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Getting Started With Social Media Live Streaming - Everything You Need to Know

Author: Amanda Smith
by Amanda Smith
Posted: Aug 24, 2020
live streaming

Live streaming has quickly become one of the most popular content types online, especially on social media. With social media streaming gaining more popularity, social media platforms are coming up with brand new features and functionalities to support live streaming. Not just Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn have embraced similar features. While People find live streaming entertaining due to its raw and authentic nature, the brand also finds it beneficial in the marketing aspect to reach more audiences and boost brand awareness.

When it comes to live streaming, there is a broad range of creative opportunities that allows brands to reach and engage their viewers. But as this marketing strategy is still new, many brands don’t know where to begin when starting with live streaming. Like with any new trends, businesses might also think whether it is worth their time or is it just a hype that will pass on.

Interestingly, unlike other social media trends, live streaming is not showing any slow down since its inception. With over 82% of viewers preferring to watch live videos from brands over social platforms, there is no doubt that it is not just another passing trend.

Statistics also show that 67% of viewers who watch live event is likely to buy a ticket to a similar event. And what not, 80% of them prefer watching live streaming than reading a blog post of a brand. According to Stream elements, internet users watched over 1.1 billion hours of live videos in 2019 alone. Additionally, the video streaming market is projected to reach $184.3 billion by 2027 and yes live streaming is a part of it.

Considering the facts, it is clear that live streaming is not going away from the social media landscape anytime soon.

How social media live streaming works

Live streaming is a tool to broadcast live to your online audience. It is just like a digital version of selling tickets an in-person event that allows you to reach people across the globe. Businesses leverage live streaming for various reasons, but over 74 % of brands use it to engage with their customers. Instead of presenting your brand in an impersonalized way, you are putting a face to your brand's name, all in real-time which would be interesting to your audience.

Live streaming can have used for a different type of live events, interview with industry experts, Q&A videos, behind the scenes live streams, and a lot more. You can be flexible and creative, but you just need to make sure you have covered the basics.

A step-by-step guide to social media live streaming

We have got your guide to social media live streaming in this blog, covering the basics and everything you need to know.

Plan your live videos

Before getting into live streaming, plan how to start a live stream like you would with any other event. Just take some of the popular live shows, can you imagine if the show was not well planned in advance. For example, what if the important aspects like background setting, lighting, schedules, etc. were not planned. The show might not go the way it was intended to be.

To stream good live videos, you need to plan the live event in advance and put the same thought process and due diligence as you would do with any real offline events. You also need to have goals in mind as you start with the plan.

Understand your audience

Knowing your audience will help you determine how the planning process must go. If your customer base includes a global population, you must also consider the schedule of your stream, i.e. the date and time of your live streams.

Choose your live streaming platform

The choice of live streaming platform plays a significant role in differentiating your live streams. Different audiences use different channels so you would want to choose the one where your audience engages the most. Choose the ideal social media platform from where you will broadcast your live videos. You also need to keep your goals in mind as different social media live streaming platforms can achieve different things.

Here are some of the popular social media live streaming platforms.

Facebook Live

Facebook live is the first social media live streaming platform that comes into everyone’s mind when thinking about choosing a live streaming platform. Facebook live products six times as many engagements as traditional videos. If you wonder how to make live streaming video using Facebook live, it is quite simple to start. Now that the interface of Facebook live has recently changed, it is easier for you to live stream from the Facebook mobile app as well. You can effortlessly live stream from any device of your choice by clicking on the "Live" option. To broadcast live videos, you have to write a description for your videos and then select "Go Live".

YouTube Live

If you are looking to boost your revenue generation YouTube live is one of the best social media live streaming platforms to use. You can go live directly or use Youtube’s live streaming events dashboard to schedule a future live stream and click on "enable live streaming" if you haven’t set it up already.

Instagram Live

Instagram Live is a live streaming functionality Instagram offers that allows you to broadcast live video streams. Users can engage through likes and comments during the stream. Instagram stories is another live functionality that allows you to post live stories that will disappear after 24 hours.


If you want to generate more buzz with your live videos, Periscope is a great choice.

One of the main advantages of Twitter is that it allows you to share and promote your live content to a large audience even if you don’t have a large following.

Choose your equipment

Live streaming doesn’t require a lot of equipment or an elaborate setup, anyone can live stream from a smartphone with a strong internet connection. However, if you want more quality, then you need to invest your time, efforts, and money on selecting your equipment. Are you planning on how to make live streaming video professionally? Then you might need a pretty standard HD camera and a tripod to maintain a steady focus.

Think about the level of sound quality you need for your professional live videos.

While your camera might already feature a microphone, if your live streaming setting is prone to background disturbances, it is recommended to invest in a separate microphone.

