When it comes to your social media marketing strategy, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve in terms of trends, developments, and new features. A relatively new feature in the social media world is that of live broadcasting. A live broadcast is a video that’s broadcast to viewers in real-time, allowing them to comment, like, and otherwise engage with the content as it’s happening.
Now that we know what live broadcasting is, let’s talk about engagement. Social media marketers and the businesses they work with love live broadcasting because they are excellent engagement drivers. In fact, they are arguably the best forces for engagement out there at the moment.
Of course, any kind of engagement is good for your social media presence. However, the engagement driven by live broadcasts can be particularly powerful for your business, and we’ve written this article to show you why.
Just a heads up, we’ll be focusing on Facebook and Instagram here, because they’re two of the most popular social media platforms used worldwide for marketing, and they also have robust live broadcasting capabilities.
1. Develop your relationship with your customers
One of the best things about live engagement on social media is that it allows you to invest in your relationship with your customers. When it comes to businesses’ social media accounts, posts can often feel one-sided and overly sales-focused. This can be alienating to potential customers. In fact, a Gallup report showed that companies that foster an emotional connection with customers outperform their competitors in sales growth by 85%.
Live engagement is great because it opens up conversations with your audience and allows for more authentic, personal communications. Whether you’re on Facebook live or Instagram live, you can deepen your customer relationships by:
- Reading and answering questions live.
- Liking or responding to people’s comments live.
- Tailoring your broadcast depending on people’s feedback.
- Asking questions to your audience.
This way, customers feel like they’re involved and valued in your business and that their voices are being heard. Previously, businesses focused on deepening their customer relationships via email marketing funnels, customer service interactions, and simple social media posts. Live broadcasting provides yet another (and most importantly, interactive) way to do just that.
Best of all, live broadcasts have much better visibility than regular posts, giving you the best possible chance that your audience will actually see your content, as well as engage with it. Using Instagram for example, your visibility is increased when you go live because you get the first spot in your audience’s Instagram feeds and automatically send push notifications to your followers letting them know about your broadcast.
2. Spur more communication & interaction
On social media, nothing spurs communication and interaction like communication and interaction. Tellingly, posts with a lot of engagement and visibility are much more likely to be prioritized in feeds than those without.
Even better, Instagram prioritizes content from accounts that users have interacted with before. That means that once you get the conversation going with a user, they’re much more likely to see (and therefore engage with) your content in the future.
Live broadcasting on social media also prompts more communication and interactions with your audience because it gives people a new way to connect with your business. You might ask for people to answer questions or give an opinion in the comments of your posts, but asking them in live video format is much more likely to prompt a response. It adds a human face and voice to the question, rather than just a block of text.
The truth is, video content is becoming increasingly popular (and in some cases even slowly replacing) photo and text content on social media. A 2020 report from Oberlo showed that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a band or business they support and reported that videos were users’ favorite type of content to see on social media.
Last but not least, people are simply more motivated to engage when they see other engagement. A FiveThirtyEight report showed that 18% of social media users were motivated to comment because they wanted to add to a discussion, and 10% because they wanted to add their personal perspective to a conversation.
3. Increase your social media reach
When we talk about reach, we’re referring to the number of unique viewers on a social media post. Of course, when businesses put something on social media (be it a post, a video, a live broadcast or a story) they want as many people to see it and interact with it as possible.
Frustratingly, this can be difficult to achieve. On average, businesses usually see engagement from about 4% of their followers on Instagram posts, and even less on Facebook.
In better news, a great way to increase your social media reach is by trying your hand at live broadcasting (and therefore prompting live engagement). Facebook live has been shown to significantly outperform regular Facebook video posts when it comes to organic reach, as well as other factors like viewing length, engagement, and overall views.
If you really want to get the best reach out of your live videos, it’s a good idea to make longer broadcasts. It takes time for people to start watching and engaging with your live content, so it’s advisable to make them at least ten minutes long, and ideally thirty and sixty.
Live broadcasting is also a great way to increase your organic reach on Instagram. When you go live on Instagram, it appears right at the top of your followers’ feeds. This makes it much more likely for them to see your Instagram lives than your posts. It’s also been found that if you go live on Instagram regularly, your non-live content gets more exposure too.
4. Secure more leads (and eventually sales)
Live broadcasts on social media are also great ways to generate leads for your business, and ultimately turn those leads into sales.
There are a few different ways you can do this on both Facebook and Instagram. First of all, you can save your live broadcast and promote it as an advertisement to new leads afterwards. This is especially successful if you choose to boost your most successful lives. A particularly interesting benefit of this is the fact that your saved live video will show up with the same comments and likes that you collected during the broadcast, acting as a form of social proof.
It’s also worth pointing out that if you want to take advantage of the momentum you gained during your live broadcast and guide leads towards your email marketing funnel, remember to include a lead magnet on your post or in the comments.
Live broadcasts are also useful to generate leads and sales because you can play around with different kinds of content that will catch the attention of your viewers. A few ideas you can try out include:
- Announce a special sale, promotion, or discount code in your live broadcast (it’s best to do this at the end of your live video to motivate viewers to watch it all the way through).
- Promote your live video with a catchy topic or title.
- Showcase your products or services from a different perspective, like with a how-to video or some behind-the-scenes footage.
- Partner with another brand or influential figure in your live video.
- Align your live video with a holiday, specific season or important world event.
5. Enrich your brand identity & voice
Last but not least, live broadcasts on social media help you strengthen your brand identity and voice. They do so because they provide your business with yet another way to present itself to your audience, and this way is much more direct and personal.
Many businesses are intimidated by going live on social media because it feels vulnerable and difficult to plan, but this is exactly what makes it so great. It puts a human face (or faces) to your brand and provides your audience with an honest, unedited impression of your identity as a company. Viewers feel like they’re actually getting to know and are being heard by your brand, rather than just looking at an empty logo.
The way you express yourself, the tone you use, the background you select, the questions you ask, the answers you provide, the content you feature, and the attitude you put forward on your live broadcast will all reinforce your brand’s identity when you go live on social media.
Above all, don’t be afraid to put forward an unfiltered, unedited representation of your brand forward on social media live broadcasts. This is exactly the kind of honest marketing audiences love to see in 2021.
Live engagement is the future of social media marketing
Without a doubt, live broadcasts are the future of social media marketing. First, there were posts, then videos, and now live streams. The numbers are in, and they show that social media audiences love engaging with live videos. Tellingly, TechJury found that 82% of respondents to their survey reported that they’d rather see a brand’s live stream than their social media posts.
As you’ve seen in this article, live engagement on social media can bring tons of benefits to your business. It helps develop customer relationships, spur communications and interactions, increase your organic reach, secure more leads, and deepen your brand identity and voice.
Live broadcasts are here to stay, and with all those benefits, you’ve got nothing to lose. Try your hand at some live video content and your business will be sure to reap the benefits.
Sydney Triggs is a writer, editor, translator, and educator from Vancouver, Canada currently settled in Barcelona, Spain. She’s worked in the content world for 6 years, and her greatest passion is working with words in all kinds of capacities.
She’s written hundreds of articles about marketing, travel & leisure, fashion, sustainability, technology, finance & investment, remote work, and human resources, as well as more personal fiction and thought pieces.