4 Things You Need to Livestream in the Next 5 Minutes

It can happen that fast.

“Going live in 5… 4… 3…”

Never were more terrifying words spoken! The idea of being on a live video, in the next five seconds or the next five months, can be daunting and even terrifying. I always encourage preparation to help soothe those pre-live jitters.

That said, the time will come when you know you’re ready to start a livestream broadcast. The content is gold, the timing is ripe, and the audience is ready. So if you know you need to get a livestream up and running in short order, you absolutely can! There are really only about four things you’ll need to get off to a great start.

4 Things

  • iphone-smartphone-apps-gif-livestream
    Your smartphone and its apps is your primary tool for livestreaming on the fly.

    Smartphone. Those wondrous mini-computers we hold in our hands not only give us access to the world wide web; they also are fully-fledged mobile studios which you can use to create content. Just make sure your battery is fully charged and that your cameras (on both sides) are clean.

  • Wifi. To broadcast in real-time, your phone will need access to the signal which lets the broadcast be carried forth. Livestreaming apps will typically not allow you to start a broadcast unless the signal is strong enough to at least get started.
  • Apps which allow livestreaming. The most popular apps you can use to instantly livestream are Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube, Instagram, and Busker. For each, you’ll need to create a profile (free), and then the apps walk you through how to start a broadcast within just a few steps.
  • Earbud microphone. You’ll hear me say it repeatedly: your audience will forgive a crappy video if the audio is decent. After all, many people may start a livestream and then simply listen to what is being said, so use the microphone your cell phone carrier included in your smartphone package to be heard loud and clear.

The Helpful Extras

  • Selfie stick. Your arm is a perfectly acceptable means of holding and positioning your smartphone’s camera, but a selfie stick gives you so much in leverage and range. You can shoot your video from more extreme angles, plus save your arm the fatigue of being extended at length for your longer broadcasts.
  • aaron-roth-rachel-moore-selfie-ring-light-arkon-mount-denver-livestream
    Aaron Roth (left) and Rachel Moore (right) livestream in a dark bar using the selfie ring lights.

    Ring light. You aren’t always going to be in pristine daylight (or even good lighting for your subject), so having a quick fix for a dark or dim environment can save a broadcast. I adore my selfie ring light from Arkon Mounts, and you will, too! (Use REALLYSOCIAL to get 20% off their website.)

  • Tripod/Mount. If you don’t need to hold your device for the broadcast, use a tripod or device mount to create a steady shot while you roam free in the shot range. I always love the octopus-style mounts, which you can attach to just about anything to create an effective angle.  (Arkon is also a great resource for these helpful items.)

The more comfortable you get with livestreaming, the more you’ll want to add on the extras for a superior broadcast.

If you’re in Denver this October and want to learn more about how to livestream, don’t miss our workshop: “From Broadcast to Podcast!” A few seats are still available, so sign up today.

What are your favorite tools for going live? Comment below!

3 Ways to Make Your YouTube Channel Better

As the most popular video sharing and viewing platform, YouTube is also a dynamic search engine. In 2015, YouTube was ranked as the 2nd largest search tool with more than 300 hours of video content being uploaded every minute.

Since the onset of livestreaming or social video, YouTube has maintained its status as a player by adding features to the platform: 360 video, live broadcasts, and soon livestreaming video from the mobile app.

With these new developments in mind, now is the ideal time to start using these three ways to make your YouTube channel all that it can be.

Add Your Brand to Videos.

YouTube includes a feature to automatically add your branded watermark to each video you upload to the channel.

  • Create a transparent PNG file of your logo, preferably one that fits into a square shape.
  • Select Branding in the YouTube Creator Studio to Add a Watermark (image)Go to your YouTube channel dashboard and click on the Channel pulldown menu.
  • Select the Branding option and click on the Add a Watermark button.
  • Select the transparent PNG file of your logo, then click Save.
  • Adjust your settings to display your watermark at the end of videos, throughout entire videos, or to appear at a certain time in each video.

Add Other Links to Your Channel.

Your YouTube channel will overlay up to five additional links along the bottom right of your YouTube cover photo. Your channel visitors can find you on other social platforms or your website.

