Since all our favourite social platforms introduced the Live function over the past year or so, it’s been interesting to watch how brands and the public have adapted to it. In the beginning, only verified users and brands had access to Live - at least on Facebook - so it was a strictly exclusive group who were bestowed the honour of letting us into their lives in real time.
But what has happened since everyone and their uncle can now go Live, not only on Facebook, but on Instagram and Periscope as well? Well, to be frank, it’s been a bit of a mess. Nearly all of us can recount stories of annoying notifications that that one friend has gone Live for the fifth time today, with little to nothing to say.
There’s a time and place for everything, and Live is a key component in many well orchestrated social strategies but here are five reasons why you really shouldn’t go Live. Like at all.
1. You Have No Value Proposition
Before you go Live, the very first question you need to ask yourself is “Why?” Why should your friends, family or followers take precious time out of their day to watch you sit at a computer playing video games? What do you really have to say that can’t be expressed in a series of 10-15 second Stories? Is it really that important that you go Live? If you can’t put your value proposition in the caption when starting the Live broadcast, then perhaps you need to reconsider.
2. You Cry Wolf
If you’re honest with yourself and you’re that person we mentioned above, what you’re doing is crying “wolf”. Every time you go Live for no apparent reason, you’re giving your followers less reason to pay attention. You’ll become that annoying brand or person who doesn’t follow basic social media etiquette (don’t bother people too much!) and all you’re doing is turning future viewers off. So go Live less often and make it count when you do.
3. You Can’t Entertain, Inform or Excite
Gary Vaynerchuk has spoken about how difficult it is to attract and then maintain an audience using Live, and he’s right. By going Live, what you’re essentially doing is creating a long form TV show that must be entertaining, informational or exciting (preferably all three), and if you don’t hit those markers, you’ll lose your viewers right off the bat. If you have a proper plan and outline for exactly what you’re going to do throughout the entire broadcast, then by all means, go for it. But the vast majority of brands or individuals don’t, they’re unprepared and they wing it just to see what happens, and it’s not always pretty, folks.
We often find that if we tune into a lengthy Live session, there’s only really one exciting part which could easily have been recorded and repurposed as an Instagram Story or Snap. So have a solid plan before going Live.
4. Your Daily Life Is Not Breaking News
This one is more for the individuals than the brands, but going Live while you’re making dinner isn’t what Facebook built it for. Your mundane daily activities aren’t cut out to entertain or inform enough for a Live broadcast and people just don’t want to see that - well, unless you’re a YouTube vlogger, then you’re good to shoot literally anything. But if you’re a brand, instead of making your Live broadcast a static, still shot, you could take your phone and walk around your office or warehouse or workplace to give viewers a fun, engaging Behind The Scenes tour that they never would normally have access to. Now that’s value.
5. You Can’t Go Solo
Typically, most people or brands didn’t grow up in front of a camera. Over the last decade since we’ve had high resolution video cameras in our pockets, the majority of the population is now growing extremely comfortable putting their face and ideas on the internet, and that’s a great thing. But it’s still not for everybody - you really need to know yourself or your brand when going Live. Can you hold down an entire Live broadcast by yourself? If the answer is “no” but you really must go Live, there actually is a solution. Instagram recently introduced a new function where you can invite a friend to join your Live broadcast, immediately giving you a co-host to help keep the energy up. This is a great opportunity for brands to collaborate with influencers or even other brands in a Live framework. Just make sure whoever is handling it has enough charisma to keep all that attention.
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