One of the opportunities I’ve often overlooked and likely have not taken good advantage of when sharing my story online has been the use of live video. Most social media platforms offer the opportunity to go live in one way or another. Live video can be a great tool for building community and really allowing your audience to connect with you.

The pressure to get things right before getting started can be a serious obstacle. Do I have the right equipment? What am I going to talk about? What happens if I mess up?

A recent webinar from the International Food Bloggers Conference offered some great insights and tips from the presenter, Kathy Hester on the topic. Here are three take-home tips I found valuable. Hopefully, these help you as well. If you have additional tips for using live video for advocacy, be sure to join in the comments section below or give me a shout-out on social media.

live video tips to build community
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Being Personable Is Better Than Perfect

No one gets it right the first time, but the best way to improve is to practice. People are looking for opportunities to connect with other people. Being your true authentic self, being vulnerable and honest with others, can be a great way to building that connection.

While it’s certainly easier to connect with other people when making eye contact in-person, the same effect can take place over video. Look directly at the camera, instead of to the side, too high, or too low. And don’t be afraid to look at your notes or check a second screen for comments during your live video.

If you mess up during a live video, laugh at yourself and roll with it. Have a dirty or messy kitchen? Use a green screen and share the real reel with your followers. Chances are they understand a house that’s lived in is rarely perfect.

Using live video can be a great way to get your face and personality out there to build your community. Being personable can be a great asset toward that effort.

Here’s an example of a Facebook Live I did to share tips on advocacy.

Be Consistent

If you’re able to be more consistent in the timing of your live video, that will help your audience know when and where to find you. If you can go live at 8 o’clock on Tuesday each week, your audience will get used to that timing and the algorithms like to see that consistency as well.

Feel like you can’t go live at the right time for all of your followers to see you? That’s ok. It’s better to be on a schedule that’s sustainable for you than to stretch beyond your capabilities. And don’t worry if everyone (or anyone) doesn’t show up during your live broadcast. Most of your views will likely happen during the replays.

Prior to going live on video, give your followers a heads up. Remind them where and when they can find you – even on multiple platforms. Prompt them to submit questions for a Q&A or preview the topic you’ll be covering during the live video. This can be done by scheduling a Facebook live video or doing a quick video for Instagram stories.

live video topic ideas
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Ideas For Live Video Topics

The great thing about live video is that it doesn’t have to be a big production. It can be an orchestrated video demonstration, but it can be something quick and off-the-cuff. Live video is also great because no editing and minimal equipment are required.

If you’re looking for topics and ideas to brainstorm for your live video formats, here are a few ideas for inspiration.

  • Unboxing – grocery hauls or new deliveries
  • Check-in – ask about progress toward goals or current struggles
  • Show and Tell – a quick demonstration or life hack
  • Tell – share a story or emotion behind an event
  • Ingredient Spotlight – variety of ideas and uses for an item
  • How-To – easy recipe or assembly, or life hack for productivity
  • Favorites – share a favorite thing and why you love it
  • Which is Better – contrast and compare and get feedback
  • Informational – share your view on a trending or hot topic

I found these tips to be very helpful and think they’ll definitely help me to utilize live video more often as I work to continue building communities online. What additional tips for live video have you found valuable?

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