Best practices for live video
Live video is a powerful way to get the attention of your supporters. Social media algorithms favor video, and especially live video. And your supporters probably like to watch video, too!
Going live is also a good way to broadcast an event or action for people, including reporters, who can’t make it in person. Live streams get a lot of attention on social media—though it’s good to note that most of the views will happen after the event ends. This can increase the “life” of your action by extending the length of time that the action is in people’s minds.
- Have the caption you want for the video already written up so you can copy and paste it into the description when you’re ready. Make sure you include a link to an action you want people to take, whether it’s signing a petition, joining your email list, or making a donation.
- Make sure you have an external battery pack and your phone charger—live video will drain your battery quickly so you want to be plugged in from the start.
- Make sure you’re holding your phone horizontally the whole time. If your phone is locked on portrait orientation, make sure you unlock it before you start. You can test this out on your personal social media account before you start to make sure you have it right.
- Ask someone else who is at their computer to watch the live video the whole time and text you with any feedback (if they can’t hear the video well, etc.)
What to Say on Live Video
People likely won’t watch the entire live video, so you’ll want to narrate it so that people joining at any time can get caught up on what’s going on. Here are a couple tips:
- Act like a live journalist. Report on what’s going on for the viewers.
- Prepare an introduction to what’s going on that includes all the key components of your message so that people who are tuning in can quickly understand what is going on and why. Say a version of this introduction often so that people joining the video late can catch up.
- Prepare an ask or two for your viewers and make sure you repeat them often. Asks could include: sharing the live video, signing a petition, joining your email list to stay up to date, making a donation, etc. Make sure if you are asking your viewers to take action that you include the link to do so in the video description.
- Interview action participants if possible. Prepare some questions you can ask people about why they are participating, why this campaign matters, etc. This can help keep the live video interesting over long periods of time.
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