  • Go to your YouTube channel (make sure you are logged into your browser using the Google account with administration access for your channel).
  • Hover your mouse along the top right to click on the edit icon. Edit Links in your YouTube Channel (image)
  • Select Edit LInks.
  • In the Custom Links area, enter the Link Title and URL for alternate profiles you have online. You can enter as many links as you wish, but YouTube will only overlay up to five links on your channel’s cover photo. Types of links you can enter are:
    • Social media links;
    • Your website;
    • Your blog;
  • Click Done to preview how your links will look. YouTube will use the URLs you provided for each link to generate an icon for that type of link (e.g. a Facebook icon for your Facebook link, your website’s favicon for your website link, etc.).
  • YouTube will put the links in the order you entered them in the link fields. If you don’t like the order, go back into Edit Links to shift around the titles and their corresponding URLs.

Add Call-to-Action Cards to Your Videos.

As engaging as your videos may be, you can increase the interactivity factor by adding Cards to YouTube videos.

Add Cards to your YouTube channel videos (Image)
A Card in your YouTube video will appear at a set point in the video (which you select) as a brief label your user can click to view and follow.
  • Go to your Video Manager to see a list of your uploaded videos.
  • Click the Edit button on any video which needs Cards added to it.
  • Click on the Cards tab along the top.
  • Your video will appear, as well as a timeline and the Add a Card button. Click on the button to select the type of card you wish to add:
    • Video or Playlist – select another video or playlist to allow viewers to click directly through to the new destination.
    • Channel – select another YouTube channel which might be of interest to your viewers.
    • Donation – select any approved non-profit listed by YouTube to allow viewers to make a donation directly.
    • Poll – create a quick and simple poll with options a viewer can choose.
    • Link – if you have associated your YouTube channel with a website, you can create a click-through link to that website or any of its web pages.
  • Once you create a Card, you can move it to any location on the video’s timeline where you want it to appear to your viewers.

To see how your Cards are performing, go to your YouTube channel’s Analytics and select Cards.

Want a video tutorial on each of these optimizations? Watch our YouTube playlist on the Really Social channel.

How to Set Up Your Blab Like a Boss

Join the Blab bandwagon and bypass the rookie phase.

You may have joined or sat in on a Blab, but have you set up your Blab? Just as with any other platform (especially those which are, like Blab, in beta mode), there are some ins and outs you should know before you take the plunge. In true Rachel-fashion, I learn best by doing and learned the following tips to share with you.

Make Your Blab Title Short and Sweet

Just as with any content title, your Blab’s name should immediately clue in the reader to the topic. However, brevity matters even more with Blab since the name becomes the path of your Blab’s URL (website address).

For instance, if you name your Blab, “Julie’s Review of The Force Awakens from Opening Night,” the link to your Blab will end with something like this: /julie-smith-julie-s-review-of-the-force-awakens-from-opening-night. Blab will use your first and last name from your profile and then every word of your Blab’s name to construct the path, so name your Blab judiciously.

Create a Custom Image – Correctly

You have the option of uploading an image to be the visual tile of your Blab in the library of upcoming sessions, and I highly recommend taking the time to create an image. At the time of this post, Blab’s custom image dimensions are 1000 pixels wide by 450 pixels tall.

When you design your image, leave the bottom left corner of your design free from text or a busy background. Once you create your Blab, the platform will overlay the Blab title over your image in that lower left region. If you leave it open from bottom left corner to approximately the center of the image, you should be set.

Do you need help with Blab? I’m ready to help!

Be a Host with the Most (Preparation)

If you create the Blab, you are automatically designated as the Blab’s host. However, you can have more than one! If you plan to co-host with another user, provide them with the link to the Blab and ask them to subscribe. Once they have done so, you’ll see that update in the right sidebar of the Blab. You can then click on their Blab user name and, in the pop-up profile box, click the H+ icon in the top left corner to add them as a co-host.

Additionally, you don’t have to wait for the Blab to start to get some questions lined up. The right sidebar is active as soon as a Blab is scheduled or started, so populate some anticipated questions into the Blab ahead of time.

Blab Everywhere

As the Blab Host, you will be provided with the embed code of an iframe to post your Blab in your own blog or website. This is a great feature, as it allows you to share out your Blab directly from your own domain and your audience can watch the Blab directly from your landing page of choice. If your Blab is scheduled into the future, the countdown to the Blab will appear (quite nicely) on your landing page until it begins.

