All posts by jordanmulson77

6 Ways to Do Message Marketing on a Shoestring

The first step? You need to create your ‘3 essential stories.’

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How to Link Instagram to Your Facebook Page in 6 Simple Steps

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Visual content garners a huge amount of engagement on social media. There’s a reason why 71% of online marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing: People respond to it.

Being able to share this content across multiple platforms, then, is an asset. And one of the best ways to do that is to link Instagram to Facebook — that increases the number of eyes on your visual content. Download our complete guide to using Instagram for business and marketing here.

Before you move forward with your Instagram strategy, you’ll want to connect these accounts. Sharing your posts with your company Facebook Page, rather than your personal profile, is just a matter of changing your settings — and it only requires six simple steps.

How to Connect Instagram to Your Facebook Page

1) Start with your Instagram profile.

Your first step is to pull up your own Instagram account on your phone and select the profile icon in the lower right corner. Then, tap the gear icon in the upper right corner. (This might look like three vertical dots if you’re using an Android device.)

Instagram profile

That will take you to your options, where you can adjust a number of your preferences, including social settings.

Instagram Options

2) Set up (or update) your linked accounts. 

When you get to your options, you’ll want to scroll down to where it says “Settings” > “Linked Accounts.” That’s where you’ll configure where else you want your Instagram photos to show up on social media.

Instagram settings

Tap “Linked Accounts,” and you’ll see all of your options for which social networks you can link with Instagram.

Instagram share settings

3) Connect to Facebook. 

In the image above, you’ll notice that HubSpot’s Instagram account is already linked to Facebook — if you’re not already linked to that network, you’ll have to go through the permissions to share content there. You’ll need to be logged into Facebook on your phone for this step to work — once that’s done, tap “Facebook” on your Share Settings screen.

You’ll be asked to continue as yourself — tap that button.

Log in with Facebook

Next, you’ll be asked for your privacy preferences. Since you’ll be just be sharing your photos on a business page, you can select “Friends” — the people who will actually be seeing your photos are the ones who like the page you’ll be publishing to, which we’ll get to in later steps.

Facebook Instagram privacy

Once you hit “OK,” you’ll be taken back to your Share Settings, where Facebook should now be selected. If not, make sure you select it — the logo should appear in blue to indicate that you’re now sharing your posts on Facebook.

Instagram share settings

4) Pick where you’re sharing on Facebook. 

Once you’ve linked Facebook to Instagram, you’ll want to use your Share Settings to determine where on Facebook you’ll be sharing Instagram posts. If you’ve only just now authorized Facebook to link with Instagram, images will be shared on your personal Facebook profile by default.

 Facebook share to

Tap “Share To” — that will display all of the places on Facebook where your Instagram photos can be posted. It includes your personal timeline, or any business pages where you have an administrator role. 

Instagram share to

Here, we’ve chosen HubSpot. Once you’ve chosen the Facebook page where you want your photos to be posted, go back to your Share Settings.

Facebook share settings

Now, it should be specified that your Instagram photos are being posted to your Facebook business page of choice.

5) Make sure you’re sharing responsibly.

If you’re using Instagram for both personal and business accounts, remember: You’ll have to modify these settings every time you want to change where your photos are being posted.

If you’re really concerned on the possible drawbacks of using the same Instagram account for both — and we’ve all seen how multi-tasking on social media can go wrong — you might want to set up a company-specific Instagram handle that’s completely separate from your personal one. 

If that’s the case, you’ll have to follow the same steps to link your Instagram account to Facebook. The good news? Instagram has a nifty feature that allows you to switch back and forth between multiple accounts — check it out here

6) Start sharing!

You’re all linked! Now, you can go back to your home screen, and choose which photo you want to post.

Instagram share photo

When you’re ready to share your photo, just make sure you have Facebook selected as one of the places where you want your photo to be posted. 

How to Use Instagram in Connection With Facebook

Now that you’re linked — and you’re in good company, as 73% of brands post at least one photo or video per week on Instagram —  what kind of content should you be sharing?

