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9 tips for getting started in live streaming and stories

Trying any new social media platform is a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be paralyzingly scary. Below are tips from businesses that have had success with their stories and live video content. 

1. Think about what you want to say. Before going live, you will feel much more comfortable if you spend a short amount of time thinking about what message you are trying to get across, which will reduce the “umms” and “uhhs.” Think about dates and times for upcoming promotions and events, contact information and more. You will also likely need to repeat yourself as your audience grows during the live stream.

“Having an overall general idea of the quick topics you’re going to cover and revisiting that multiple times over the live stream, because as soon as you hit record and you start talking, there may be one or two live viewers. Five minutes from that point, you may have 15 new viewers that haven’t seen the first part of it yet,” said Veverka.

2. Rely on your experts. If you’re posting a live video of a boat walkthrough, make sure to include a product manager or sales person. If you’re promoting an in-store event, a marketing manager will know all the best details. You should be sure whoever is going to be in front of the camera is comfortable.

If they aren’t, pairing them with someone who is will create more ease for those in front of the camera and the viewers.

“If you have someone who’s not comfortable in front of a camera who’s got a lot of information, often it works to put someone who is good in front of the camera or off the cuff as an interviewer,” said Poole. “It’s a lot easier to answer interview questions versus someone who has a lot of knowledge but isn’t really enthusiastic in front of the camera, it’s good to have a back and forth because they’re comfortable having a conversation.”

3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When you’re recording a live video, you won’t be completely perfect. Don’t let yourself get hung up on being too polished.

“We have occasionally made little mistakes, and the nice thing about the Facebook platform is that if you shoot something live and you maybe do something wrong – we shot in the wrong aspect ratio, for example – you can choose whether or not you want it to stick and stay on your feed or not when it’s all said and done,” said Poole.

If you’re truly concerned about getting it right, consider setting up a “dress rehearsal” of sorts and going through what the live stream will cover, who will stand where and say what, etc. It doesn’t have to be fully scripted but it helps plan what to show customers.

“That way, we can get a feel of where I need to be standing, where they need to be standing, what I need to be featuring, so it’s not so haphazard. At least you have a form on the way you’re going to film the video, even if it is live,” Fahy said.

4. Add calls for engagement. While social media is great for branding purposes and inspiring customers, you are still running a business – getting your followers to follow through and make a purchase is an ideal goal.

Veverka will add text and graphics to Instagram Stories that act as a call for engagement: “Send us a message by replying to this,” “Screenshot this next image for X deal.” This drives people to capture the content and create a conversation with the dealership.

“We’ve had two people ask us … ‘Hey is that board available still?’ Or ‘does that come in a different size or a different color’ with one of the wakeboards,” he said. “So we’re able to see that right away. Instant communication.”

Nautique pushes its Design Your Nautique site on Instagram Stories and asks customers for feedback on designs or offers contests where customers can design a boat and feature the best creations.

“Stuff like that engaging people and then getting them involved in our process of producing content,” said Perry.



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