on your social media platforms.

Engage Your Audience

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The essence of live social media videos lies in the ability to engage your viewers actively. When capturing the live video content, make your audience feel involved and valued by interacting with them throughout your live videos and stream.

The audience should feel part of the live broadcast and able to tap into the conversation where appropriate. Encourage them to ask questions, share their thoughts, or participate in polls and contests. Mention viewers by name and respond to their comments or questions in real-time. This interactivity will not only make the experience more enjoyable for your viewers, but also boost your visibility as the platform’s algorithms favor content with high engagement. This is especially true for growing sites such as TikTok, who reward live video streamers with increased visibility and impressions.

Consider using a second device or asking a team member to monitor responses and questions while you focus on presenting the event. Engaging your audience creates a greater sense of community for your brand, strengthens relationships, and encourages target audiences to keep coming back for more live videos in the future – creating further opportunities

Practice Makes Perfect

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Before going live, practice is key to refining your delivery and ensuring a smooth presentation. Familiarise yourself with the platform’s live features, such as comment moderation, screen sharing, or displaying viewer responses on the screen. Features will change and vary depending on if you’re using Instagram Live or TikTok Live, for example.

Test the flow of your content and practice transitioning between topics smoothly. This rehearsal before the event will help you not only gain confidence, but also help to identify any potential stumbling blocks and deliver your message more effectively to more people when capturing a live event for example.

Additionally, consider doing a private test stream to a limited audience of trusted friends or colleagues. This test run will allow you to identify any technical issues and gather feedback on the content and overall stream experience. The more you practice, the more comfortable and prepared you will feel when going live. Just make sure you don’t hit the wrong buttons when practising and accidentally go live across one of your social media pages!

Monitor and Optimise

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Once your live video concludes, the journey doesn’t end there.

Take the time to review your performance and gather insights to improve future live sessions. What went well during the live stream and what should be improved for next time? Analyse viewer engagements metrics such as reach, likes, comments, shares, or watch time. Pay attention to viewer sentiment to better understand of all the live streams you have captured, which is resonating the most with your target audience.

Additionally, collect feedback directly from your audience. Encourage viewers to share their thoughts, suggestions, or any challenges they encountered during the live session. This feedback will be honest and should help you address any shortcomings that need to be overcome next time.

Hire an agency

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Live stream is undoubtedly a scary experience for some and if you’re posting regular live content with the aim of reaching a greater audience, then perhaps hiring an agency is the best option.

We are a fully-integrated PR and social media agency, with expertise across all of the major social media platforms and extensive experience in live streams. To discuss how we can use live streams to better engage your customers online, then get in touch.

Going live on social media can be an exhilarating experience. By following these top tips, you’ll be well-equipped to ensure that your next live video runs smoothly. Remember to always prepare and plan ahead, actively engage with your target audience, practice your presentation, and monitor and optimize your performance. However, if you really wish to maximise your live streams to a highly-targetted audience, the hiring an agency will elevate your social media videos to another level.

For more interesting articles on the topic of social media from Prohibition PR, then check out these previous blogs:

  1. How To Capture Social Media Video Content Using Your Phone Without Looking Like An Amateur
  2. Musk Makes Changes to Twitter Advertising
  3. Top Five Food & Drink Brands Nailing it with Online Video Content