At the most basic level, you should be posting content that’s relevant to your brand and to your target audience. That includes things like behind-the-scenes peeks at what your brand is doing to delight customers, quotes that inspire them, and humor. HubSpot’s Lindsay Kolowich has written about the different ways brands pull that off — check out her ideas here.  

That’s It!

Sharing your Instagram photos on a Facebook business page allows you to bring strong visuals to multiple platforms with a few simple clicks — and gives you the opportunity to showcase the personal side of your business. That can go a long way when it comes to engaging with your target audience — visual content is over forty times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.

When have you linked your social accounts for business? Share it with us in the comments.

TSL Marketing is a HubSpot platinum partner. Download their free guide to B2B social media here.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

how to use instagram for business

 

how to use instagram for business

Data Visualization 101: How to Choose the Right Chart or Graph for Your Data

stock_photo.jpgYou and I sift through a lot of data for our jobs. Data about website performance, sales performance, product adoption, customer service, marketing campaign results … the list goes on. 

When you manage multiple content assets, such as social media or a blog, with multiple sources of data, it can get overwhelming. What should you be tracking? What actually matters? How do you visualize and analyze the data so you can extract insights and actionable information? 

More importantly, how can you make reporting more efficient when you’re busy working on multiple projects at once? Download our free guide here for complete data visualization guidelines and tips.

One of the struggles that slows down my own reporting and analysis is understanding what type of chart to use — and why. That’s because choosing the wrong type of chart or simply defaulting to the most common type of visualization could cause confusion with the viewer or lead to mistaken data interpretation. 

Consider this chart from The New York Times‘ project on where people born in a state move to. It visualizes a large amount of data accumulated during more than 100 years. Yet, it is easy to understand, and it clearly highlights interesting trends.

dc-migration-nytimes

To create charts that clarify and provide the right canvas for analysis, you should first understand the reasons why you might need a chart. In this post, I’ll cover five questions to ask yourself when choosing a chart for your data. Then, I’ll give an overview of 13 different types of charts you have at your disposal.

5 Questions to Ask When Deciding Which Chart to Use

1) Do you want to compare values?

Charts are perfect for comparing one or many value sets, and they can easily show the low and high values in the data sets. To create a comparison chart, use these types of graphs:

  • Column
  • Bar
  • Circular Area 
  • Line 
  • Scatter Plot
  • Bullet

2) Do you want to show the composition of something?

Use this type of chart to show how individual parts make up the whole of something, such as the device type used for mobile visitors to your website or total sales broken down by sales rep. 

To show composition, use these charts:

  • Pie
  • Stacked Bar
  • Stacked Column
  • Area
  • Waterfall

3) Do you want to understand the distribution of your data?

Distribution charts help you to understand outliers, the normal tendency, and the range of information in your values.

Use these charts to show distribution:

  • Scatter Plot
  • Line
  • Column
  • Bar

4) Are you interested in analyzing trends in your data set?

If you want to know more information about how a data set performed during a specific time period, there are specific chart types that do extremely well.

You should choose a:

  • Line
  • Dual-Axis Line
  • Column

5) Do you want to better understand the relationship between value sets?

Relationship charts are suited to showing how one variable relates to one or numerous different variables. You could use this to show how something positively effects, has no effect, or negatively effects another variable.

When trying to establish the relationship between things, use these charts:

  • Scatter Plot
  • Bubble
  • Line

13 Different Types of Charts for Analyzing & Presenting Data

To better understand each chart and how they can be used, here’s an overview of each type of chart.

1) Column

A column chart is used to show a comparison among different items, or it can show a comparison of items over time. You could use this format to see the revenue per landing page or customers by close date. 

column chart customers by close date

Design Best Practices for Column Charts:

  • Use consistent colors throughout the chart, selecting accent colors to highlight meaningful data points or changes over time.
  • Use horizontal labels to improve readability.
  • Start the y-axis at 0 to appropriately reflect the values in your graph.