Additionally, when you are using an external camera, you will also need an encoding software that converts the clips to a format that is compatible with your streaming platform and can broadcast to your audience. You can choose any software depending on your budget.

Promoting your live videos

Now that you have completed the planning part and know how to start a live stream and set your live videos, the next thing is to promote your live videos. You need to invite people to watch your live videos and want to gain maximum exposure to your videos. So how to do that. The basic way to promote your live videos is to is by announcing it on social media platforms.

Some platforms like YouTube allow you to link your social accounts and push content in multiple places. If your guests are active on a particular social media platform, say Instagram announce it there and ask your followers to promote the event among their own networks.

If you already have a business website, announcing your live broadcasts on your landing page would be a good way to get people to watch your live streams. This also works great if you want your audience to get through the registration process or pay before they can get access to your live videos.

Do a trial live session

There is a reason why people do trial shows and rehearsals. While live streaming authentically happens in real-time, it doesn’t harm doing a trial run to make sure things are working fine. Trial runs help to avoid technical mishaps that might happen, especially during your first time.

You can also prepare a script to plan how you will be pulling off the entire live broadcast. If you are talking a lot on the show, you can also keep a short note near to you with the main points jotted down so that you can refer in case you need it.

Make an arrangement for social media monitoring

One of the major advantages of live streaming is the ability of your target audience to join the live broadcast and comment in real-time.

This gives brands a great opportunity to plan to engage your viewers. Know how to incorporate audience feedback so that you can clearly communicate with them. This makes it easier to encourage the participation of your viewers. However, personalizing your responses can be a bit overwhelming. You might know how fast the comments roll in fast. Or if some comments need a detailed explanation, you can note it down and answer them in a separate exclusive live session. So it is important to make a set up like assigning a team to reply to the comments of your audience as soon as they post them. Dedicate a team to monitor social media comments and questions during your live broadcast.

After your live broadcast

Once your live stream ends, it is good to follow up with your viewers. Thank them for their valuable time and invite them to download a piece of relevant content. Using this tip, you can successfully leverage your live videos to generate leads, keep up the momentum, and nurture your audience.

Best practices of live streaming

All live streaming best practices come down to planning and preparation. Though it is live and in the moment, you want to be prepared for it as it would be for any customer interaction of a real event. Even though it's live, you need to make a good impression among your audience when you are representing your business in front of them. Here are some of the best practices of live streaming.

Actually preparing

Have a clear idea of what you are going to discuss in your live videos ahead of time. Go through the script a couple of times until you are comfortable with the flow. This will make you feel familiar and comfortable with the matter and you are less likely to go blank when you are actually live.

Have short notes on hand

If you have a lot of things to discuss in your videos, have notecards on hand of keep a whiteboard on the other side of your camera where you note down bullet points of what you want to talk about in your live broadcast.

Announce it ahead of time

If you want to really amp up views and engagements for your live streams, let your target audience know about your live broadcast ahead of time. Some social media live streaming platforms like Facebook makes it easy with their scheduling features. Even on other platforms, you can post a live broadcast in advice and remind your users hours before. Don’t forget to cross-promote on other social platforms as well.

Make sure the background is set well

Live streaming from a noisy place that isn’t perfect for a live broadcast is not a good idea. Make sure you choose a bright background that is preferable lit brightly.

Choose catchy descriptions and headlines

Giving a catchy description and headlines to help you stand out and get more views and engagement. As you will have viewers arriving and leaving at all points during your live broadcast, it is good to clearly describe about what you the live is all about, so viewers will get an idea about what to expect.

Interact with the audience as much as possible

It is easy to get overwhelmed with user interactions during your live broadcasts. However, make sure you engage with your audience whenever possible and respond to viewers as they react to you. This invokes their interest and helps to build a strong relationship with them.

Planning your live streaming strategy

Before you start your first live stream, you need to plan out your live show ahead of time to make sure it is both professional and valuable to your audience.

You will also have to choose the platform from which you will be live streaming to reach the audience that most aligns with your business. For example, if you want to gain reach and awareness from a general audience, Facebook Live would be a great choice. Considering the number of users and the popularity of the platform.

Whereas, if you want to reach a specific niche audience for example say gamers, choose platforms like Twitch that are more relevant to your audience base.


There is no denying that there is always something captivating about watching live performances. Today, we can count on social media networks to live steam and anyone armed with a smartphone and a social media account can start broadcasting live. Social media live streaming is nothing shorter than a dynamic, authentic, and engaging.

About the Author

A marketing professional with expertise in strategies to engage customers and improve business opportunities. Interested in marketing communications and like to keep abreast of new trends and developments.

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Author: Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith

Member since: Nov 28, 2017
Published articles: 2

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