One last heads-up: Let’s say you need to change your scheduled Blab. If you change anything other than the Blab name, a new URL will be generated for your Blab with a version number at the end of the URL path (example: blab.im/rachel-moore-how-to-blab-1). While any prior versions of your Blab link will be redirected to the new link, you may want to check any social posts you have scheduled to share out the Blab link to ensure the post is populating your Blab’s info correctly after your update.

Go be a Blab boss!

Have a great time using one of the most quickly-adopted social media tools out there. If you’d like a visual tutorial for setting up a Blab, I cover that in the video below (which is under 15 minutes). Also let me know how I can help you get started. Have fun!

Millennials, Link with Us

Nine out of 10 millennials I meet either aren’t on LinkedIn or aren’t on LinkedIn (they’re on but they don’t use it).

Aren’t millennials all about social media?

Not so much. If they are, they’re looking to be approached. Based on Social Media Week’s post on marketing to millennials, youngsters dig brands and want to see authenticity.

Why not LinkedIn?

LinkedIn icon for Really SocialFor those of us who frequent LinkedIn, we can vouch for the marketing which takes place in the News Feed, Groups, Company Pages, Showcase Pages, and so on.

The big miss for millennials is not realizing the networking power of LinkedIn to land their next gig. Said gig would then fund the same millennials with wages for which they could be free to succumb to marketing. And so the circle of life continues…

Why Millennials Need LinkedIn

  1. Your dorm buddy can’t hire you – yet. Once you leave your campus with your shiny scroll and dented-yet-decorated graduation cap, you will hardly see your classmates because chances are you’ll all be pounding the virtual pavement to find your career. It’s unlikely that your first job out of college will depend on getting hired by a classmate, so you need to create ties with more seasoned professionals who are in hiring roles.
  2. You’re never too young to network. Graduation Day isn’t a milestone which ends one stage of your life and begins the next. From the moment you are old enough to create your first social media profile, you are a networker creating your own brand.
  3. You are the new hope. No, really, you are. Companies are waiting for you to arrive and bring fresh perspective and a new way of working. Help them find you by using the platform most recruiters are looking to for great candidates.

If you need help getting started on LinkedIn, try my simple 5-step Get Started tutorial. Ask any of my former interns how helpful it is to get some LinkedIn 101!

Chrome Cures the Chaos of SMM

I used to play the circular game of signing in to the social profiles of a brand I managed and resigning myself to delaying my own personal profile management until later.

Sure, I could sign in to my own accounts on a different browser, but working outside of your favorite browser is like walking around in borrowed clothes. You may even like the look, but you don’t fill those threads like your own.

So how do you manage more than one profile from one browser*?

Two words: Chrome Users.

Here’s the logic: you’ll probably need a Google+ page solely for SEO value, right? You might as well use that need to maximize on how Chrome can align an entire brand’s online presence with a single Chrome User profile.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. When asked to sign in, create a Gmail account for the brand. If the brand you manage will have a Google+ personal profile as a figurehead, consider using that person’s name in the email (rachel.moore@gmail.com, for example).
  3. Use the new Gmail account to create Google+ Personal Page as well as a Google+ Business Page for the brand.
  4. Using this same signed-in browser, login to all of the online platforms and sites you need for this brand (Twitter, Facebook, Hootsuite, Pinterest, Iconosquare, etc.).
  5. Click on the triple-stacked lines at the top right corner of the Chrome browser, click Settings, then go to “on Startup.” Click on the Set Pages link to tell Chrome to always open the full set of tabs you’ll use to manage the brand online.

Wait a second – what about my personal brand?

  1. Go to Chrome Settings (see #5 above).
  2. Scroll down and in the People section, click Add Person to create a unique user in Chrome.
  3. This is where you can sign in to this new User with your own Gmail account to use for all of your own settings, bookmarks, passwords, and social identities.

The beauty of this set up is you can have two or more Chrome windows open at one time with a unique user account in each. Did you just use the brand Chrome user to post something to Instagram for the brand you manage? Hop on over to your own Chrome user window to like or repost it as yourself.

Using multiple Chrome users works even more beautifully if you have more than one monitor, but one wonderful thing at a time! If you have questions or additional suggestions, I’d love to hear them below!

*Yeah, I’m pushing Chrome use here. Firefox has a Sync feature which could probably work in similar fashion, but… oh, Google.