Streaming live can be as simple as hitting "Live" on your phone or it can be as complicated as multiple camera setups and microphones, graphics, and a multiple lighting setup.
But the main reason for going live is to better connect and engage with your audience. It can help you grow your community in ways normal posts can't, and it allows you to be authentic and human with your followers. Going live means mistakes can happen and you're okay with letting your followers watch you in the most unedited raw form, and this is awesome! Whether your brand is professional or laid back, hosting a live stream can help your audience relate to you more.
Here are some of the most popular live streaming platforms and what they can offer to you.
Of course Facebook is on this list. If it's not the first thing people considering going live, it's definitely top 3! Facebook Live offers a huge built-in audience. Your followers get a notification when you go live and immediately entices people to watch. The negative to using Facebook is that unless people know your channel, they're not likely going to be able to find it again because you lose on SEO with Facebook.
YouTube Live is a great option if you want to get found. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world and allows followers and non-followers to easily find your live stream. Videos on YouTube live are ranked highly long after the live stream is over. It also has tools that can help you take your live stream to the next level, like scheduling events, creating pre-roll and thumbnails. The downside to YouTube is that your followers do not get notifications the moment you go live.
Going live on Instagram is very similar to Facebook. Your followers get notified and you can co-broadcast your live stream with others, which allows you to gain a larger audience from other guests. Most people have a larger Facebook audience than Instagram for their businesses, which makes these similarities not that much of a deal breaker. The one difference besides followers is that going live on your story means that your Instagram followers can only view your live stream within 24 hours of going live, and after that, your stream is no longer viewable and searchable.
Periscope is Twitter's live stream platform, and has a loyal following. It's simple to use and is solely devoted to live streaming content. The downside to Periscope is that it is limited and not searchable.
Live streaming on LinkedIn can be a great tool for your professional brand. It goes directly to the brand's audience and is saved on the profile after it ends. It is limited to 10 minutes and it doesn't offer statistics on active users.
Each platform offers something different and not all platforms are good for every brand. Deciding which platform your audience spends the most time and is most likely going to engage with you is the way to go.