Livestreaming is a popular social media tool for businesses. It is a dynamic and versatile way to connect with audiences by sharing and broadcasting content in real time. It offers a great way to showcase new products, to give audiences a chance to glimpse behind the scenes of your company, to make an announcement or to broadcast an event or activity.
Last year, I had the privilege of working with a program that hosted and live broadcasted it’s first ever fishing derby. The live event featured a host of speakers as well as livestream video from three different on-the-water locations. Despite a few technical glitches along the way, we considered our first live event a great success with 2.4K views. We are looking forward to making it even better this year.
One thing that we did learn from this experience is the value of social media livestreaming. Although the results are not as polished and challenges from technology problems or other issues can arise (as we discovered), there is something very appealing about the unscripted nature of livestreaming.
What is Livestreaming?
According to Wkikipedia, livestreaming “refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time.”
What makes it different is that it occurs in real time. Similar to a live televised performance, livestreaming involves social media broadcasting of an event or activity as it happens. One of its greatest draws is the perception that it is authentic and offers the chance for hosts to interact with audiences and reply to comments or questions during the broadcast.
What Audiences Want
According to a survey conducted by Livestream and New York Magazine, audiences are responding more to live video than other types of content:
- 80% woud rather watch a live video than read a blog
- 82% prefer live video to social posts
- 87% would prefer to watch online if it meant more behind-the-scenes content
Evidence of this demand can also be seen in the way that social medial channels are continuing to move toward allowing more video content, as well as the 1 billion users that are active each month on TikTok. Livestreaming provides a way to deliver content in a format that audiences want to view.
The Benefits of Livestreaming
In addition to meeting audience expectations and wants through social media content, livestreaming offers a range of other benefits for businesses that make it a valuable tool for any social media strategy:
- Provides a wide audience reach and is not limited by space or venue constraints
- Can include a variety of mediums such as video, audio, images, and live chats
- Scalable to handle small events or activities to larger broadcasts
- Can be done simply and effectively with just a smart phone or tablet for filming
- Allows for real-time engagement and conversations with audience members
- Helps establish trust and brand credibility
The Risks of Livestreaming
While livestreaming has many advantages, it also has its share of risks. Some of the risks of livestreaming include:
- Technical issues that can impact the broadcast or quality of the stream
- Unscripted bloopers, gaffs, blunders or other errors
- Inappropriate comments or responses from audiences
- Lack of engagement or comments from audiences
- Timing of hosting live broadcasts that work for the majority of audiences
When to use Livestreaming
The great thing about livestreaming through social media is it allows for creativity and can be used for many different purposes such as:
- Showcasing an existing product
- Launching a new product
- Highlighting new technology, equipment or a production processes
- Capturing and sharing an event as it happens
- Raising awareness for a cause or a charity
- Interviewing a speaker or industry expert
- Delivering a training program or providing a demonstration
There are many social media platforms that offer livestreaming capability. Choosing a platform depends on your goals and what you hope to achieve with your broadcast. Here is a list of a few livestreaming platforms:
Livestreaming offers businesses a creative and unique way to interact with their audiences. However, as with any social media or digital technology, there are risks to consider before using it as part of your social media strategy.
Have you participated in a livestreaming event? Is it something that you think would work well for your company or organization?
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