Article by Emma Gosper, Digital Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre

Live is a fun and powerful way to connect with your followers, and create new ones, through online video streaming, live from your Facebook or Instagram.

Both Facebook and Instagram offer a very similar live broadcasting tool with similar functionality. Viewers can tune in to your live feed and comment, and send reactions on Facebook and hearts on Instagram. It’s the best way to interact with viewers in real time and answer their questions whilst creating a personal connection with them.

Try adding live broadcasting into your social media strategy and schedule a date and time to go live. Build anticipation by letting your audience know you’ll be going live a day in advance and try to broadcast for at least 10 minutes. Facebook allows a maximum of 90 minutes and Instagram 60, so make the most of your time as it’s another free tool to promote your business and get across social media. Try different types of broadcast topics such as a Q&A, breaking news, behind the scenes or conduct an interview, performance or demonstration.

To go live on Facebook, click ‘What’s on your mind’ at the top of your news feed and select ‘Live Video’ from the dropdown menu. Add a catchy description, choose your audience and hit ‘Go Live’. Whilst you are live you’ll see comments and interactions start rolling in on your screen. Once you are finished broadcasting, your video will save to your timeline for others to view if they weren’t active whilst you were live.

To go live on Instagram, tap the camera icon on the top left of your screen, tap ‘live’ and ‘start live video’. Just like facebook, you’ll start to see comments and hearts roll in. When you are done, your live video on Instagram will disappear.

You’ll also be able to see how many viewers you have watching your live feed at any given time and your viewers will also see your comments and interactions whilst broadcasting. It’s a great idea to interact with fans as much as possible and respond to the comments to keep your audience engaged.