2) Bar

A bar chart, basically a horizontal column chart, should be used to avoid clutter when one data label is long or if you have more than 10 items to compare. This type of visualization can also be used to display negative numbers.

bar chart - customers by role

Design Best Practices for Bar Charts:

  • Use consistent colors throughout the chart, selecting accent colors to highlight meaningful data points or changes over time.
  • Use horizontal labels to improve readability.
  • Start the y-axis at 0 to appropriately reflect the values in your graph.

3) Line

A line chart reveals trends or progress over time and can be used to show many different categories of data. You should use it when you chart a continuous data set.

line chart - avg days to close

Design Best Practices for Line Charts:

  • Use solid lines only.
  • Don’t plot more than four lines to avoid visual distractions.
  • Use the right height so the lines take up roughly 2/3 of the y-axis’ height.

4) Dual Axis 

A dual axis chart allows you to plot data using two y-axes and a shared x-axis. It’s used with three data sets, one of which is based on a continuous set of data and another which is better suited to being grouped by category. This should be used to visualize a correlation or the lack thereof between these three data sets. 

dual axis chart - revenue by new customers

Design Best Practices for Dual Axis Charts:

  • Use the y-axis on the left side for the primary variable because brains are naturally inclined to look left first.
  • Use different graphing styles to illustrate the two data sets, as illustrated above.
  • Choose contrasting colors for the two data sets.

5) Area

An area chart is basically a line chart, but the space between the x-axis and the line is filled with a color or pattern. It is useful for showing part-to-whole relations, such as showing individual sales reps’ contribution to total sales for a year. It helps you analyze both overall and individual trend information. 

area chart - users by lifecycle stage

Design Best Practices for Area Charts:

  • Use transparent colors so information isn’t obscured in the background.
  • Don’t display more than four categories to avoid clutter.
  • Organize highly variable data at the top of the chart to make it easy to read.

6) Stacked Bar

This should be used to compare many different items and show the composition of each item being compared. 

stacked bar -mqls to sqls

Design Best Practices for Stacked Bar Charts:

  • Best used to illustrate part-to-whole relationships.
  • Use contrasting colors for greater clarity.
  • Make chart scale large enough to view group sizes in relation to one another.

7) Pie

A pie chart shows a static number and how categories represent part of a whole — the composition of something. A pie chart represents numbers in percentages, and the total sum of all segments needs to equal 100%. 

pie chart - customers by role

Design Best Practices for Pie Charts:

  • Don’t illustrate too many categories to ensure differentiation between slices.
  • Ensure that the slice values add up to 100%.
  • Order slices according to their size.

8) Scatter Plot

A scatter chart will show the relationship between two different variables or it can reveal the distribution trends. It should be used when there are many different data points, and you want to highlight similarities in the data set. This is useful when looking for outliers or for understanding the distribution of your data. 

scatter-plot-customer-happines.png

Design Best Practices for Scatter Plots:

  • Include more variables, such as different sizes, to incorporate more data.
  • Start y-axis at 0 to represent data accurately.
  • If you use trend lines, only use a maximum of two to make your plot easy to understand.

9) Bubble

A bubble chart is similar to a scatter plot in that it can show distribution or relationship. There is a third data set, which is indicated by the size of the bubble or circle. 

bubble chart

Design Best Practices for Bubble Charts:

  • Scale bubbles according to area, not diameter.
  • Make sure labels are clear and visible.
  • Use circular shapes only.

10) Waterfall

A waterfall chart should be used to show how an initial value is affected by intermediate values — either positive or negative — and resulted in a final value. This should be used to reveal the composition of a number. An example of this would be to showcase how overall company revenue is influenced by different departments and leads to a specific profit number. 

 waterfall-chart

Chart via Baans Consulting

Design Best Practices for Waterfall Charts:

  • Use contrasting colors to highlight differences in data sets.
  • Choose warm colors to indicate increases and cool colors to indicate decreases.

11) Funnel

A funnel chart shows a series of steps and the completion rate for each step. This can be used to track the sales process or the conversion rate across a series of pages or steps.

funnel chart - marketing

Design Best Practices for Funnel Charts:

  • Scale the size of each section to accurately reflect the size of the data set.
  • Use contrasting colors or one color in gradating hues, from darkest to lightest as the size of the funnel decreases.

