Recently, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Live, the social network's own live streaming service. It’s in beta version for now and only select companies have access to it after an approval process.
Since its launch, companies like Salesforce, Amazon, and Hootsuite have done live streams, and Aivo recently joined this list with a second session of Ask Me Anything with CEO, Martin Frascaroli.
As the Community Relations and Content Distribution Manager, I, Lola Rainero, was in charge of the project's production along with the Marketing Team.
Here, I'll share our own experience using this tool and why it’s so important for customer experience.
Be where the customer is
Whether it's for marketing or customer service strategies, interacting with customers and followers immediately, conversationally and on their preferred channels is essential for strengthening the relationship with them.
This is especially important in this day and age, where new channels and ways to communicate are constantly emerging for brands to leverage and improve their experience.
Today, a lot of social networks offer live streaming but, until now, it wasn't possible to do it natively on LinkedIn. For B2B companies like Aivo, this was a big drawback.
We had done webinars and Ask Me Anything sessions on other platforms before, and while we were satisfied with the results, we felt we weren't meeting our customers where they were. We would always make them go somewhere else and many times we'd lose the ability to connect with them then and there.
This is why we decided to bet on LinkedIn Live; in the end, we had the chance to create valuable conversational content on a channel where our strongest community was, which is the case for many B2B companies.
The future is conversational
Just like the customer determines the channel, they also determine the format in which they prefer to communicate. Current consumer habits point towards a conversational dynamic, and content strategies should go in that direction. Consumers don’t want to just be passive recipients; they’d rather actively participate in the content they read or see.
In this context, paying attention to industry trends, as well as to customer expectations and habits, is essential for standing out in the market, obtaining better results, and offering a better brand experience.
Specifically, the advantage of live streaming is that it allows you to directly interact with your followers. Unlike a blog, which tends to be one-way, a stream directs the dynamic towards user conversation and participation, focusing the content on what the user wants to hear, and not just what the company has to say.
All you need to know to improve your experience with LinkedIn Live
Okay, you’re probably wondering how to use this tool for your CX strategy. That’s why I’ll next share our tips and recommendations for using LinkedIn Live.
1. Where to start
To start, you need to apply to this form. For now, not all companies have access to streaming services on this platform, and to get access your company must be approved by LinkedIn. Once they notify you over email that your application was approved, you can start.
Keep in mind that LinkedIn gives you a 30-day period to complete the first trial. I recommend not going past this limit, since if you do you may lose access.
2. Lights, camera, action: let the show begin
LinkedIn outsources the transmission through streaming platforms, and only some are enabled to work on it. We’ve already done our research and our favorites were StreamYard and Restream for being simple and easy to use.
Once the platform service is chosen, it connects with the LinkedIn administrator’s account, and voilá! you can have your first live stream.
3. Content is king
The most important thing during the live stream is, of course, the content. LinkedIn suggests several things you can do, like interviews, Ask Me Anything sessions, an office tour, expert panels, behind the scenes of an event, product demos, etc.
But besides the idea itself, there are other things to consider so the content is truly valuable for your customers:
- It should be authentic and different, as well as entertaining and interesting for your specific audience.
- You don't need to have a slick production team. And really, the more amateur and original it is, the more engaging it will be. We had professional cameras and microphones, and at the end of the day, what worked best for us was a webcam and a conference speakerphone.
- Have at least two people on the live stream (but no more than 4). At first we were going to do Ask Me Anything with just our CEO, but at the last minute, we decided to include Amalia Bernabé, Manager of Customer Success. The conversation between them was really enriching for the dynamic and tone of the live stream, and they were able to answer a lot of our customers’ frequently asked questions.
- Avoid going live more than once a day; I would even say don't go over two or three times a week. At the same time, for most live streams, I would keep it under 45 minutes.
- Consider the idea of developing a series of live episodes. This will give your content consistency and your followers will know what to expect from your live streams.
4. Jack of all trades, master of none
A live stream is much more than just the transmission itself. That’s why I think it’s essential for these types of events to always have more than one person involved behind the camera. During our first live webinar, I tried to do everything simultaneously and believe me, it wasn't a good idea.
My recommendation is that one person takes care of the technical aspects and another takes care of moderating the comments and responding to specific questions.
Additionally, the fact that the live stream is on LinkedIn doesn't mean that the same one can’t be reused on other channels and in different formats, always keeping an omnichannel strategy in mind. For this, I recommend a third person from Marketing to cover the company’s other social networks.
For example, a live-tweeting session can be done on Twitter, you can post on Facebook at the same time, and you can do a live coverage on Instagram through stories with the most important moments. Every channel has its own dynamic, so take advantage of each one of them to communicate with your audience in different ways!
To put it simply, I am very happy with the experience and results of our first project on LinkedIn Live. More than 70 people connected live and it was our organic post with the most reactions and impressions this year. Additionally, we received more than 30 questions before the live stream.
As much from a marketing perspective as from a customer service one, I think live streams are an excellent tool for conversing with your audience, whether about the product, company culture, or industry trends.
I hope these recommendations help you develop your first Live, either from LinkedIn or your audience's preferred platform.
If you have any other questions or would like to know more, leave a comment or contact me through my LinkedIn profile. I’ll be ready to share more tips or answer your questions about LinkedIn Live.