6 things to do before broadcasting a live video on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Live videos are a great way to connect directly with your followers in real time. Before the iPhone and social networks offered easy streaming platforms, it was cumbersome to get a live streaming set up, but now it’s as easy as hitting one button.

As easy as it is to hit “Go Live” on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, there are still looming pitfalls. It is live after all. Here are six things I do before I go live to ensure a successful broadcast.

  1. Let people know you're going live I've done live broadcasts before where people don't realize what was going on. They did a great job and when we were done they asked when it was going to be published. Oops, it already is. It’s good to let people who are going to be on the video as well as the general vicinity that a live video is happening. Anything they do or say could immediately be on the internet, so let’s keep everything PG.

  2. Write an outline beforehand A great part of live video is the spotenaoty, but it can be helpful to have some kind of outline before you broadcast. What are the goals you are trying to achieve with the video? What do you want to communicate, whether through an interview or by visuals. Sometimes you get caught up in the liveness of the video and forget to mention one of the most important things you wanted to do. Having an outline or checklist of some kind to refer to can help make sure you hit on everything you want to.

  3. Coach your interviewee Going live can be intimidating, especially if you are on the other side of the camera. I often like to have a conversation beforehand with the person that’s going to talk beforehand, going through the above mentioned outline, as well as setting parameters of what’s going to happen. Set up some kind of signal if they want to pull the plug on the interview. Let them know what hand signal you will use for them to wrap it up. Since viewers can join in at any moment, I always tell people who are going to be on videos to think of it as a radio broadcast: interviewers for radio often restate several times what they are talking about and who they are and who they are interviewing several times to catch people up who may be joining halfway.

  4. Do not Disturb I’ve previously written that you should turn on airplane mode before shooting a video. For a live broadcast, you need to have an internet connection of some kind, so you need to use Do Not Disturb so a phone or FaceTime does not disrupt your broadcast. See how to enable it here.

  5. Don’t be afraid to delete Live videos can go south, so be ready to delete it if something happens you don’t want to live on the internet forever. You can always do it again.

  6. Test your signal strength Make sure you have good bandwidth for a broadcast. Sometimes going on 4g is better than WiFi if the network is slow. Use something like Speedtest before you go live to make sure you have a decent connection.

These are the tips I use before going live — do you have any? Let me know in the comments section below or on Twitter.