Live Social Media Video

Posted by Bill Knowland Aug 6, 2015

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Want to try social video? Here are some new ways to create live Internet broadcasting with socially interactive video.

Sometimes being nimble and light is the fun way to go.  Not needing a Sherpa to haul all your “broadcast quality” cameras and gear around can be inspirational and allow you to generate more live content.

While attending VidCon 2015, I was moving about with my Canon 5D Mark III, monopod, and fully loaded camera bag. I got some video on demand coverage, but decided to shoot live video on my iPhone. Why? Because it was easier, more fun. and less cumbersome!

Don’t get me wrong. It’s best to use high-end camera gear in a VOD scenario for a marketing video production, a formal video interview, or customer testimonial video. But if you are in a run and gun scenario, and you are not creating a shallow depth of field masterpiece, mobile video can work great.

I decided to test out some online video trends. There are two live streaming video services that are trending now: Periscope and Meerkat. Unlike Vine and Instagram, they aren’t limited to micro video lengths of 15 to 30 seconds. You can stream live video for long periods of time. The best part about them though, is that they include live chat features. Meerkat had a fond following until behemoth Twitter purchased Periscope earlier this year. Periscope seems to be leading the way now.

Set up
I found installing and setting up these services relatively easy. Though it took me a couple of passes for Meerkat, I got Periscope working right away. The Meerkat UX seemed a bit more intuitive, and strangely enough, I seemed to have easily enabled Twitter feed notification on Meerkat, whereas I had the wrong Twitter setting on Periscope and ended up broadcasting on Periscope without notifying my Twitter followers. (I may have been enamored with the Periscope People area where it shows who you are following on Twitter). In any event, you can turn on Twitter posting, turn on location sharing info, and enable everyone to chat or just users 'you follow' to chat.

Action
My plan was to visit with various YouTube creators and social video community members while I was attending VidCon 2015. I did a quick broadcast in Meerkat, but then ran into some connectivity issues and the screen went black, so I switched to Periscope. The first thing I noticed as I walked around was a sense of empowerment.  It felt rewarding to be able to share my experience with anyone in the world.  Almost immediately, comments started coming in, but I didn’t notice them right away because I was shooting horizontally.  The comments come in vertically, so you need to change the orientation to see them. I could see comments coming in like “Don’t only talk to the person you are videoing, talk to your audience” and “Mention my channel”.  As I was shooting and reading these comments, one of my video subjects thought I was a video newbie and told me I shouldn’t shoot vertically.  It was funny that after decades of shooting horizontally, I now had to not only unlearn this, but tell people why I was shooting differently.  A new comment came in, “Tell her you like chicken”, which I decided to ignore. I could see many people were liking the videocast from the little hearts that were popping up on the screen. I explained to the woman I was videoing that my Periscope audience was commenting in the vertical format and little hearts were floating on the screen, then turned my phone around so she could see. I then asked my Periscope audience what country they were from, but as the woman watched my screen, no hearts were floating up and no comments were coming in at that very moment.  She gave me a funny look and then snuck away.  I felt like one of those characters in a movie when they were trying to convince people that they really could see a ghost or a talking animal. To my relief, a multitude of comments finally came in “Hi, I’m from Brazil”, “I’m from Italy”, “I’m from the UK” and other comments.  I ended visiting and sharing with all my new global friends on various streaming video sessions and enjoyed rewatching the videos later.

Best practices

  • Be sure to take the time to name your video carefully before you shoot as this will attract viewers interested in that topic. This can be challenging in a fast moving documentary setting, but just take your time and get the title entered in correctly.
  • One thing you should keep in mind is that the videos auto-delete after 24 hours, so if there is anything you really want to keep, save it to your phone’s camera roll.
  • This is a different kind of engagement, so rather than an optimal video length of under 2 minutes, you really want your videos to be at least 10 minutes long. This is because it takes several minutes for an audience to build.  Twitter followers may see your post, click to watch it and discover it is already over.
  • Keep a moderating eye on the comments coming in and don’t stray too far from your brand when shooting or commenting back.

Other live video streaming services
A Millennial favorite for live social media video is YouNow. It is a live stream video chat service specializing in youth community.  Blab is a new group video chat app, a live video forum of sorts that is making quite an impact.

For broadcasting in higher resolution, consider LiveStream or Ustream. YouTube has been working hard over the last year to get its live streaming act together and it is also a viable option.

In an Internet broadcasting studio environment, you can create a professional video production that integrates social interaction by setting up a TriCaster in a multi-camera shoot and integrating NewTek TalkShow, Skype TX or Vizrt social TV.

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You may also be interested in:

VidCon 2015: The Gathering of Content Creators & Their Millennial Fans

Thought Leadership Monday Mashup: YouTube Marketing Tips From VidCon

NAB 2015 Streaming Video Trends: Social Video Awakens

Behind-the-scenes at the movers & MAKERS Internet Broadcast

How to Create Thought Leadership Marketing with Internet Broadcasting

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Topics: Internet Broadcast

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