Many social media platforms today have a livestreaming function, including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Patreon, and others. When used correctly, livestreams can be a fantastic way to connect and build relationships with customers. They’re a tool to help answer questions, advertise new products, and engage with customers on a personal level.
One of the best uses of livestreaming is using it to build a community around your brand. Below, 14 members of Fast Company Executive Board share some of the most effective ways to use livestreaming—including their own positive experiences.
1. COLLABORATE CREATIVELY WITH CLIENTS.
I strongly believe not only in livestreaming but in “collaborative design livestreaming.” This is where we use collaborative software and engage our global teams or clients to conduct livestream activities wherein we collaborate, design, create, and build together, virtually. This is fun, engaging, and can be very creative and strategic. – Ken Thompson, AlignOrg Solutions
2. SHARE YOUR RESOURCES TO HELP OTHERS.
We offered complimentary use of our virtual platform to the DRK Beauty team, who used it for a fundraiser to raise awareness about mental health, wellness, and activism. The team raised $130,000 to give free therapy to women of color in the U.S. At a time when people of color are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, we’re proud to have offered our technology to make a difference. – Ryan Simonetti, Convene
3. TRY LINKEDIN FOR B2B-FOCUSED LIVESTREAMING.
LinkedIn’s livestreaming is rarely used but is highly effective. I’ve seen brands do wonders with it. Your B2B audience will be notified as soon as the broadcast begins, and that can spark a lot of viewers. – Yoav Vilner, Walnut
4. SHARE UPDATES WITH YOUR TEAM.
Due to the pandemic limiting travel, we’ve started livestreaming our all-hands meetings to our global team of more than 850 members. Twice a year, we host a multi-day all-hands meeting to share business updates, products, benefits, and customer success updates. To make these more enjoyable for our remote team, we have broken them into smaller segments, which feels more manageable for an online environment. – Jason VandeBoom, ActiveCampaign
5. CONSIDER WORKING WITH INFLUENCERS.
This is a nut everyone is (or should be) trying to crack. Influencers are starting to dabble with livestreaming on Amazon, and brands that are brave enough to engage in longer-term, not return-on-ad-spend-positive (at least not immediately) engagements with influencers will have the edge. Taking an editorial-first approach is critical to success. – Jessica Thorpe, gen.video
6. CHOOSE YOUR MOMENTS CAREFULLY.
Too many businesses that do livestreams forget what makes them special. It’s all about celebrating a single moment in time. The reveal of a new product, the interview with someone right after they’ve done something special, commenting on an event as it’s happening—these are great reasons to go live. But if all you’re doing is chatting away, I may listen, but I’d rather do it on my own time. – Barry Fiske, LiveArea, a Merkle Company
7. SHARE COMPELLING PERSONAL STORIES.
Frustrated with the mask of personal branding statements and elevator pitches shared in podcasts, I killed mine. Now, I livestream with luminaries of every walk about their lives and how they have changed the game. The immediacy prompts the sharing of deeply personal truths about their journey—stories that have generated countless emails filled with gratitude for our showing the full picture of what it means to be successful. – Tevis Trower, Balance Integration Corporation
8. FIND A WAY TO STAND OUT.
I’m a huge fan of livestreaming, especially on LinkedIn. But let’s face it: There’s a lot of noise and blather out there. But one excellent livestreaming show (which combines a subject-matter expert panel with trivia and a lot of laughter) is the weekly Blinkety Blank show by Andy Foote. If you want to see something completely different, it’s worth checking out. – Viveka Von Rosen, Vengreso
9. SHOW HOW YOUR PRODUCT CAN IMPROVE LIVES.
We love livestreaming how to use our products, recommended uses, and success stories to our customers. They love the community aspect of it, as well as the chance to share their triumphs with familiar faces, and it helps everyone achieve bigger wins in the market. – Noah Mitsuhashi, Portfolio Insider
10. MAKE IT INSTRUCTIVE AND INTERACTIVE.
Livestreaming can be an excellent tool for training new employees. This reduces company costs, and all employees receive the same training. In terms of introducing a new product, heightened audience interaction communicates a brand’s story more effectively. Livestreaming events also build a community by bringing together international audience participation. – Irfan Khan, CLOUDSUFI
11. SHOW POTENTIAL NEW CUSTOMERS YOUR PRODUCT’S BENEFITS.
Recently, I was interviewed on Amazon Live. During the livestream, I demonstrated how my product works, shared my story, and conducted a live audience Q&A session. It was a new and engaging way to interact with Amazon shoppers and existing customers. – Kelley Higney, Bug Bite Thing
12. PLAY FOR A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE.
The combination of YouTube livestreaming and Patreon seems to be a simple yet effective combination for artistic creators. It’s the virtual version of playing at a live club for tips. More and more musicians are making a living this way, including directly selling their music and merchandise or referring viewers to download on other platforms. – Kevin Namaky, Gurulocity Brand Management Institute
13. USE IT TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS.
Livestreaming is a great way to reach out to your audience and build relationships with them. I was able to get to know who is actively watching my livestreams and with that, I was able to help them manage their real needs through a specific, targeted approach. Building relationships will always be connected to business. – Lane Kawaoka, SimplePassiveCashflow.com
14. ANSWER YOUR FANS’ QUESTIONS.
We’ve had livestreams on our Facebook group where we answered questions from our members. Our business helps people create their own websites and build the business they want. So, there were a lot of questions that we were able to address. This helped our community and created a stronger bond between our customers and our brand. Use livestreaming as a way to help people and they will support you. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner