One thing is certain working in social media is nothing stays the same.
It’s an area that is constantly growing and evolving and it’s why it’s such an exciting sector to work in.
It has brought down oppressive regimes, won presidential elections, propelled regular people into superstardom and, of course, changed the entire face of the media and entertainment industries.
Quite simply, social media has been – and will continue to be – a game changer.
For those of us who include social media as part of the day job, it’s an ongoing challenge to stay abreast of the change.
When Facebook changes its newsfeed algorithm we have to be on top of it. If a new social analytics tool is available we have to understand how to use it. If Instagram
copies takes inspiration from Snapchat we have to be experimenting with it so we can advise our clients on the best way to use it.
Likewise, when a shift in how people use a particular medium begins to happen we, as an agency, need to invest time into up-skilling the team and equipping ourselves with the appropriate tools.
Video livestreaming is one area where such a shift is beginning to happen and where we are seeing a lot of interest from clients (the image above is from a client event we livestreamed via Periscope). And why not since Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram have rolled out (or are rolling out) the ability for users to livestream directly from their platforms.
The rise of livestreaming illustrates another change in social media where people are starting to crave a live – and often unfiltered – view of events as they happen in real-time.
Much like the Snapchat story, a livestream video provides a real(er) view of events as they happen. There’s no editing and uploading later, just an unpolished live capture of an event.
It may be crude and it may lack editing but livestreaming video is raw and real.
Something that some people feel is lacking in today’s social media environment with our ability to polish, filter, delete, cut, crop and so on.
Couple this with more powerful cameras and processing power packed into the smartphones we carry around with us each day, then it’s almost a given that consumers will expect the live on-the-fly video from their favourite brands.
So, what are the steps a brand should take to capitalise on the rise of livestreaming video?
- First, they need to develop a culture of ‘always-on’ and ready to shoot. The world now operates in real-time since social media blew the doors off the old news cycle.
- Second, they should invest in the technology and skills to use livestream video. For example, Periscope has recently launched Periscope Professional allowing users to shoot with powerful cameras and higher resolution.
- Finally, they should make live events a part of their overall comms strategy. This requires forward planning and integration of live events into the standard social media content calendar.
In the ever-evolving world of social media, livestreaming offers a new way in which brands can engage their audiences in a distinctly pure manner. Using it effectively requires some adjustment to the regular community management process, but the results are worth it.
The rise of livestreaming is inevitable and the brands that invest in it will ultimately be the ones who thrive in this increasingly real-time always-on world.