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“And We’re Live!”: How Live Video Streaming Impacts User Interaction

The culture of content shifts like sand in a desert. As new mediums emerge from the woodworks, they change the landscape of user interaction. The introduction of live features–on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn–create sweeping and innovative changes that alter social media platforms. So, how should we use them?

The Birth of Live Features

The desire in a brand’s “heart of hearts” should be to engage with the user–this leads to increases in sales, brand awareness and longevity in the market. Social media has completely inundated old forms of media. Marketing to viewers through the medium of television is a bygone era–radio is also slipping behind too. Can you imagine? 

Among Millennials, there is an exodus of cable cutting and moving more and more to streaming services such as Hulu or Netflix. In a report Business insider reported that “Business Insider, in the final quarter of 2018, a major media company lost over 400k traditional and over 200k OTT customers.” Those are staggering numbers, and yet in the wake of those numbers the evolution of “live” features on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn should not surprise us!

Among Millennials, there is an exodus of cable cutting and moving more and more to streaming services such as Hulu or Netflix.

These new features are an alternative format to traditional mediums. Users want to be engaged in the same way that someone goes on Ellen, David Letterman or Jimmy Falon–they want to experience direct interaction with the host. In the case of a small business, you’re the host. You can engage with users directly and make their dream of interaction a reality. Let’s take a look at Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn individually and see how we can use their “live” feature to promote our content and grow our brand.

Facebook Live: New-Age Cable

Facebook is the paramount platform that comes to mind when we refer to social media. In some ways Facebook Live is the equivalent of new-age cable T.V. It’s been recorded that, “With 2.41 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2019, Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide.” While its reign of superiority may be coming to an end with the onset of other platforms, Facebook will retain pull with users for decades. Going live on Facebook creates an opportunity to provide a cheap, unedited and authentic approach to your target audiences. 

Facebook’s “algorithm ranks Live video’s higher than any other forms of content on the newsfeed.”

The casual nature of Facebook’s comment section places you in the ideal setting for direct interaction with your followers. Use Facebook’s live feature not to talk at users, but rather, to talk with them! Ask questions and respond to the comment section. You can surprise users with an unplanned live event or build anticipation through a scheduled time that you are planning to go live. Not to mention Facebook’s “algorithm ranks Live video’s higher than any other forms of content on the newsfeed.” If the potential of interaction with your audience doesn’t excite you, this should. Use the prominence of the “live” feature in Facebook’s algorithm to build your brand.

Instagram: Engaging Millennials and Gen Z

A poll by Sprout Social revealed that “80% of customers say they’d rather watch a live video from a company than read their blog.” Instagram provides another means to share live content. Right behind Facebook, Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users in June 2018. While this number is staggering, compared to Facebook the demographic is younger–most of the time by nearly 10 years. By all means, you should still go live on this platform, but how you go about it should be a different approach. Sprout Social also stated that “32% of teenagers consider Instagram to be the most crucial social network.” Building your brand on Instagram takes a different shape than Facebook Live or LinkedIn live. Your approach should be more casual and conversational that normal. Find how to bend your brand to fit the framework of younger audiences.

While this number is staggering, compared to Facebook the demographic is younger–most of the time by nearly 10 years.

LinkedIn Live: Grab Your Suite and Tie

LinkedIn Live is nearly the antithesis of Instagram Live with Facebook lying somewhere in the gray in-between. You wouldn’t wear sweatpants to an interview, and we suggest that you don’t go into a LinkedIn Live unprepared either. As LinkedIn is a platform for young, midrange and tenured professionals the same is expected in the content you produce on this platform. It should be as professional as possible.

Craft a script that you could use and discuss industry topics–there’s room for humor, but don’t veer too far from your bottom line.

Where you might go live without warning on Instagram or Facebook, you should be planned and meticulous on LinkedIn Live. Craft a description of your video hours or even days before it goes live to your audience. Craft a script that you could use and discuss industry topics–there’s room for humor, but don’t veer too far from your bottom line. LinkedIn reflects on your professional standards. How you conduct yourself in Live content on this platform, directly correlates to how your business is run. 

Live features are fully optimized and ready to project your brand image into the stratosphere of social media. Each medium has a particular leaning and requires a stylized approach, however, you have a unique opportunity to engage in all three of these platforms. As you learn to hone your approach on each platform you’ll position your business to broaden its audience.