12) Bullet

A bullet graph reveals progress toward a goal, compares this to another measure, and provides context in the form of a rating or performance.

bullet-graph3.png

Design Best Practices for Bullet Graphs:

  • Use contrasting colors to highlight how the data is progressing.
  • Use one color in different shades to gauge progress.

13) Heat Map

A heat map shows the relationship between two items and provides rating information, such as high to low or poor to excellent. The rating information is displayed using varying colors or saturation.  

heat-map-chart

Design Best Practices for Heat Map:

  • Use a basic and clear map outline to avoid distracting from the data.
  • Use a single color in varying shades to show changes in data.
  • Avoid using multiple patterns.

What tips do you have for visualizing data? Check out our ebook on how to use data to win over your audience, and share your tips in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

free guide to data visualization

 

free guide to data visualization E

How to Overcome Suffering with Meditation Master Preetha ji

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How to Overcome Suffering with Meditation Master Preetha ji post image

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I love hosting The School of Greatness because I get to sit across from the best of the best and learn straight from them.

Sometimes that means I’m laughing out loud and being wowed at crazy stories.

Sometimes I’m taking notes for my business.

But sometimes I’m just listening and learning quietly from deep wisdom.

That’s how I felt sitting across from today’s guest, Preetha ji, who co-founded the wisdom school for enlightenment One World Academy with her husband Krishna ji.

She shared powerful insights into why we suffer, how to shift out of that in a few moments, and why it’s possible to truly live happily every day.

We talked about the beautiful state of mind her school teaches its students to live in.

And she led me through a simple three minute meditation during the interview.

Preetha is so grounded and calm you wouldn’t know she has taught powerhouses like Tony Robbins, but that just speaks to how good she is at what she does.

It was great to slow down and talk about the power we all have to put our minds at ease with the power of meditation and mindfulness in Episode 374.

Subscribe on iTunesStitcher RadioGoogle Play or TuneIn

The School of Greatness Podcast

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“You don’t need a negative state to propel you.”

Some questions I ask:

  • What’s the difference between wisdom and meditation? (0:33)
  • Why do we feel so disconnected? (2:20)
  • What inspired you to create One World Academy? (7:58)
  • What do you do when you’re frustrated or angry? (11:18)
  • What’s the biggest misconception you see people have around meditation? (28:55)
  • Why do people come to One World Academy over other meditation centers? (37:18)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The current state of most human’s consciousness (1:48)
  • The value of having a vision for your internal state of mind (6:38)
  • A simple 3 minute meditation to shift out of suffering (16:16)
  • What to do when someone you love is experiencing anxiety (25:56)
  • Why you don’t have to suffer to achieve big things (29:20)
  • Plus much more…

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Continue Seeking Greatness:

FOLLOW ONE WORLD ACADEMY

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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  • INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT WHICH CELEBRITY ENTREPRENEUR YOU ARE MOST LIKE? CLICK HERE

  • JOIN ME SEPT 29 – OCT 1 FOR THE SUMMIT OF GREATNESS!! REGISTER HERE

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You may also like these episodes:

Did you enjoy the podcast?

Did you enjoy the meditation Preetha led us through?

The post How to Overcome Suffering with Meditation Master Preetha ji appeared first on Lewis Howes.

How to Live Stream Successfully: A Preparation Checklist for Marketers

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Raise your hand if you’d rather watch a video to learn something new than read about it.

Go ahead — you’re not alone. 59% of executives say they’d rather watch a video than read text, too. And really, that number makes sense — we are a society of video streamers. (I mean, hello, Netflix.)

Download our free guide to learn how to use Facebook Live for your business.

But if you’re not sure where to begin, fear not — we’re here to make sure you don’t just hit the “Live” button on Facebook and stare at the camera like a deer in headlights. Instead, we’ve come up with a comprehensive checklist to help you plan your first — or next — live stream. 

