Everyone is jumping on the Live Streaming bandwagon. It’s the hot new trend and it’s taking over our phones. Relatively unknown people the world over are becoming Internet Famous (or not, read my take on Internet fame here) just by hitting the start broadcast button and live streaming their lives or giving out business advice, or whatever it is they do. The trouble is a lot of these people have zero or next to zero audiences elsewhere and have no idea how to engage their audiences elsewhere, or build an audience elsewhere to then invite them over to their live streams. Actually they don’t have much idea about engagement other than talking to their phone screens.
Live streaming is about the easiest way to create content; press the start button, belt out your best bit of content and there it’s done. Take 10/15 minutes out of your day and you become a content creating ninja.
Well actually no. Sorry I’m here again to burst your bubble. Having 10,000 followers on Periscope and not much going on elsewhere does not make you a content creating ninja, social media master or worthy of brand sponsorship.
Becoming A Live Streaming Super Hero Ninja
If you want to make the very best use of your live stream content and build your audiences on other platforms elsewhere giving you better prospects of people finding you and brands getting a little bit interested you, then I’ve put together what started out as 10 ways to incorporate your live stream into your social media but then I got all brain dump mode and it kind of increased.
Oh great you have them in your Katch account. Something that’s only used by other Periscope/Meerkat users. How are new people supposed to find you there? Exactly! They won’t. Your replays need to be uploaded to YouTube and optimised for search. Create a Periscope/Meerkat/Blab playlist to make it easier for your subscribers to pick what they want to view. What you don’t have a YouTube page that people can subscribe to? You’re creating (live) videos! Go figure! 4 billion, yes that’s right, billion, videos are viewed on YouTube every single day. Periscope has 10 million, yes million, downloads. Do the maths. Where are more people looking for content???
The same goes for Facebook. If you have a business/fan/community page (not personal profile) set up on Facebook then you should be uploading your replays there too. But why not just post a link from your Katch or YouTube page? Because these are external sources and Facebook wants to keep you on Facebook for as long as possible. The more content you can serve there directly the more Facebook will reward you with the all important reach because it benefits them. It’s all to do with ad revenue, corporate plc got to make money stuff.
Please note that I said there about using a business/fan/community page as opposed to a personal profile. I’ll come back to this in a minute but this is for anyone using live streaming for business, blogging or anything that is related to working with brands, sponsorship etc. In other words if it’s not a broadcast specifically for your (real world) friends and family then keep it off your personal profile page. I’ll come back to this point at the end.
So you’ve made this (live) video about your best tips for flower arranging (just an example there, apply your own whatever it is you’ve done) and you’ve uploaded it to YouTube and Facebook, now what? You have a website right? And not some stupid free hosted thing. Like a proper website that you control and own the domain for? If not then get one quick before someone cashes in and pinches your domain name (or I do haha). Create optimised written blog posts with your videos either embedded from YouTube or uploaded direct on your own website. How simple hey. Your content on your website. Just like this blog post. Genius! Whoever thought of that one…………..
Blab does also now have the feature to embed your live broadcast directly into your own website. Although you can’t do private Blabs and I’ve heard that there are currently no future plans to enable this either, you could host your Blab behind an opt in on your website or use remarketing data to make sure you capture those folks to see your other content online.
Periscope has this amazing function to screen capture and post to Twitter directly within the broadcast by the viewer. Cool hey. And then you see it in your Twitter feed and retweet it. Yawn. What a waste of great content. And the constant retweets of your mugshot in your Periscope broadcast filling up my Twitter feed are all very self-indulgent and make me not want to watch you because I can just see the 157 screen captures your adoring fans have tweeted you that you’ve then retweeted. Just saves me 20 minutes of having to watch your self indulgence. Anyway, I digress. If someone is nice enough to tweet you screen captures, retweet the best one or two (max) and then just reply to the tweets thanking the person for sharing, then ask some tweeters if you can use their screen captures on your other social media channels. What a great way to show your audience that is elsewhere what they are missing out on by not downloading Periscope and waiting for your live notifications.
A few ways you can do this is uploading to Instagram. Ok so the quality might not be Insta perfect but it’s giving your audience there a snapshot of what else you do. Did you know that you can upload to Snapchat from your camera roll too? Or what about using them in that blog post you wrote and embedded your video into. Or just for Facebook posts. Pinterest, Tumblr, Tinder(whoops wrong blog). Get creative and post in places you can be finding new audience members.
