Is Live Streaming the future heavyweight star of digital?

Blog | 21 Sep, 2016

Think of social media as your go-to person. The friend who always knows who’s performing at what show, how to bake the perfect chocolate cake and what Elon Musk said in his last interview.

Now imagine your friend broadcasting all of this (and more) in real-time.

For example, you’ll have the ability to watch your favorite performer live as it’s happening across the globe or ask the chef for a good substitute of sugar and even have the opportunity to ask Elon Musk if artificial intelligence could actually take over the world.

This is live video streaming on social media.

How does social media live streaming differ to regular live streaming?

The major difference between live video streaming on social media as compared to regular video streaming (like live sports or news features on television) is the level of engagement that’s possible between you and the broadcaster.  Instead of the video being a one way channel, there now exists the opportunity for viewers to participate and even direct the topics of the broadcast.

Social media is easily accessible. Where regular real-time video broadcasts need a television or personal computer to watch, social media brings it to you via your smartphone giving you the ability to watch and participate wherever you are.

Social media platforms for live streaming

A few social live-stream platforms worth noting are Periscope, Facebook Live and YouTube Live. Each of these apps truly gives you the opportunity to see the world through another person’s eyes in real time and vice versa.


Purchased by Twitter in 2015, Periscope boasts features such as location broadcasts, live notifications, discussions and of course the ability to share your broadcast on Twitter for your followers to join.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live is available to all pages and profiles and each broadcast can last up to 90 minutes. A great feature with this platform is that you have the ability to pre-select who you want to broadcast to, ranging from public to specific friends and even the option to exclude people from your friends list.  

YouTube Live

With a built in audience, integration with Google and being a platform synonymous with online video, YouTube is definitely a noteworthy player in the live stream game. All you need to go live according to Google is ensure your channel is verified and in good standing! Thereafter navigate to Creator Studio Tools and hop on the live train.

What are the benefits of live-streaming for brands and marketers?


With live streaming your audience is given the ability to interact with your brand and with fellow viewers. Conversations, just like the video happen in real-time and that type of instant feedback from a brand works to increase your reliability and reputation.


Mobility and simplicity are fundamental outcomes of the relationship between live video and social media. Brands and marketers are able to go live anytime, anywhere with the click of a button and a decent internet connection.  


A common difficulty for brands who are online is adding a human touch to your message or content. Whether it’s a smile, a look of uncertainty or a sparkle of excitement - your audience is easily able to gauge emotion during a live video stream.

Less time

Compared to an article or infographic which needs to go through a few stages before publishing, live is more conversation than time consuming. Depending on the purpose of the broadcast, preparation can be completed with a few core topics and the rest can be as simple as conversing with your audience.

Best practices for live-streaming on social

Stay Live for more than 15 minutes

The longer you’re live, the more time your audience has to join in and start engaging with you. 

Be interactive

Live video is a great way of building relationships with your audience. Take note of relevant comments and questions in the chat stream and address people by name.

Notify your audience

Let your fans know when you’ll be live. This can be as simple as a status update or create an event to gauge how many people will join your broadcast for better preparation before the event.


As with anything done online, live-streaming is best accomplished with a reliable internet connection. Make sure to check your Wi-Fi connection or mobile data if broadcasting from out of the office. An internet speed test is a good way to rule out uncertainty in your connection:

Speed test for Apple devices

Speed test for Android devices

How to integrate live into your social strategy?

  • Broadcast live events such as workshops and training sessions
  • Go behind the scenes to give your viewers an inside look into your business
  • Host Q&A sessions to gather consumer sentiment or conduct market research
  • Host product launches where you get to show-off your product features
  • Give your broadcast an essence of gamification where your audience can have fun with your brand

To learn more about social strategy and how we can help you, get in touch today. 

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