From Stories To Snaps: How To Use Live Video To Engage Social Media Fans

No matter where you choose to "go live" give it a spin. It's no longer optional.

Photo: Stacey Harris, Social Media Strategist; Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Stacey Harris, Social Media Strategist; Source: Courtesy Photo

When it comes to choosing the right social media network, choose the one that is aligned with you and your business. This is a best practice that will always hold true.

But now there is a new type of content you must add to your social media marketing in order to connect and engage with your community on a whole new level.

You need to add a live aspect to your social media.

Adding live videos to your posts will separate you from your competitors. Below are some tips on how to integrate live video into your social media campaigns.


1. Choose the social platform that works for you.

There are many options available to “go live” on social media. There is Periscope, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Instagram Stories and Blab, just to name a few. Think about where your audience hangs out. What type of content will you share, how long will you broadcast, and how frequently will you do it to keep your audience engaged?


2. Provide value and earn their time.

Going live is not going to go away anytime soon. Facebook reports that “people spend 3x longer watching live video compared to a video that’s pre-recorded.”

But this means you have to show up, get on camera and provide value for your community. The vast majority of our audience is used to status updates and photos, so going live is the new way to earn their time.


3. Forget automation when it comes to live video.

No matter which social platform you choose, live video cannot be automated. It can’t be prescheduled. You have to earn your audience’s time by giving them your time.

For example, as you share multiple photos and videos on Instagram, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story. With Instagram Stories, “the photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.”



Live video allows you to accelerate the know, like, trust factor because you are exchanging valuable currency: time. One advantage of social media is that it is not a 1:1 exchange. When you give five minutes of your time on social media, you get back five minutes multiplied by the number of people that watch your video.

Plus, you also will receive the added value of increased shelf life on networks that keep your video posted until you remove it. So, although you cannot automate live video you can scale it.


4. Choose live video content wisely.

You can choose how often you want to engage with your community. You can choose what you want to share. Share that one question your community continues to ask. Reveal the book you recommend to your clients. Share the inspiration you got when you went on your morning run.


5. Accelerate your humanity factor with live video.

When you use live video you are sharing a part of your life. You’re showing up, connecting, and providing value which accelerates the humanity element that live video offers.

For example, “DJ Khaled — the hip-hop Zelig figure who’s orchestrated some of the most anthemic hits of the last decade — is too busy walking the pathway to more success to let naysayers tell him what he can’t do. Every day he films a combination of inspirational talk, outrageous adventures and mundane minutiae of life, a mix that in recent weeks has become social media core curriculum.”



You are no longer just a profile picture. Live video humanizes the social media experience. Other forms of social content are valuable, but live video allows you to bond with your community in an exciting new way.


6. Think about viewer perspective.

When we realize that the people we look up to are people just like us, we become that much more attached to them. For example, when it comes to online video in general, “For millennials who spend a lot of time watching online video, YouTube creators are more influential than traditional celebrities.”

This is due to various reasons such as, “YouTube creators listen to and interact with their fans, resulting in communities that look more like friendships than fanships.” So imagine how this is exponentially more relevant to live video audiences.


No matter where you choose to “go live” give it a spin. It’s no longer optional. It’s no longer maybe someday. Don’t get left behind. Go live.


This article has been edited and condensed.

The Stacey Harris is a social media strategist and trainer helping entrepreneurs build communities online.
 Stacey also helps entrepreneurs stay up to date on social media with her podcast Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris. Connect with @thestaceyharris
on on Twitter.


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