Take a look at the image at the top of this blog post. It’s a screen capture from the Blab where I delivered all this content, that I then uploaded to my YouTube, that I then embedded into this post. Repurposing content it’s called. It’s all the rage with the really cool kids.
A webinar is not a Periscope, it’s not a Blab and it’s not a Meerkat. It’s a freakin webinar. So keep your webinars in webinar format. A great tool to use for webinars is YouTube Live. It’s basically whats behind such tools as Easy Webinar and Webinar Jam, but it’s the raw format. But the great thing about YouTube Live is that it records everything for you and drops it directly into your YouTube account once you are done. It’s very simple to use and you can easily embed it to a landing page or your own website behind an opt in page if you wish.
But you can use various live stream platforms to aid your webinars;
Periscope – it’s like the pre-event drinks reception, the promo event, the drum up a bit of attention phase
Webinar (on YouTube Live) – this is the main event. The black tie, formal sit down dinner. This is where you deliver the good stuff and blast out your teaching content
Blab – this is the after party when you can let loose and chill and answer your viewers questions in a more relaxed environment.
Answering questions on a live webinar is actually pretty difficult and you are relying on technology being kind and the fiddly and often temperamental chat boxes working. So why not save the Q&A for the Blab? Wrap up your webinar and then invite attendees to join you for the after party over on Blab where you’ll be answering questions live. You can also do this if you have a pre-recorded webinar and then just show up live for the Blab.
SEO isn’t just what businesses bang on about and unscrupulous charlatans charge a ton of money for. If you want your content to be found and shared then you need to learn just a bit about SEO and I’m not just talking the keyword stuff either. Open graph data, meta descriptions, image sizes, sharing buttons and yes keyword optimised descriptions (but not stuffed) and under no circumstances should you spammy backlink if you want to be taken seriously or avoid a Google penalty. Unfortunately good SEO is time consuming and if you are doing all the things I’ve suggested to get your content seen by a wider audience then you are going to have to spend some time mastering this stuff. Sorry but nobody ever said there was a quick magic button you could press to make everything online perfect.
Continue The Conversation
How many of you are actually using your Twitter to further engage rather than just sending out notifications about your broadcasts or retweeting your “fans” tweets? How many conversations have you struck up on Twitter? How many retweets have you done of other people’s content? If you are of the self indulgent variety or the type that likes to have smoke blown up your ass then I am guessing that you aren’t actually engaging very much on Twitter. And I bet you use automated tweets to thank folks for following you via a DM and then invite them to your paid offering or to sign up to your list. And then I bet you also use automated tweets to thank your engagers and tell us all how many new follows you’ve had this week. And I bet you unfollow anyone that doesn’t follow you back within 24 hours.
Well shame on you! Because you are making some huge social media faux pas and trying to pass yourself off as being knowledgeable in this business. Classy.
Since Periscope is part of Twitter and “Tell the bird” is a big thing on Blab then Twitter is the ideal place to strike up meaningful conversations with the people who are good enough to share your content. Or even find people who you would like to view your content. But, and by but I actually mean BUT, do not, and I repeat, do not be all me, me, me. Because you will come across as a self indulgent, egotistical arsehole.
You know when you go to a party and you’re hanging out in the kitchen and some loud mouth gobby idiot walks in like they own the place and talks loudly and repeatedly about themselves? It’s annoying isn’t it? You actually want to leave the room. You’d actually go and sit in the cupboard under the stairs, Harry Potter style, rather than listen to them for a minute longer than is necessary. Guess what? That arsehole is you when you rock up on Twitter and only ever talk about yourself, retweet tweets about yourself and share nothing of anyone else’s content or ask anyone else how their day is going/current project/new product/kids/holiday anything, literally anything that is relevant to them not you.
Please don’t be that self indulgent, egotistical arsehole, because eventually nobody will like you or you’ll vanish in the cloud of smoke up your own backside hopefully never to be seen again.
