In the internet age, the world has a double-edged relationship with personal connections. Social networks have made us simultaneously more And less personally connected to others; we both feel free to share more of ourselves with the public than in any previous human society, and feel more disconnected from each other in the process.
But there is one type of content that gets around this paradox: live social media content. These are Twitch streams, Twitter spaces, and Instagram live stories of the world — places where people can share a live version of themselves with a huge audience in a relaxed atmosphere.
This can be an incredible opportunity for businesses of all kinds due to its ease of use and the ability to have significant two-way interaction with the audience.
Context: where have we been
Live features have been a part of social media for more than a decade, but it’s only in the last five years that they’ve gained real prominence. Twitch is probably the oldest live social media platform, having been around since 2011. But Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Twitter Spaces are much more recent developments.
In 2020 and 2021, these platforms have gone from prominent to dominant as the pandemic has forced people to go inside and out of traditional interpersonal communication. Smart companies jumped on that train early, selling their products and developing customer relationships through this new medium.
Why do we expect further flowering
Sometimes, soon after a technological trend becomes noticeable, it turns out to be nothing more than a fad. In other cases, his influence continues to grow and grow until he becomes an integral part of public life. We predict that social media live content is part of the latter category, that it is still growing, and that this year will largely determine its future.
We think so for two main reasons. First, it has great potential. It combines ease of use for creators with ease of integration with existing frameworks and unique content for audiences. Given these three factors, we believe it still has a long way to go.
The second reason is the current cultural context. The world is currently emerging from home quarantine, where social media engagement has skyrocketed for the first time. So this year will determine if it disappears or finds a long-term purchase. At the same time, the core strength of the business is catching up with the huge potential discussed above.
This combination of factors creates fertile ground for a bountiful harvest of success.
What does it look like
Here’s what we think it will look like specifically:
- As companies realize that this content isn’t going anywhere, the demand for direct social media marketing will increase significantly.
- This increase in demand will lead to an increase in the number of micro-influencers in the live market.
- Twitch will continue to diversify its content profile outside of gaming as companies look for more opportunities for live content.
- Platforms with high demographics (TikTok and Instagram Live) and platforms with unique forms of audience engagement (Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse) will benefit the most from this change.
Types of business-relevant live content on social media
There are several ways you can “go live” with your audience. They differ in output, style and purpose. The best option for your business will depend on a combination of your strategic goals in general, your strategic goals from social media marketing, the type of business you run, and the resources you have at your disposal.
These are some of the most popular forms of live content on social media. They are often successful and require minimal effort on the part of the business. In Influencer Partnerships, your company will be looking for an influencer who can host live sessions on your behalf.
One way to approach this is to team up with an influencer for active marketing sessions – this is the time allotted to the influencer to promote your product. This could include a product review, a brand welcome, or even a live interview with the lead product designer.
These active live sessions usually show up in one of two ways: either you schedule a live event based on your product with an influencer, or you can request a portion of one of their typical live streams to be dedicated to promoting your product. .
Another way to approach this is to establish a long-term relationship with a streamer who is willing to insert discreet advertising for your product into their content. The exact nature of the promotions will depend on what product or service you are offering.
This is easiest if the item you’re selling is related to one of the popular live stream content segments such as games, art, or cosmetics.
City Hall Events
This is where you will engage your existing audience to try and learn more about them, their relationship to your product, and their relationship to possible future changes or releases. These city hall events can act as a kind of focus group without the typical effort and cost of organizing them.
You can also approach live social media marketing through the lens of relationship building. This works best if your product is helped by a personal connection between the seller and their potential buyers. Here, the goal is to develop a parasocial relationship between some of the people on your team and members of your audience.
This can be achieved in a number of different ways, but it’s best to navigate casual entertainment. It might look like playing with some viewers (there were several online games that can be played in this format last year) or discussing your favorite bands with them.
Sales and information sessions
In virtual selling, either an employee of your company or an authorized influencer hosts a live session in which they sell your product or service to an audience. This can manifest itself in a number of specific ways, such as providing product information to viewers, answering questions, or offering commercial offers.
They tend to work best if you have a way to make them even more interesting – quizzes, prizes, and the like.
What does this mean for you
If we are right on this point, those companies that jump on this train earlier will make the most profit. Right now is the time to start brainstorming and developing a strategy, find out if social media marketing is working well to achieve your business goals, and start implementing it if so.