In recent years, live streaming has become an integral part of the social media experience. Whether as a consumer or producer of live content, it’s clear that this feature is now a force to be reckoned with. Fortunately, you can use this force in your efforts for animals.
Whether you’re at a vigil for farm animals arriving at a slaughterhouse, spending the day at your favorite animal sanctuary, or simply just speaking to the camera from the comfort of your couch, live streaming is one more solid option to communicate with your followers.
Live streaming is available on all the major platforms -- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Because it’s a new-ish feature, and because social media platforms like it when you use new features, you’ll be prioritized in the newsfeeds of your followers. Live streaming on Facebook gets three times the amount of views that regular videos do. This kind of a leg up against your competition certainly makes Facebook Live and the like at least worth exploring.
In order to get the most out of your experience advocating for animals with live streaming, here are some tips:
If possible, stream from a location that is quiet, but not one that is too quiet.
If indoors, face a window so that you have light hitting your face rather than looking like a silhouette.
Make sure your wifi is working nicely and that your phone is charged.
Wipe off the front-facing and rear-facing cameras on your phone to make sure the picture will be clear.
Have the caption for the post pre-written.
Be authentically you. Be prepared, but not scripted. Your followers care more about you than what you’re streaming about. They will appreciate authenticity above all else. Know your talking points, but don’t make it seem like you’re reading from a script.
Don’t hold the phone overly close to your face.
If you stumble, just laugh it off or move on to a different topic -- no need to panic!
Minimize nervousness. If you’re nervous, your hand might shake and the video will be shaky. Your voice may also quiver.
Start the video with the camera facing you (selfie mode), and explain what you’re doing. If you’re streaming to show things at an event, flip the video around and show what you’re live streaming about.
Throughout the broadcast, ask people to (1) 'like' / leave reactions, (2) comment, and (3) share the broadcast. They can “like” multiple times throughout the broadcast, so keep asking. You’ll notice the likes and reactions rolling across the screen as they roll in.
Keep your eye on the comments section, and respond to questions/comments as they roll in. Ignore trolls. Respond to people’s questions/comments by using their name.
Though the video stays up indefinitely, people watching it live is ideal. Therefore, the longer the broadcast, the higher the odds people watch it live. Shoot for a minimum of 10 minutes.
End on a positive note with a call-to-action and encourage people to share the broadcast.
When the broadcast is over, go through and react/reply to comments.
John Oberg is a social media pro, dedicated to making the world a kinder place for animals by utilizing the power of social media. He recently launched his own independent project for animals through Patreon. Prior to that, he served as Director of New Media for the international animal protection organization, The Humane League. And prior to that, John served as Director of Communications for Vegan Outreach. In both of these roles, John oversaw social media for the organizations which led to a tenfold increase in following in both, as well as over 1 billion views of content posted to these pages.