Now I don’t mean you have to become a saucy little minx and start teasing your audience into a bit of open bobs (a Periscope thing). What I mean is lead your audience gently by the hand on a little tour to get hints of what your content is going to be. This is a tactic I used for this blog post;
I tweeted that I’d be doing a Blab on the subject
I posted to my other social media channels and Facebook groups that I would be doing a Blab
I Periscoped that I’d be doing a Blab on the subject
I did the Blab
I uploaded the Blab to YouTube with the promise of notes in the comments, which I’ll eventually post in the form of a link to this post
I Snapchatted my day whilst I wrote my blog post (there wasn’t much writing going on in my Snaps by the way, but it created interest that I had a new blog post on the way. It also gave insight into bits of my life that I can then use to lead my audience over to my personal blog as they will want to know the story behind some of the Snaps)
I published the blog post and announced it via my social media channels
I don’t know what happened next as I don’t have a crystal ball or a tardis and I’m still sat writing the post and you are reading it in the future.
Reuse And Recycle
Have you just done a Scope that went on for a lot longer than you imagined it would because your viewers kept on asking questions? Could the answers you gave be of value to others? Well hopefully your content is good enough that everyone watching is finding value in it but not everyone has a spare hour or two to watch your far too long broadcast. So chop it up! Download it, edit it, chop it up into bite size chunks and reuse it as 30 second or 1 minute short content. By breaking up your content answer by answer you then have a load more extra content to use in your other social media posts. You can create a whole months worth of Facebook posts just based on that one broadcast you’ve chopped up.
You can even use these short Q&A style videos for future marketing. Embed a call to action button to receive a free download or worksheet that’s relevant to the question. Use it as the lead magnet to get folks on to your mailing list or to sign up for your webinar. Or use it like a showreel to demonstrate your skills. Create best of videos or chop up lots of broadcasts to edit into a vlog. There’s a lot you can do with this content besides letting it expire after the 24 hours on Periscope.
Ok so this kind of ties in to the thing about conversations on Twitter. Don’t be a one trick pony. Have other subjects you can talk about other than your Periscope content or your business. You will appeal to a far wider audience the more subjects you can cover. Now this doesn’t mean to say that you have to be like the pub quiz champion in training, but surely to goodness you can talk about something else? Or have other interests?
I have lost count of the number of conversations I have had in recent months that I have literally found difficult because the person I was talking to only had one subject matter; business, their six figure income, their next Periscope, how many viewers they have, themselves. Dull as freaking dish water. Yawn. I can usually hold a conversation pretty well and not to say I talk a lot (but I do) I can usually have a good interesting conversation with most people. If I find you difficult to talk to it’s because you have a problem, not me. You’re boring.
Surely you have something else to talk about? Do you have hobbies? What do you watch on TV? Do you like sports? Cooking? Fashion? Beauty? Do you have kids, nieces, nephews, pets? Jobs, businesses, work will all come and go. Online trends and new apps will come and go. What makes you who you are and what you enjoy and are passionate about are actually more interesting to me as an individual that may wish to engage in conversation with you than your endless tweets and conversation about your bloody Periscope. Step away from the phone and have a grown up conversation with another human. And talk about something else.
I have gotten more long term business from having normal every day conversations with strangers online than I ever do by talking business. People connect with people. They are interested in you and nine times out of ten they want to do business with that person because they can connect with you on some other level that isn’t business. They become invested in you personally and that will make them a far more ideal client in the long run.
The point being, that if your content is boring or always the same rehashed thing, then it doesn’t matter where you put it or how neatly you display it, it’s still going to be boring. Although I’ll gladly you tell you where you can stick it (joking, well maybe not).
A great way to find out what actually interests your audience is by taking a look at your Twitter analytics. A recent look at mine revealed that although 67% of my followers were interested in business, a much higher 86% engaged with me on topics other than business, including sport, comedy and tv. In fact only a mere 34% of my audience engaged with me on business topics. I guess this means that people like talking to me more than my business. But those engagement figures are not a reflection on my business as we are currently up on last year and doing alright. Does this mean that I should tweet more about my beloved Preston North End or crack a few more jokes and slag off the X-Factor contestants? Maybe. If it gets me more business then I am quite happy to stick to being my usual charming (sarcastic) self on Twitter. I believe it’s what we call authentic.
Say Thank You
Ok this has actually grated on me this past week but I did mention something similar in the Blab as well.
