7 Tips For Hosting A Successful Live
Lives are a great tool to connect with your audience on both Instagram and Facebook, but just the words “going live” may cause some people to break out in hives and panic. If this is you or even if you’re a speaking pro, I am sharing my best tips for hosting a successful live. These tips can be applied to both Facebook and Instagram. Once you learn to master lives, I have seen them be the most effective tools for connecting with a community online and growing a successful business.
First things first, master your mindset behind lives.
I’ll be honest, the first 5 seconds are going to be horrifying, terrifying, and everything in between. But there’s hope! Once you get rolling, lives are a breeze. If you’re extremely nervous, think about partnering with a business friend or team member during the live. And if you’re really nervous, only pop on for a few minutes. You don’t have to host a long live on your first try, start out small and grow from there.
The Pros and Cons
So if you’re considering doing a one-time live or starting a recurring series of lives, here’s a few things to note. The biggest con about lives is that they disappear after 24 hours on Instagram. If you’re offering something of value that you want to stick around on your feed, Facebook Lives are the way to go. You can also easily share Facebook lives on your other channels and schedule lives as events that your viewers can be reminded about. Here’s the steps to take when scheduling a live on your Facebook page. The obvious con about lives is that they can’t be edited and are completely live. Don’t let this deter you, just take the steps for preparing and don’t dwell on any mistakes. Chances are you notice your mishaps more than any viewers will so try not to bring attention to them.
If you’re thinking of hosting a live, this is a great tool you can use to engage with viewers while chatting longer than an Instagram story for example. You can also collaborate with friends by doing joint lives or interviewing guests. This allows you to reach more viewers and provide your viewers with even more value. Facebook and Instagram lives also inform your followers when you’re live, so the platform does some of the promotion for you.
So now that you’re all excited to host your first live, here’s my tips to ensure it’s successful.
Schedule a time.
While this isn’t mandatory and off the cusp lives can be a fun addition to your social media strategy, scheduling your live can ensure your followers have the time to tune in. Simply by posting about your live in a promo post with the time and platform, you can give your fans enough time to tune in.
Make notes and have talking points in mind.
When it comes to planning the content for your live there are a few schools of thought that can both be effective - off the cusp lives or planned content. Off the cusps lives of events, announcements or news updates, and daily thoughts or revelations can be an authentic way to reach your followers. My biggest advice for this method is still have some type of idea of what you want to mention or showcase in the live so people won’t tune out of a rambly live. The other school of thought is to plan out the topic you want to talk about or the lesson you want to teach. When promoting a blog or service, this method can be effective and positioning yourself as an expert in the topic you’re covering.
Don’t bring attention to the fumbles.
You’re live and mistakes are going to happen. My best tip on how to handle them is moving past them. I’m sure you’ve seen someone go live and get even more tongue tied once they bring attention to a small mistake or that they “just can’t speak English” today. But when people ask how I’m so comfortable going live I quite honestly say I’m not, but I focus on making it appear as natural and casual as possible. If you’re having a hard time rolling with the fumbles, just pause and reset your sentence.
Test things out.
If lives are something you want to utilize more often in your strategy, start testing out different types of lives. Ask your audience what they want to see, what times suit them best, and how often they’d tune in by using tools like the poll sticker on Instagram Stories. Do people like when you bring guests or go solo? Do they preferred a more relaxed Q&A coffee talk or a structure demo? Are Instagram lives or Facebook lives best for you? Test things out and find what works best for you.
Pin a comment or write a description.
Before getting down to the nitty-gritty in your live, start by pinning a comment on Instagram or writing a description on Facebook. Simply comment what your live is about and then tap it to pin it to the top of your Instagram live. I prefer to type it out in my notes and copy it to my clipboard before delving into my topic. For Facebook, you can write your description right before going live. This allows for viewers to get drawn into the live if they happen to spot it or fill in viewers that join late.
Thank your viewers.
This tip can go a long way to engage with your followers. For Instagram, I always like to DM whoever tuned in live right after I end my broadcast. On Facebook, I suggest responding to any comments you may have missed during the live and thanking them for tuning in. Ask them if they have any questions, want more information, or if you can help in any way to thank them for taking the time to tune in.
Promote Instagram lives on Stories.
After going live on Instagram, don’t forget to let your followers know. I love to post on Instagram Stories right after going live to give a recap of what I talked about and reminding them to watch the 24 hour replay while it’s up. This is a great way to engage with followers and allow them to watch the replay if they were unable to join live.
Don’t look at the numbers.
I beg you, don’t look at the numbers while you’re live. This distracting number can throw off your thought process and derail your confidence. Focus on the comments that are flowing in and welcoming new viewers. The perks of going live is being able to answer questions and engage with your followers as you’re speaking.
These tips will help you master lives and successfully utilize it in your social media strategy. Whether you choose Instagram or Facebook for your lives, this tool can be effective at building your business and personal brand.