Want to show linemen restoring power during an outage in real time, or capture high-wire acts at a lineman’s rodeo competition? Live streaming offers one more way for you to communicate with consumers. Your followers never need to miss out on important utility events. Live broadcasts can regularly bring your fans behind the scenes and build stronger relationships with them, too.
Two tools can help you stream experiences in real time: Facebook Live and Periscope, owned by Twitter. (Meerkat, a Periscope competitor, left the live streaming model in early 2016.) Both Facebook Live and Periscope allow viewers to comment while watching, and you can keep recordings of the videos on each respective social network after the broadcast airs. Facebook Live broadcasts may last up to 90 minutes. Periscope allows streams to be as short or as long as needed.
CoServ, an electric co-op based in Texas, uses Periscope and Facebook Live to engage social media followers. In July, the co-op showed live feeds of linemen competing to save hurt men (weighted dummies) on poles and other high-wire tasks.
The utility promoted their live streaming efforts in advance:
Brianna McQuien, the co-op’s social media specialist, took turns streaming to each platform during the day-long rodeo. Her largest number of Periscope plays was just over 130, while one of her Facebook Live streams was viewed more than 1,700 times.
— CoServ (@CoServ_Energy) July 16, 2016
Facebook Live Example:
Ready to stream an exciting event near you? Start by following these live-streaming best practices:
- Make sure you tell your followers in a post when and where you will be broadcasting live.
- Have a good connection (4G) or be connected to WiFi for best results.
- Write an informative description of the video before going live.
- Try to go live at least once a month so your followers can familiarize themselves with this new type of communication, and also so you can incorporate it into your list of communication tools.
Need help? Feel free to contact me with questions on how to optimize video streaming or any other Facebook or Twitter feature.
Megan McKoy-Noe contributed to this article.