How Live Streaming Works

Live streaming is a way to broadcast your events to an online audience. It’s a digital alternative to something like selling tickets to an in-person event, and allows you to reach people near and far with live video.

Brands use live streaming for a few different reasons, but according to a Brandlive survey, 71% of businesses use it to more authentically interact with an audience. So instead of being the proverbial “man behind the curtain,” you’re allowing viewers to put a face (or faces) to your organization’s name, all in real time.

Live streaming can be used for a number of different event types, as well. Everyone from the White House, to fashion houses, to chefs have live streamed videos of economy briefings, runway shows, and cooking demos, respectively. Here at HubSpot, we’ve used it for things like interviews with thought leaders. So feel free to be creative — just make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

How to Live Stream Successfully: A Preparation Checklist for Marketers

1) Plan your live stream like you would any other event.

Think about some of the most popular talk shows. Can you imagine if the guests, sets, lighting and schedules for something like “The Tonight Show” weren’t planned in advance? To say the least, it might be chaotic.

You’ll want to put the same thought and due diligence into your live stream that you’d put into an in-person event of its kind. And you’ll want to have your goals in mind as you begin to make those plans; those will dictate a lot of the logistics.

Who

Knowing your target audience will determine a few pieces of the planning process. If it includes an international population, that should factor into the date and time of your stream — be sure to think about time zones or holidays that might not be top-of-mind in your home country.

What

Then, think of what category your live stream falls into, and create a title for your event. In case you don’t find any of the above examples fitting to your business, we’ve got some ideas for ways businesses can use live videos.

HubSpot’s Social Media Marketing Manager, Chelsea Hunersen, stresses the importance of thoroughly researching the topic of your live stream in advance.

“Decide important points or stats to hit,” she says. And if you’re going to feature guests, “designate a moderator/host who can make sure these points are hit and can wrap up the conversation if necessary.”

Where

The platform you use — which we’ll get to in a bit — can also be dependent on who you want to view the stream. Different audiences use different channels, so you’ll want to pick the one that’s most likely to draw the crowd you want.

Finally, pick an optimal location from which you’ll broadcast your stream. A poor quality video can make someone 62% more likely to have a negative perception of the brand that produced it — so make sure your setting is conducive to a positive viewing experience. Does it have good lighting? Is it prone to a lot of noise? Is there a chance that your dog walker will barge in yelling, “Who’s a good boy?” loud enough for the entire audience to hear? (Not that that’s happened to me.)

Think of these contingencies, then pick a streaming venue that insulates you from them.

2) Choose your platform.

Here’s where you’ll really need to have your goals in mind, since different platforms can achieve different things.

YouTube Live

YouTube Live Events tend to have “two goals,” says Megan Conley, HubSpot’s Content Marketing Strategist. “Registrants and attendees.”

So, if you’re looking to generate leads — which 57% of marketing professionals are using video to do — YouTube Live is one of the best platforms to use.

Here’s how that works. First, if you don’t have one already, you’ll need to create an account on Google, which you’ll then use to create one on YouTube.

YouTube Live Events

Once that’s done, you can use YouTube’s Live Streaming Events dashboard to schedule a future stream — just click on “Enable live streaming,” if you haven’t already set it up.

Schedule New Event

Then, click “schedule a new event.”

Select Audience

You’ll need to indicate if you want your event to be public or private — here’s where you’ll decide how you want to use your live stream to generate leads.

In the image above, I’ve selected “unlisted.” That option accomplishes two things:

  1. I’ll be able to generate a link that attendees will get only after they fill out a registration form.
  2. It won’t stream directly onto my YouTube page.

You also have the option of choosing which type of live stream you want to use:

  1. Quick
  2. Custom

Custom is a better option if you want to get more advanced and have more control over the technology. It lets you use more than one camera, choose your own ingestion bitrate and resolution, and use your own preferred encoding equipment (there’s a pretty good breakdown of your options here).

