It has almost been a year now since the time came that we were granted the ability of going Live on social media.
Facebook gave us the first ability to go Live back in April, then Instagram in November with Twitter following close behind in December, all in 2016.
Yes I know it’s nice to have the option of going on Live video without pants is tempting (because no one can see you from the waist down), but can steaming Live video from the comfort of your own home office do your brand good?
Does this mean that you should hop on this new trend because EVERYONE else is?
That’s a big fat MAYBE.
Because in order to have a better reach, more followers and even sales from your badass brand, it needs to be not only useful but most importantly impactful. So going Live when the context is relevant is what you’re looking for.
However, if it’s not relevant, then Live videos can look good. Aaaaand that’s it. Full stop. End of sentence.
Take a look at the image below.
That’s a lot of social media. In the past 4 years, this has been my world. My domain. This is where I live but I can’t keep up with all these places and I don’t even have a job!
That’s my whole role in life is to stay on top of these and I can’t keep up.
But we have this bias in our industry that the best avenue is for us to go are the ones that are trending now.
And I’m guilty of that too.
Instead, we should be looking at it like this. What is the best technique, the best use for our clients, or our brand’s wants and needs, resources and skill sets?
We have to ensure that it makes sense and we can deliver the best way we know how that actually means something.
Not vanity metrics. Not on things that looks great. Not “view count” or “x number of followers” on social media. Don’t pretend. It means nothing.
I want you to ask yourself, “What can I do to make things move for this business so I can provide the best value for others, and what platform is best for it?”
So if you’re just getting started, should diving into Live video right away – for the only reason that it’s the trend a good idea? Is it a good idea if you don’t have the skill sets to do so? No, you shouldn’t.
So what can you do
to make your presents make sense?
Well, let me tell you from experience that it may not be such a good idea UNLESS you were born to be on Live video.
I believe that 85% of people should not be on Live video because it could kill their brand if they don’t know what they’re doing.
Live video is awkward. It’s unforgiving. And it’s very hard to do well.
And throw in the fact that you are fighting with the voice in your head that reminds you that you don’t want to do Live video.
Maybe that voice is telling you something: now may not be the right time.
Can it be a learned skill? Yes. So it may be better to start with static video first. Then when you deem it necessary, go Live here and there to connect with your audience.
Give them a Q&A session. That will give you more authority and a much better, “OMG I get to speak to him or her Live!” kinda feel.
Still not convinced that Live video could be killing your brand?
Ask yourself this question, “What is happening in my industry right now that deems it necessary to steam Live video every day? Would a static video do a better job?”
By now you’re probably thinking that I’m just some nutty-butty
who is just spewing out excuses just to avoid doing Live video. Well, I have had my share of Live videos.
When I took on Facebook Live a couple of months after it came out, I already had over 300 videos on YouTube so I was ready for it.
After about 8 months of going Live, with a few 30 day challenges here and there, it got to the point where everyone and their goofy Aunt was doing Facebook Live and I found myself looking like everyone else.
I realized that the content I wanted to present wasn’t relevant when doing Live videos. I learned that editing my own videos in the “jump cut” fashion gave me a better response.
Do what works best for your brand.
Sure, Facebook Live gets better ranks on Facebook (actually, the replays do), pictures and GIFs on Twitter catch better attention, and Instagram Stories and Live works better in addition to your photos.
It’s not very hard to figure out the trend when it’s your job.
However, here is where I’m struggling with this whole thing. People and Brands take a look at what’s trending now on social media and put out IRRELEVANT content just so they can have more reach.
Brands will share meme’s and viral videos that have nothing to do with their brand.
People will share a picture of themselves and adding text of a quote that they said themselves. (Do you see the irony in that? You don’t quote yourself. People quote YOU.)
Then there is the idea of hiring social media Influencers to “authentically” promote things without disclosing the fact that they are getting paid.
And we may or may not be breaking either guidelines and/or laws at this point.
It’s your job to make sure they are not breaking any guidelines or laws.
When in context – not just the context of the content – but the context of the medium that you are using makes sense, if it’s relevant, if it has the authentic feel to it, and it adds value is where it will work for your brand.
Just because you Live stream from your desktop (with the luxury of not wearing pants) doesn’t mean it adds value.
Most things in life can get much better video if it’s recorded and edited.
Live video is just “that thing” right now because Facebook Edge Rank Algorithm gives it a boost, and it may seem like it makes sense.
But should you?
Okay, so maybe by now you’re throwing your hands up in the air not knowing what you really need to do to get your brand out there, and I’m here to help you figure that out. Right here. Right now.
Most of the time,
the age-old methods work best.
We are so busy saying, “We gotta be here and here and here…” when having good relationships with good people makes a lot of sense.
And that’s where your true asset are and how you differentiate yourself is in your relationships.
Public relations (PR) isn’t about shouting and who can be there first. It’s about public relations. However you can do that, do it.
The true skill lies in building relationships and finding people that you can connect with and give your brands the reach you want in a way that’s not cookie-cutter, or shotgun approach, and definitely not cut and paste.
PR isn’t just about communicating but matching the right voice with the right brand and having a go.
I would tell my clients that in order for you to be heard is to become silent. Pay attention to where the industry and technology is going. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s right for your brand.
I found that most of the time our most effective marketing and selling happens when we’re not trying to.