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DO IT LIVE! 6 Reasons LIVE Streaming on Social Media Is a PR Must

by | Dec 2, 2019

Live streaming is extremely popular, and it continues to grow every day. By 2016, it was already a $30-billion industry. By 2021, live streaming content is projected to more than double, becoming a $70-billion industry. And it makes sense. People spend triple the time watching Facebook LIVE videos compared to pre-recorded videos. That knowledge, combined with the ability to create branded content, can be a huge advantage for PR efforts.

Through original live video content, companies can define themselves to audiences, on their terms, instead of relying on reporters or social media to positively and accurately spread their message. Here are six reasons why your business or organization’s PR should begin live streaming on social media.

Facebook Treats Live Streaming Better than Other Content

The goal of public relations is to get your brand narrative in front of as many people in your target audience as possible. Since Facebook rolled out live videos in 2015, it’s been clear to marketers and PR pros that live video is given preference over all other forms of content on the platform. In a 2018 announcement, Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “…live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.” Simply put, people enjoy live video and therefore Facebook makes it more likely to show up on a user’s News Feed than other posts, pictures, or videos. The increased attention on live videos can be extremely beneficial to marketers and public relations professionals looking to connect with potential customers or hoping to shape a particular narrative. 

Of course, Facebook and other social media platforms change their news feed algorithms regularly. However, the value of live video is unlikely to drop anytime soon. After a recent Facebook update, well-known social media platform Hootsuite stated, “As far as we can tell, videos are still favored under the new algorithm, but live videos will be even more important.” 

woman watched a live stream video on her phone

Live Video Content Is Easily Repurposed

Real PR efforts aren’t as simple as pushing a press release or hosting an event and hoping for the best. After a live stream is complete and posted, there are numerous opportunities to repurpose the video into other content that can continue to push the organization’s message.

If your video features a company leader speaking, pull one of their best lines and turn it into a quote graphic for social media. Maybe you end up filming a great conversation that goes on for 20 minutes. If so, you could cut that into a podcast, or transcribe the entire conversation for SEO purposes. The video could also be resized and posted to various social media sites. We definitely recommend sending your best content to your email subscribers as well, or using it as part of a funnel for new business opportunities. 

Live Video Engagement Is Above Average

Live streaming video is the preferred content type for Facebook users. According to Livestream.com, 80% of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. Furthermore, 82% of people prefer a brand’s live video content to their social posts. 

Users really will engage. Facebook LIVE videos generate comments at ten times the rate of pre-recorded videos posted to the platform. People like watching videos online so much that there’s talk that Instagram (owned by Facebook) may soon unveil a co-watching feature, which would allow users to discover Instagram videos together. 

Companies have even compared the performance of live videos to pre-recorded videos on their own pages. After comparing the performance of their own live videos versus recorded videos, The Social Media Lab by Agorapulse was “100% confident that Facebook LIVE video will get you not only more reach, but more engagement than uploading a video to your business page.” For public relations on social media, engagement is key, as it will help your content reach more people.

hand holding smartphone watching live stream

Live Video Provides Opportunities for Customer Feedback

Because of the excellent engagement Facebook LIVE videos receive, opportunities to earn customer feedback during live streams are plentiful. Don’t be afraid to ask and answer direct questions from your customers during a live stream. Never shy away from using customer feedback to improve your brand positioning or buyers’ journey.

You can also use live streaming features like YouTube Super Chat to raise money for causes, highlight positive customer sentiments, and answer questions from viewers.

Feedback is so useful on live stream videos that its use has extended far beyond traditional B2C or B2B sales. It’s even been effective in American politics. In 2018, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez livestreamed herself building IKEA furniture. It became a viral hit. That same year, Beto O’Rourke became well known nationwide for his live streams, culminating in a dentist visit that many deemed TMI — proving that it is possible to go live too often on social media. There’s no doubt O’Rourke heard that feedback, as the Internet collectively disliked his live dentist appointment content.

 

 

Live Stream Viewers Love Authenticity

One of the primary factors that elevate live video above other forms of content is authenticity. When live streaming video, the audience can trust they are seeing and hearing the true story. There are no misleading edits or redoing of lines. What you see is what you get. For public relations, this can be powerful.

Further, according to INC, “Unlike regular recorded video, which is edited, scripted, scrubbed, tight, and mostly errorless — live video is raw, intimate, uncut, transparent, and authentic.” People love authenticity, especially millennials. A staggering 90% of millennials say authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support. Because of this craving for authenticity, the risk of making an error while live streaming is vastly outweighed by the rewards, which can be measured in brand loyalty, new customers, narrative control, and connecting with millennials, a generation whose buying power is constantly on the rise.

People Really Enjoy Video on Social Media

The graph below, provided by Hubspot, tells you everything you need to know about the content users actually pay attention to on social media. So go ahead, turn the camera on yourself, and speak directly to your followers. It’s the content customers want. And, it’s the content that will turn your followers into paying customers.

hubspot graph showing what content people actually pay attention to. Video is most popular

What about the future of content? Another Hubspot graph shows every generation has a consistent preference for video content, including live video, while other mediums are only popular with certain age groups.

Hubspot graph shows video is popular across generations

What other benefits have you seen with live streaming on social media? Let us know in the comments below. And if you need help building your social media presence, including live video, send me an email anytime at MBakle@WeTellYourStory.com.

Maggie Bakle - PR Specialist
Smart, experienced and extremely dedicated to her clients, Maggie Bakle is a strong believer in the power of PR. A Fort Wayne native, she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Indiana University and a master’s degree in public relations at Michigan State University. Before joining Nichols in 2017, she earned valuable experience in public relations and using social media to promote clients during a stint with another Fort Wayne agency. She’s also a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Her level of experience, knowledge and expertise makes her a force to be reckoned with in the Fort Wayne market, a place she believes is positioned to become a real powerhouse in the Midwest.

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