We’ll talk more about encoding later, but for the purposes of this blog, we’ll be working with the quick option. Quick uses the Google Hangouts On Air technology, which is probably better if you don’t want to get too technically advanced. It lets you use your computer’s camera and microphone, though you do have the option of using an external camera, if you want.

Once you’ve added some tags that describe what your event is about, click “Create Event.”

Events Page

You’ll be taken to your events page — any live streams that you’ve scheduled will be listed here. It’s also where you’ll get that link to keep behind the form on your landing page. First, click on the title of the stream.

Watch Page

The image above shows your Watch Page, which is the place where your stream will broadcast. Click “share,” and that will generate your event’s URL — as I mentioned above, you can keep that behind a landing page where attendees fill out a form to register.

Conley says that, generally, this type of live stream is embedded on a thank-you page behind a landing page form. But with this platform, that’s a little trickier — YouTube doesn’t generate embed codes for live streams unless you have an approved AdSense account linked to your YouTube account.

But fear not — if you use the HubSpot COS, all you’ll need is the link, and the system will generate the embed code for you.

Insert Media

Create Embed Code

Just click “insert media,” paste the link you copied from the Watch Page, and you’re done.

Thank You Page

If embedding isn’t an option, you can still just put a link there — the embed code just creates a seamless design that you can place right on your thank-you page. Either way, be sure to use the thank-you page as a place to remind your attendees of the date and time of the event.

Make Event Public

There’s also the option to make your YouTube Live Event completely open to the public. That’s a good option, Conley says, for a major event that you “want anyone and everyone to be able to find.” But if you make your stream public, she points out, make sure you use the event to promote gated content you want your audience to download.

“An image CTA would do,” she notes, as would holding up clearly-printed short links throughout the stream. (Make sure you have those printed out in advance!) In the image above, you’ll also see that you can add a message to your video — you can mention your gated content there, too. 

Facebook

Facebook Live has been making quite a few headlines lately, and businesses stand to benefit from it — the average time spent watching Facebook Live video is three times more than the pre-recorded kind.

This platform is a good choice if you want to use your live stream to generate buzz. In fact, because these videos have been so popular, Facebook is making them appear higher up in people’s News Feeds while streaming live.

Even without pre-registration, you can definitely promote streams on this platform in advance, which we’ll touch on later. In the meantime, if you haven’t used it before, check out my colleague Lindsay Kolowich’s overview of Facebook Live.

The live streaming options certainly don’t end there — major brands have also used platforms like Periscope, Livestream, and Ustream. They all have their own sets of features and advantages, so definitely take the time to look into which one best suits your needs.

3) Choose your equipment.

When it comes to the actual hardware required for your live stream, some of it is fairly intuitive: A camera is pretty standard, for example, or a device with one installed (like a laptop or phone).

But if you do use your phone, Conley says, be sure to use a tripod. “There’s nothing worse than recording a Facebook Live and having your arm start to fall asleep five minutes into the recording,” she advises. “Use a phone tripod to give your live streaming a professional look.”

Consider how professional you want your sound quality to be, too. Your camera might have its own microphone, but if your setting is more prone to noise, body mics might not be a bad idea, either.

And when you’re using an external camera, says Hunersen, you’ll also need some sort of encoding software (Facebook has a great step-by-step guide to that). That’s what converts the camera footage into a format that your streaming platform understands and can broadcast to viewers. The software you use might depend on your budget, but to get started, check out this one from Adobe.

Also, think about setting up a professional backdrop, like one with your logo. That can help to brand your videos and give them some visual consistency, which is a particularly good practice if you plan to do a lot of live streaming in the future.

Want to take that a step further? “Set up a makeshift studio in your office to speed up the prep time for all of your future recordings,” Conley says. “A beautiful, branded backdrop could be just what your Facebook Live needs to help grab the attention of someone quickly scrolling through their News Feed.”

4) Promote your live stream.

Congratulations! You’ve now completed a lot of the major planning and setup for your live stream. Now, how do you get people to watch it?

