4 Ways to Use Livestreaming in 2017

You may be thinking the last thing you’d want to do is get on a live video. I get it. Really, I do.

There are tons of reasons to not go live. You may not like your appearance. What will you say? What if you stutter or misspeak? What if no one watches? What if you start getting spammed by trolls? What if you think it went great, but the higher-ups don’t like what you did?

Fair enough. Those are all completely valid reasons not to go live. For 2016, those excuses worked just fine and held off the inevitable. But guess what?

It’s 2017. Time to livestream.

Your content is probably pretty good… maybe even great. Your audience and fans may have loved it thus far. But here are some hard facts about why video matters to you:

If you’re into anecdotes, I have one for you: regardless of what I’m broadcasting about, every single Facebook Live video from my Page has achieved at minimum 3x more reach and engagement than every other type of post.

In our weekly #LetsLivestream chat + broadcast, we welcomed nuggets of wisdom by Brian Fanzo, each of which reinforced why livestreaming is going to continue to be a big deal into this new year.

Now that you’re taking livestreaming seriously (begrudgingly or otherwise), let’s break this down: it doesn’t have to be hard to go live. No one is expecting you to take to the camera like a 30-year broadcasting veteran. In fact, the more authentically you livestream, the more your fans will want to interact.

To get you started, here are 4 ways you can easily plot your livestreams into your brand’s strategy in 2017:

Demonstrations & How-To’s

You’re the expert at your business, so naturally you understand how your products and services function. Remembering that your customers aren’t yet experts is important to how you perform your sales and service. Figuring out how to translate what’s in your brain into something they can use is always a challenge.

Livestreaming video can give you direct access to show your customers, in real time, how to use what your company provides. As you use live video to demonstrate, viewers can comment, ask questions, and even share the video with their friends and fellow customers.

YOUTUBE is a natural platform for videos which provide how-to instructions and demonstrations. As the 2nd largest search engine, next to Google, your branded and instructional livestreams can be watched and circulated repeatedly.

Issue your press release via a livestream video | Really Social Blog
Be.Live launched their livestream community site via Facebook Live press release.

Announce News

Not so many years ago, hiring a public relations expert or using a press release tool was the proper way to get the word out about your business or brand. You’d have it written up, complete with headline and eye-catching information, and issue it in the hopes that news outlets or journalists would find it interesting enough to “pick it up.”

Welcome to the future! Now companies can generate their own news by publishing announcements and deliver it to the masses through social media. By announcing your major updates via livestream, you can hold your own press conference to established brand fans and potential customers and connections. Take questions, provide links, and tag/mention any partners who collaborate with your company.

TWITTER is an outstanding choice for announcing news with its instant connection to journalists, news outlets, and just about everyone. You aren’t restricted by friends or connections on Twitter, and now you can #GoLive from within the Twitter app.

Broadcast Events

When your brand holds an event, you have a unique opportunity to give your customers a new level of access. Instead of reaching you via phone, email, or even social media, they can now shake hands with the staff who serves them and the masterminds behind manufacturing your products.

However, as with any event, you will inevitably have those who would like to attend yet can’t make it. You may also have customers on the fence about attending your events to partake in the activities. By livestreaming teasers and highlights of your company’s event, you can increase anticipation, promote attendance, and give access to your audience.

PERISCOPE is well-established as a platform for livestream events. With its connection to Twitter and the ability to go fully public to anyone online, start broadcasting your event and field comments, questions, and remind viewers to share to their circles so more can partake of the access.

Look to Your FAQs

Whether or not you have a list of frequently asked questions, you know the ones we’re talking about: you can recite the answers by heart because the queries happen so often. A FAQ is the perfect place to start for when you don’t know what to go live with.

Mine your reviews, online comments, customer service cases, and sales notes to learn what most customers ask as they discover your products and services. Once you go live with the question and answer, you’ll have a timeless resource—via video—to refer your customers to when they need answers.

FACEBOOK is a natural fit for engaging with just about anyone (since just about everyone uses it), and going live with the goal of explaining concepts about your brand will serve you well. You can go live from your Facebook Page, a Profile, a Group, or even an Event.

Still not convinced? That’s OK.

But do me a favor: will you at least lurk a bit in a place where we chat about live video and why it has tons of potential?

Watch on Twitter   Watch on Facebook   Watch on Periscope

Best Practices for Your Blabs

Live video is an unwieldy animal in social media, and it’s here to stay! As you prepare to bust into your own Blabs, prepare yourself for the unexpected so your final result is a total keeper.

Best Practice #1: Schedule Your Blab

If you build it, they will come… at least, they might if you let them know about it! Schedule your Blab for a future date and time so you can blast the link out to your audiences and set yourself up for a great, interactive audience.

If you need help setting up your Blab successfully, visit our blog post to be a boss for your next Blab.

Best Practice #2: Prepare Your Questions

Unless your Blab is of the just-hanging-out variety, winging it is not a winning strategy. Prepare at least five questions for a Blab that is scheduled to be 30 minutes long, or eight questions for an hour-long Blab.

Also, when you pre-schedule your Blab, you can populate your questions into the Blab ahead of time! Just hop into the Blab, type each question into the right-hand sidebar (using the leading “/q ” so it is designated as a question), and your left-hand sidebar will be ready to roll with your questions. Plus your viewers can up-vote their favorite questions when they join at the start.

Best Practice #3: Set the Ground Rules

If you plan to be on Blab frequently, set yourself up for consistency and credibility by establishing your ground rules. For instance, you may want to establish a rating for your Blabs (i.e. G, PG, R, or anything goes).

Blabjacker: one who blows into a Blab, repeatedly tries to call in, & is a general nuisance. Click To Tweet

While you could spend eight minutes in your Blab going over your policy, instead create a landing page on your website (or, if you don’t have a website, do a Blab featuring just you where you go through them) and share the link in each Blab you conduct. Your audience will have somewhere to refer for your Blab rules and be set up for successful interaction with you. If you need some ideas for how to set up your Blab Ground Rules, visit ours for guidance.

Best Practice #4: Moderate Like a Master

Blab is 100% public and live, so you’ll naturally have viewers blow through to watch for a bit. (Can you believe they didn’t read your Blab Ground Rules?) You will at some point experience the joy of having an unknown visitor try to call-in to an open seat to join the discussion.

Block an errant Blab user with the block icon | Really Social Blog
While we would never dream of blocking Robyn, she has the red alert icon which allows her to be blocked from a Blab.

If you’re flying solo as Host, you’re already handling your questions for your Guest, engaging in the right sidebar with viewers and by sharing links, posting questions from the left sidebar, and if you remember all of that, you’re still sharing out the Blab on social media. A persistent Blabjacker (credit to one of our Blab viewers for this term!) may refuse to engage on topic yet try to call in repeatedly if you’ve left an Open Seat.

To thwart the attempts of Blabjackers, particularly while you’re recording, simple click on their Blab username, then click on the alert icon to block them from your Blab. It might seem harsh, but if they aren’t there for your Blab’s purpose, won’t read your Ground Rules, and can’t take a strong hint, they can grow in another Blab garden.

Got your own Best Practices for Blab? Share them below!

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!