How to Live Stream on social media and not drive your friends or fans crazy.
Admittedly this blog post is mostly getting written because I may be a little excited that my new Mevo camera has just landed in the office in time for me to take it across to the States for a conference. That being said it is also a timely reminder for those of you who are indulging in the game of “Facebook Live” for business or pleasure.
So first off what should be in your toolkit? When it comes to making sure you have everything you need there are four things to consider:
1. We need to be able to keep the camera steady.
2. We need to be able to move up to a couple of metres away from the camera and still have great sound.
3. We need decent lighting, either natural or manufactured.
4. The video needs to be HD and look reasonable (it’s for social media we are not expecting a million dollar edit, let’s be honest)
What to Buy
So now the question is, what do we go out and buy after we have the camera or smartphone?
1. Camera Lens
A good lens add-on can greatly enhance video quality and add new features that your basic device camera does not allow. I get that not everyone is going to go and drop a bundle on the Mevo so below are a couple of options which will greatly enhance the audiences viewing pleasure and they are pretty cost-effective in the scheme of things:
Olloclip 4-IN-1 for iPhone 6/6s – $79.99
2. Don’t forget sound please
There is nothing worse than poor sound quality, seriously. So be sure to have a think about what you can plug into your device to ensure people can hear you well.
Your first option is a great little lapel microphone. Get one with a long cable, 3m or more, bearing in mind that lapel microphones are better used indoors than out. The Rode smartLav+ is my personal favourite. Just remember to get an extension cable as well.
3. Tripods and light stands
Here are a few cost-effective options to consider, which will ensure that you don’t have a case of the wobbles when filming:
- Tripods can be a great option, and there’s some cost-effective options here: Camera Tripods
- If you’re using a smartphone, you can just use a lighting stand: Lighting Stand
- This one here is pretty handy if you have an iPhone 6 Plus like me: Lighting Stand for iPhone 6 Plus (see below)
So in case you don’t want to go out and purchase some LED’s (I bought mine from China for about $375), here are some basic do’s and don’ts for lighting:
- Don’t film with the subject’s back to a window, lamp or the sun. It will cause the background to be lit, but your face will be in darkness.
- Don’t film standing underneath your main overhead light as this will cast shadows.
- Do film facing the window and use the natural light to your advantage.
- Do remember that if you want the perfect natural lighting, the best times to shoot video outside are an hour before sunset, and an hour after sunrise.
Okay so we have the sound, the framing and the lighting right, what next?
The reality is that not everyone is going to be interested in what you have to say or how you go about saying it, but live streaming offers you an opportunity to give people some insight into your business, who you are, and how you go about doing what you do. It is a great way to humanise the business and demystify aspects of it.
So whilst live streaming is “live”, it doesn’t hurt to sit down and work through a bit of a script so you are clear about what it is that you want to talk about.
Here are some general guidelines:
- Stick to no more than 3 key points
- Ask questions – people love to feel engaged and not spoken at. When you ask a question, we automatically start formulating the answer.
- Teach us something that will improve our business or make our lives easier.
- Outline the benefits of joining you during the live stream – what are you going to talk about, why you think it is important or beneficial.
When you start road mapping ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the purpose of my video?
- What actions do I want viewers to take?
- Who is my ideal viewer?
- Why should the viewer watch my video? What’s in it for them?
The above questions and subsequent answers along with the general guidelines should keep you on track and help you avoid waffling for the sake of hearing the sound of your own voice. Outside of that just take a deep breath and dive in! Video can be a lot of fun and something that you may even come to enjoy once you master the basics.
If you’re looking for some live streaming ideas for your business, get in touch with the Social Media AOK team – we have a brand new camera that we’d love to play with!
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