There’s no easy way to say it. Going live on social media is scary. There are a lot of factors out of your control and if you’re not familiar with social media, it can feel like something that should be avoided.

Nevertheless, live video has a lot of power. On Facebook, live videos average 6 times more views than regular videos. Instagram notifies all of your followers when you go live, YouTube has financial incentives (Super Chat), and even Twitter now has streaming capabilities. Meaning it pays to figure out the best way to go live. 

Here are a few tips for you to make sure that you’re able to go live with confidence.

Social Media Trends - Video

Check your surroundings

It may seem obvious, but make sure you’re aware of what’s around you. Most people like to do videos at special events or when they’re out of the office at a cool location but if you’re live and someone in the background starts shouting obscenities, you could really upset your audience. 

Make sure people around you know that you’re going live and that you trust the people in your immediate surroundings to not go for their 15 minutes of fame on your business’s video.

10 minutes or longer

If you’ve posted videos before, you’ve probably heard how important it is to keep things short and sweet. It’s a bit different with live videos though. You want people to tune in as you’re filming and you need to give people a chance to see that you’re live and join the stream. 

If you’re only on for a minute, the chances that your audience will see their notification and get right into the stream are pretty slim. We live by the 10-minute rule. Make sure your live stream can go on for at least 10 minutes. Anything shorter than that isn’t giving your audience enough to go off of.

Prep your audience ahead of time

Don’t start out of the blue! There may be some instances where that can’t be avoided but for the most part, you want to let people know that you’re going live. Give people a chance to make a mental note of when they want to be near their phones and tell your audience what your live stream will be about. 

Test it first

Going live means that if you mess up, everyone sees it. Make sure you avoid those kinds of mistakes by testing live videos on your personal account, watching how other people do their videos, and making sure your connection is strong. Ask your friends to watch your test stream, make sure the sound is working, and even have them try commenting. The more familiar you are with the capabilities, the more you’ll be able to avoid any issues and know how to troubleshoot in the moment.

Don’t waste time

With a live stream, keep in mind that not everyone is going to watch for the full time. People will come in and out so you have to make sure that what you’re doing is compelling enough at every moment. If someone joins five minutes into your stream, they should still be entertained. The people who start with you right at the beginning but can’t stay for more than three minutes, should also get something out of that time. 

People are busy and if they’re giving you their time, you need to make sure it’s worth it.

Connect with your audience

Going live isn’t just about what you want to say. This is one of the few instances where you can interact in real-time with your audience. Make sure you’re greeting new people who join your stream and answering questions that come in. The best part about a stream is that your audience gets to feel like they have a direct line to you. It’s a conversation, so don’t make it too one-sided. Keep in mind that marketing is like dating!

There’s a lot to remember with live video but keep in mind that it does get easier after a few tries. You just have to get your feet wet.