As we’ve covered, using a landing page is a good way to get enrollment on a platform like Hangouts On Air (or, as of September 12th, YouTube Live). Here’s an example of how we recently used one at HubSpot:

HubSpot_CRO_Hangout.png

There’s a clear CTA here — “View The Video” — which, when clicked, takes the visitor to a registration form. (And check out this rundown of which channels drive the best conversion rates — it’s got some tips on getting people to your landing page in the first place.)

Form-2.png

Once someone fills out the form on your landing page, it should lead them to a thank-you page, where you can share some promotional information about the live stream.

HubSpot’s Co-Marketing Demand Generation Manager, Christine White, suggests creating a “Next Steps” section here with actionable items like “add this event to your calendar” and “check back here on [the date of your event],” to remind viewers that’s where they’ll go to view the live stream.

And once you have contact information for your registrants, Conley reminds us, “you can email the people on that list on the day of, and remind them when it’s going to go live.”

FB_Live_Promo.png

But to promote your Facebook Live stream, says Conley, “It’s really about doing a social image and spreading the word that you are going live at a specific time.”

Don’t rule out using social media to promote live streams on other platforms, too. Some of them, like YouTube, allow you to link your social accounts and push content in multiple places. And if your guests are active on social media, leverage that — include links to their handles in any related content, and ask them to promote the event with their own networks.

5) Do a dry run.

There’s a reason why we do dress rehearsals. When I was in a high school show choir — a humiliating but factual piece of history — it was to make sure I didn’t trip over my dance partner in high-heeled tap shoes.

In the world of live streaming, though, we do dry runs to avoid more technical, but equally embarrassing missteps. Improv can be hilarious, but not when it means you’re verbally unprepared, or your equipment stops working and you don’t have a backup plan.

6) Prep any guest speakers.

Is there anything worse than a moment of awkward, dumbfounded silence?

As part of your dry run, make sure your guests are prepared for any questions they might be asked. Don’t over-rehearse, but do what you can to prevent catching them off-guard.

“It may help to give some questions in advance to a potential guest,” says Hunersen, “but save some follow-up or in depth questions for on-air, so that you’re able to let them be both prepared and react in the moment.”

7) Test your audio and internet connection.

You might want people to talk about your live stream, but not if all they’re going to say is, “We can’t hear you.” Make sure all of your audio equipment is working — both during your dry run and on the day of the stream. Having an extra microphone and batteries on hand probably won’t hurt, either.

Make sure your network can handle a live stream, too. If you’re streaming high quality video, for example, you’ll need both a wire connection and a 3G/4G wireless connection, according to Cleeng.

In other words, make sure your WiFi is working, but also, “grab an ethernet cord,” says Conley. “One thing you can’t help is if your internet connection unexpectedly goes out.”

We know — even the sound of “ethernet” seems terribly old school. But if your WiFi suddenly drops, you’ll be glad you busted that cord out of storage.

8) Set up social media monitoring.

One great thing about live streaming is your audience’s ability to join the conversation and comment in real time. But try watching any Facebook Live feed, and you’ll see that the comments roll in fast. So while it’s awesome to invite and answer viewer questions  — especially if you personalize your responses — it can be overwhelming.

That’s why it’s a great idea to dedicate someone to monitoring social media, comments, and questions during the live feed.

That task can made a bit easier with something like a branded hashtag created specifically for this live stream. For platforms with built-in comment feeds, for example, you can ask your viewers to preface any questions with it — that can help qualify what needs to be answered.

You could even take that a step further and use the hashtag throughout the planning process, making sure to include it on your landing page, thank-you page, and promotional messages leading up to the event. That helps to create buzz around the live stream. And if you use HubSpot’s Social Inbox, here’s a great place to take advantage of its monitoring feature, which lets you prioritize and reply to social messages based on things like keywords or hashtags. 

After Your Live Stream

It’s always nice to follow up with your attendees after your live stream has ended. Thank them for their time, give them a head’s up about your next event, and invite them to download a piece of relevant content. If you’ve followed these steps, you’ve probably done a great job of using your live stream to generate leads — so keep up the momentum and nurture them

Have you experimented with live streaming? What have you learned? Share your tips in the comments below.

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