Don’t forget to thank your audience. Take the time, maybe not every broadcast, but certainly once a week if you are a regular broadcaster, to tweet a note of thanks to your viewers, or the ones that share your broadcast. A personal tweet that is not just a thank you to everyone post. With the new tools available now such as Fullscope you get amazing data right there and then as to who is watching and sharing. Tweet them to say thank you. Likewise if an audience member does something to help you out or does something that you are grateful for, show them your gratitude and not just a retweet either (refer back to what I said about that earlier). If someone is taking the time out of their day, and jeez we are all busy people aren’t we, and they are giving you that time, be very thankful for it.
Someone, no names mentioned, asked me to help them out this week to help promote something to do with one of their broadcasts and help them with a sponsor. It wasn’t something I would usually do and it didn’t particularly sit too well with me but as they’d asked me as a personal favour and I’m a nice person I did it. They didn’t thank me for it. Next time they need a favour I may not be quite so helpful. Always remember to mind your manners. It’s one of the few things we all get for free these days.
So my next point takes us back to the earlier point of not using a Facebook personal profile to upload your live stream content. If you want your content to be seen widely then a personal page is not the right place for this. At some point you are going to have to draw the line at what is personal and what is public. And don’t mix the two up.
Public is what your fans/followers/business associates see.
Private is what your real world friends and family see.
Your real world friends and family are going to get pretty naffed off pretty quickly by you cluttering up their newsfeeds with your Periscope broadcasts about your top tips to a 6 figure income or what the view from your balcony looks like when it rains.
Your business associates don’t need to see your Auntie Mabel tagging you into the 50th meme she’s seen today.
Do you want your fans/followers knowing exactly where you live or being able to look at your best friends wedding photos or your sisters new baby photos? You have to remember that by accepting a friend request from a stranger you are not only inviting them into your private life you are inviting them into your real world friends and families lives. How well do you actually know these people? Would you give them your home address or phone number? A general rule I tend to go with is not to allow anyone into your private space (in this case your personal Facebook profile) until you have completed the sniff test.
What the f**k is the sniff test I hear you ask? Sniff them!! If you have been close enough to sniff them or shared enough details and intend to be able to sniff them soon enough (ie you have gotten past the fact that they may be an axe murderer and you are ok with physically meeting them) then that is enough grounds to let them into your private space.
Likewise, now this a tale of caution. Do not expect your real world friends and family to keep up to date with your life via your social media that your fans/followers view. That is just plain rude and disrespectful to your relationship with them. I had what I thought was a real world friend twice refer me to their online presence as a means to answer a simple question of what they’d been up to. They could/should have had this conversation with me via a call or text. I was not impressed and it made me evaluate the friendship which then made me realise that every conversation I had with them was about them and they had never once called or text me to ask about me or so much as looked at any of my content. The friendship was all about them and they were treating me like a follower. I unfollowed.
We all know that misunderstandings can easily occur through digital/electronic communication. Situations that involve your real world friends and family call for a human to human interaction so opt for a phone call whenever possible to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications. Which brings me to my last point……………
Have An Actual Conversation
Whilst all is well in your online world, please do not forget the rest of the world and your real life. You may actually be missing out on a whole lot more because you’ve failed to look up from your phone screen or put effort into your real life relationships. You also lose touch with reality and this will actually lower your interest level to your online audience. If all you’ve got to talk to them about is your online life they are soon going to realise that there isn’t much depth to the real you and that kind of makes you boring (going back to being interesting). Having a real life will also give you more knowledge to use for your online content. Having real conversations will also improve your communication skills which are extremely valuable in the online world. Let your real life fuel your online life, not the other way around.
We did a part two to this Blab that concentrated more on the engagement factors and a few tips on what not to do, which you can view below.
Live streaming is so new yet offers endless possibilities and opportunities but you need to be using it wisely and as part of your overall social media presence. Growing an audience on one platform and only engaging there is not going to get you very far. What happens if that platform closes down, or dies a slow painful death MySpace style. Or it becomes the non cool playground like many other apps and websites that have gone before it.
What happens if you inadvertently breach their terms and conditions and they kick you off?!?! I have seen a ton of copyright breaches and other legal issues on Periscope that would get you kicked off YouTube and Facebook. Make yourself familiar with best practise for all platforms and stick to the rules. Be warned, Periscope will catch up and will start shutting down accounts just like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram all have done. Be prepared if you are playing fast and loose with the rules and be ready to jump on to another platform quickly whilst maintaining your audience.
This article originally appeared in Socially Sam.
This article was written by Samantha Martin from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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