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Explore the Ins & Outs of Live Streaming Video and Social Media

Explore the ins and outs of Live streaming video and social media

Today as we explore live video and social media, you’ll come across the term social video. And like any person new to this format, you’re probably asking yourself, “what in the world is social video?”

Well I’m glad you asked. Social video is digital video that is designed to be seen and shared through social networks. Therefore, a Coca-Cola commercial or a recorded product demo are examples of social video.

So if you have are using video or want to use video for your business, then of course you would want to create content that is shareable to your audience and beyond.

However, what if I told you that you can take your video to the next level with live social video? Well you can! So, as we approach VidCon 2016, here are some ways to create live video that our CEO Bill Knowland learned from VidCon 2015.

Social media + live video = where the magic happens ✨ Make it #live #KeepItSocial

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Sometimes being nimble and light is the fun way to go.  Not needing a Sherpa to haul all your “broadcast quality” cameras and gear around can be inspirational and allow you to generate more live content.

While attending VidCon 2015, I was moving about with my Canon 5D Mark III, monopod, and fully loaded camera bag. I got some video on demand coverage, but I decided to shoot live video on my iPhone. Why? Because it was easier, more fun, and less cumbersome!

Don’t get me wrong. It’s best to use high-end camera gear in a VOD scenario for a marketing video production, a formal video interview, or customer testimonial video. But if you are in a run and gun scenario, and you are not creating a shallow depth of field masterpiece, mobile video can work great.

I decided to test out some online video trends. There are two live streaming video services that are trending now: Periscope and Meerkat. Unlike Vine and Instagram, they aren’t limited to micro video lengths of 15 to 30 seconds. You can stream live video for long periods of time. The best part about them though is that they include live chat features. Meerkat had a fond following until behemoth Twitter purchased Periscope earlier this year. Now, the battle between Meerkat and Periscope seems to be uneven.

Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.—Lori Ruff

Set Up

I found installing and setting up these services relatively easy. Though it took me a couple of passes for Meerkat, I got Periscope working right away.

The Meerkat UX seemed a bit more intuitive, and strangely enough, I seemed to have easily enabled Twitter feed notification on Meerkat, whereas I had the wrong Twitter setting on Periscope and ended up broadcasting on Periscope without notifying my Twitter followers. (I may have been enamored with the Periscope People area where it shows who you are following on Twitter).

In any event, you can turn on Twitter posting, turn on location sharing info, and enable everyone to chat or just users ‘you follow’ to chat.


My plan was to visit with various YouTube creators and social video community members while I was attending VidCon 2015. I did a quick broadcast in Meerkat, but then ran into some connectivity issues and the screen went black, so I switched to Periscope.

The first thing I noticed as I walked around was a sense of empowerment. It felt rewarding to be able to share my experience with anyone in the world. Almost immediately, comments started coming in, but I didn’t notice them right away because I was shooting horizontally.  The comments come in vertically, so you need to change the orientation to see them. I could see comments coming in like “Don’t only talk to the person you are videoing, talk to your audience” and “Mention my channel”.

Going viral is not an outcome; it’s a happening. Sometimes it happens; sometimes it doesn’t. Just remember, fans are vanity and sales are sanity.—Lori Taylor

As I was shooting and reading these comments, one of my video subjects thought I was a video newbie and told me I shouldn’t shoot vertically.  It was funny that after decades of shooting horizontally, I now had to not only unlearn this, but tell people why I was shooting differently.  A new comment came in, “Tell her you like chicken”, which I decided to ignore.

I could see many people were liking the broadcast from the hearts that were popping up on the screen. I then asked my audience what country they were from—hoping for my audience to take the bite and focus our discussion in the comment section. And to my relief, a multitude of comments finally came in “Hi, I’m from Brazil”, “I’m from Italy”, “I’m from the UK” and other comments.  I ended the broadcast saying goodbye to all my new global friends—making sure to save the broadcast in order to enjoy rewatching it later.

Other Live Streaming Services

A millennial favorite for live social media video is YouNow. It is a live stream video chat service specializing in youth community. Blab is a new group video chat app, that is making quite an impact—allowing four people to group chat at once as well as allow audience members to potentially get chance to take one of the positions and live stream their input.

For broadcasting in higher resolution, consider LiveStream or Ustream. YouTube has worked hard to get into the live streaming game—also making it a viable option for businesses especially for webinars or product tutorials.

In an Internet broadcasting studio environment, you can create a professional video production that integrates social interaction by setting up a TriCaster in a multi-camera shoot and integrating NewTek TalkShow, Skype TX or Vizrt social TV.

“Toto, we’re not offline anymore.” #Periscope #Blab #Meerkat—Oh My! #SocialMediaTools

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Key Takeaways for Your Business

  • Be sure to take the time to name your video carefully before you shoot. This will attract viewers interested in your topic. This can be challenging in a fast moving documentary setting. Just take your time and get the title entered in correctly.
  • One thing you should keep in mind is that broadcasts only last for 24 hours. So if there is anything you really want to keep, save it to your phone’s camera roll for later use, e.g., using them in blog posts.
  • Make sure you are live for a minimum time of 10 minutes or more. Because, this is a different kind of engagement, typical optimal video length of under 2 minutes does not apply here. You really want your videos to be at least 10 minutes long. This is because it takes several minutes for an audience to build.  That way you can avoid your Twitter followers from seeing your post, clicking to watch it and discovering that it is already over.
  • Keep a moderating eye on your comments. Look at your comments coming in and don’t stray too far from your brand when shooting or commenting back.
  • Show appreciation. When you see any engagement from your audience either hearts or comments, thank them for joining your broadcast. Out of the many that are live, make them feel special for joining yours.

Engage, Enlighten, Encourage and especially…just be yourself! Social media is a community effort, everyone is an asset.—Susan Cooper

For more information on using live social video, discover the following posts below—making it an essential option for your business:

Thought Leadership Monday Mashup: The Rise of Live Streaming Video

Periscope: More than Live Video Streaming

BLAB takes B2B Marketing to a Whole New Live Streaming Video Level

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Direct Images Interactive is a video marketing agency specializing in high-impact video production and online graphic design. We are centrally located between Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose.

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