What we learned at Live Streaming 101


Alarm clocks had buzzed, the coffee was brewed, and cameras were rolling. Live Streaming 101 was all set to go. In a jam-packed room, marketers arrived in droves for an early start to hear from the likes of Buzzfeed and Twitter.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been a live streaming event without a live stream, so we broadcast the whole thing in real-time, both on Periscope and Facebook Live. However, if you’re kicking yourself for sleeping in and surrendering to the snooze button (and for some reason you’re too busy to watch the recording of the live stream 😉 – don’t worry! We’ve put together a list of things we learned from the event.

It’s not just millennials engaging with live streams
We Are Social’s resident R&I guru André van Loon dissected the coverage of the US election and found that live streaming helped Donald Trump gain a tangible edge. Even his much maligned apology video gathered 440k likes and 45k loves. With almost 80% of all adults in the US now active Facebook users, Trump’s ability to tap into this user base played a huge part in increasing his reach among the electorate.

Live streaming is an engagement magnet
Andy Dangerfield, UK social media editor for Buzzfeed News, gave us an insight into why live streaming is so popular. He believes it stems from the audience having a say in the narrative. People can engage with creators, react instantly and influence what happens next. And this is reflected in quantifiable data. According to Facebook, the average user watches live stream content for three times as long as a regular video. And the real game changer? It generates 10 times as many comments.

Lessons to be learned
Hannah Drury, from the creative team here at We Are Social, talked us through a live stream campaign for First Direct. She explained how customer feedback led to a change in schedule, as users struggled to keep up with the broadcast during office hours. She also advised would-be live streamers that technical issues can and do happen, so a contingency plan should be in place in the event of a temporary blackout. Finally, she explained that the team found it took time to build engagement. Going live for 10-15 minutes doesn’t leave much leeway for users to catch on, so it’s worth running longer to ensure you hit a wider audience.

Live streaming TV is the future of Twitter
According to Helen Lawrence, head of creative agency development at Twitter, the landscape of content consumption has changed for good. Whether it’s the most recent political debate, or the latest touchdown in the NFL, the viewer’s experience of an event is enhanced by the social conversation surrounding it. She explained how Twitter is capitalising on this by joining up with Apple TV to provide a truly immersive social experience. Users can watch the action on their TV screen, while their Twitter feed runs alongside. Twitter has already rolled out this service in partnership with the NFL, Bloomberg and Cheddar, and more brands are in the pipeline.

Periscope is moving live streaming away from mobiles
Helen also revealed that Periscope is branching out, as it seeks to deliver a more versatile experience. Rather than being contained to mobiles, there are plans afoot to make the platform accessible from any broadcast source. With Periscope Producer you’ll be able to live stream from drones, Go-pros, games consoles and more.

If you’re still waking up to the fact that you missed this, don’t stress too much – you can still watch the event back on our Facebook page. Want even more? Check out our events page to see what else we’ve got coming up.