While it may have joined the club a bit later than Facebook and Instagram, Twitter officially
launched its own “Go Live” streaming feature earlier this year to allow users to broadcast in
real-time to their followers and the general public.
If you are like most businesses already using Twitter as a digital marketing tool, you are
probably aiming to:
- Showcase your brand
- Engage with your customers
- Build a loyal fanbase
Video is fast becoming the most popular and engaged-with content on social media
platforms, and on Twitter videos are now 6 times more likely to be retweeted than tweets
using images. While there are three effective ways to advertise using short videos on
Twitter, the channel’s recent emphasis on reaching audiences with Go Live suggests that
the opportunities for brands producing longer live streaming content are set to increase.
HOW TO GO LIVE
Your Go Live session can be started from the Twitter iOS or Android app, and the only
requirements are a cellular or WiFi signal and a public Twitter account. If your account is set
to protected, you will need to change that before you can host a broadcast.
To begin a live session: open up the Twitter app, tap the compose button, tap the camera
icon, tap the live button, add a location, add any text that you want to overlay, and then tap
“Go Live” to immediately start. When you are ready to finish, you can tap the stop button in
the top left hand corner and confirm the end of your stream.
Ok, let’s go!
7 WAYS TO MAKE ENGAGING LIVE STREAMS ON TWITTER
1. HAVE A GOAL
If your brand is sharing live videos without any direction, storytelling or interesting content
you are going to lose viewers, customers and your reputation. Don’t waste your audience’s
time – broadcast with a purpose and give them something valuable. Your goal might be to
promote a product by airing its launch, give a company announcement or news update,
educate customers with a Q&A or tutorial, stream an event you are hosting or show
exclusive behind-the-scenes content that gives viewers an insight into your brand values
and personality. Whatever your performance, make sure that interesting or entertaining for
the audience as well as beneficial to your brand.
2. CREATE A BUILD-UP
Live streams on Twitter are just like real-life events. While there is some opportunity for
people to come across your broadcast as it is happening – like passers-by popping into a
party – getting people to tune in also requires some planning. Generate excitement around
your live video in the days leading up to it – promote it on your social pages, website email
newsletters or any other marketing platforms you use. You can share some sneak peeks of
guests who will appear or topics that will be discussed to create even more anticipation in
the build-up. Twitter does prompt users with relevant live content in their trending section,
but even better if these are bonus viewers watching alongside your fans.
3. BE FULLY PREPARED
There is an extent to which handmade live videos are more engaging than perfectly polished
productions – they are more authentic, showing the reality of your brand, and give your
audience the unpredictability that they might be looking for on a social media stream.
However, videos with too poor a quality will just turn viewers away. Film in places with good
Wifi connection or signal strength that won’t risk lags and make sure there is no heavy
background noise that will disturb your content. It’s also a good idea to test your audio
before going live and – if you are using the same angle throughout the video – using a tripod
rather than relying on a steady hand the whole way through to stop the camera shaking.
4. HAVE A PUNCHY HEADLINE
As with all content on social media, you need to grab people’s attention with the title of your
stream and encourage them to watch it. Create intrigue while keeping it realistic – you don’t
want to fail people’s expectations once they start viewing. Using keywords will help you
reach the right new people on Twitter who will be interested in your brand and its content,
allowing them to find you when searching for relevant content on the platform. A clear,
catchy headline also makes your content more shareable and more likely to earn you new
followers in the process.
5. KEEP THE VIDEO AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND
Once your live stream is over, it is saved automatically to Twitter and is available for people
to watch on-demand if they go to your initial tweet of the stream. This means that you can
carry on promoting the content of your video and reach people who missed out on the live
version – unlike events held in person, your broadcast becomes a valuable resource that you
can keep on reusing to market your brand. Twitter also allows you to make some post-edits
after the stream has ended, letting you change title, thumbnail image and set a custom
starting point for the video (though you should note that edits can only be made up to 3
6. BE INSPIRED BY OTHERS
If you’re stuck for ideas for your live stream content, there’s no shame in checking out what
other brands are doing for their sessions. Keep an eye on what is working (and what is not)
for everyone else on Go Live and take inspiration from them to come up with your own
creative. You want to make sure that you are researching content for your target audience,
so try watching live videos from different businesses in different industries which attract the
same demographic as yours. If you see that a company made a live recipe tutorial which
went viral and a broadcast of their CEO eating lunch which nobody watched, you can learn
from their mistakes even before you make your own.
7. PROMPT INTERACTION
Live sessions on Twitter are not just a one-sided broadcast. The comments feature for
audience members allows them to communicate with you during your stream and
encourages interaction. Unless you are specifically hosting a Q&A, live videos with
somebody just responding to comments doesn’t make for very compelling content, but some
degree of dialogue can keep your audience engaged. Saying hello to viewers personally
when you see them join is a good way to get them to stay, for example. You can also go
further and give your audience a fun way to be involved, such as asking questions that allow
them to direct the action of the video or only revealing something exciting once you have a
certain number of emojis sent by your viewers.