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smartphone-2271722_960_720In 2016 Facebook launched a feature enabling you to start a live broadcast, shortly followed by Instagram introducing live stories. Live broadcasts can be extremely beneficial for you business if you know how to use them. Live streaming is a great way to improve your reach on social media and engage with your audience better.

How do I go Live?

Both Facebook and Instagram allow you to go live from your smartphone very easily. On Facebook head over to your newsfeed, underneath your ‘what’s on your mind’ box there is a tab that says ‘live’, press it and you’ll be able to start streaming. On Instagram head over to your story, click as if you were about to add to it, swipe left along the bottom from normal to live and you’ll be able to start your live story.

If you wanted to go live on Facebook on your PC or laptop you would need to download a streaming software. On your software, you’ll need a streaming key. To find this head over to your Facebook page, press publishing tools, you’ll see a video tab, once you press that you should see a live button. Once you press the live button you’ll get a pop-up with your streaming key on it, this is what you’ll put into your software.

Facebook vs Instagram

Facebook and Instagram live are very similar in many ways. Live sessions on both platforms share these features:

  • They both allow you to see how many people are viewing your live stream.
  • They both allow likes and comments from viewers so you are able to engage with them.
  • Both platforms will send followers a notification, as long as their push notifications are on, as soon as you start a live stream.

The main difference between the two is permanency. On Facebook, you are able to save your video and have it stay permanently on your page. This enables people to continuously engage, like and share after you are done streaming live. This is a great option to have especially if you’re trying to reach people worldwide, who may not have been able to watch your live broadcast.

Unfortunately on Instagram once it’s gone, it’s gone. After you are done with your live story there is no option to save it, it’ll just disappear. One thing Instagram is great for is enabling you to reach new people. If a live story is popular enough, it could end up in the ‘top live’ section on the explore page, enabling new people to see it.

Why Should I go Live?

Live streaming on both platforms can have many benefits for your business. Going live allows you to connect with an audience at the touch of a button, it’s a fast and effective way to get a message across to your followers.

Behind the Scenes

Most people love getting in on something new, live streaming is showing your followers an otherwise ‘off-limits’ world that they don’t usually get to see. Everyone loves to see behind the scenes so make the most of it. Show them what it’s like to work with your brand, how a product is made or the thinking process behind new things!

Product Previews

Live streams are a great way of showing a new product to your followers and giving them information on the launch. It lets people see how something works before they buy and gives you a chance to promote it as well as answer any questions they may have.

Host an Interview

Interviews are seriously popular on live streams. You could interview a brand owner, a co-worker, an influencer or a special guest. It’s up to you who you choose but it should be someone who can speak about your brand and give your viewers a new opinion.

Tutorials and Demonstrations

Live broadcasts are the perfect place for tutorials. Show your viewers how to best use some of your products. You can also use this time to answer FAQ’S about certain products or your brand in general. You could use products you have already released or include a new product you want to inform viewers about.


This is one of the most common uses for brands on a live broadcast. It’s a time for you to sit and engage with viewers and customers, answering questions about your brand. This stream allows you to bring a personal touch to your business, showing you want to help and answer as many questions as you can. It also makes great use of the fact people can comment on your live broadcast and watch you respond instantly.

It could be a great idea to have a schedule for people to get used to, you could go live on a certain day at a set time once a week. Regardless of if you have a timetable or not, it’s great to promote your broadcasts before you go live. Make sure people are aware of when and where you’ll be going live so they can make sure they’re free and with a device they can watch you on.

Many people have a preference when it comes to platforms but it’s a good idea to use both to reach a different audience on each. Over 100 million people watch a video online every day, as long as you’re using your live streams to bring your audience useful, interesting information, you should get great engagement and improve your reach quickly.

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