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5 Tips for Streaming Live Video in Social Media.

Aliza Sherman is a new media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.

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Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a news media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Sherman has received recognition for her role as an entrepreneur focused on women's issues, particularly women's role in the news media industry and their participation on the Internet.

5 Tips for Streaming Live Video in Social Media

5 Tips for Streaming Live Video in Social Media

Some of the major social networks now offer live video streaming features so you can broadcast straight from a mobile device with their app. From Facebook Live and Instagram Live to YouTube Live and even the Periscope live streaming feature within Twitter, broadcasting in the moment is becoming the popular form of publishing.

Capturing, editing and publishing video for social media can seem time-consuming, particularly when you’re planning out what you’ll show and convey. Live streaming video is often less mapped out and more spontaneous, capturing an event as it is happening, for example.

Regardless of the social network you use for live video, some of the same principles you follow when making any videos still apply including:

1. Make sure you have sufficient lighting.

Most mobile devices have limited capacity to capture action in low light. Using your phone’s camera light can be harsh. If you’re not capturing a scene on the fly and have time to prepare, setting up some professional lighting or rearranging lamps in a room can shine more light on the action.

2. Watch out for background noise.

Most live streaming happens without the use of additional audio equipment but instead captures sound straight off a mobile device or laptop. When you’re live streaming, be aware of the noise around you or the device capturing the video. If you’re set your device down on a table or chair to film something then walk away, you could end up inadvertently recording a conversation nearby that distracts from what you’re streaming.

Invest in a small, directional microphone that plugs into your mobile phone, iPad or laptop to minimize background chatter and buzz.

3. Stabilize your live-streaming device.

A lot of live streaming happens on a mobile phone, handheld and often in selfie-mode. While some mobile device cameras have motion stabilizers, hand-held video often has a wavering that can look natural in some cases or dizzying in others. If you already have a tripod, no need to tape your mobile device to it. Purchase an adapter that properly attaches a smartphone or tablet to a regular tripod.

There are also smaller and even flexible tripods you can purchase that are easy to transport and attach to your device. Even a monopod or selfie stick can prove handy for creating more stability while you’re live streaming. You can also use monopods and selfie sticks to capture video above a crowd or from above looking down at the action.

4. Get someone in front of the camera.

Live streaming is at its most effective when there is someone speaking directly to the audience – in this case, your fans or followers on social networks. An on-camera personality can set the scene and talk about what is being streamed as it is happening.

While you can stream lectures and presentations or show action or scenes without any narration, having an on-camera personality draws people in and provides additional context while communicating key messages to the audience. Not everyone is suited for on-camera work and not every situation requires it. However, identifying someone on your team or in your community who look straight into the camera and speak comfortably and off-the-cuff is a plus. That person can also respond to the comments people may be posting as they watch the video live, creating more engagement.

5. Save the live stream.

The social media apps that offer live streaming also allow you to save or download the video to your device. If the app has an autosave setting, like Twitter, make sure it is engaged. Saving live streams gives you an array of footage you can use in the future. You can also opt to edit the stream, shorten it, clean up the lighting and sound, add captions and credits or otherwise modify to end up with a more produced video you can repurpose on your website or other social networks.

While live streaming video in social networks doesn’t have to be highly produced, some amount of preparation can improve the quality of what you broadcast. Treating live streaming as a regular part of social media content generation instead of an afterthought can attract more attention to your brand and build your social media followings.