Live streaming is a great way to engage with your audience. It allows your audience to see the faces and voices behind your brand (be it personal or commercial) in an unfiltered medium. However, you as the host CANNOT see the different faces and voices of your audience and can only connect with them via text-based chat box during live.
This chat box-based interaction, while seemingly convenient, lacks the qualities of warmth and other emotional experience that you often get through video chatting, and doesn't really help to create a stronger social bond. In order to get closer to your audience, you need to ask them type less, talk more.
SPI Pro, a private community for growth-minded entrepreneurs to find connection, direction, support, and growth, held a "demo day" live event where their community members can show what projects they are working on. SPI asked their members to submit a 60-second video telling a story of one of their customers, and viewed the submissions LIVE together with the audience, and held a super engaging discussion around the videos.
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Asking your audience/community members to record a video and playing it during live is tantamount to having your audience submit a video comment. Compared with the traditional chat comment, it has many benefits:
- It's more convenient for your audience to convey lots of information very quickly and vividly. Texting long thoughts is exhausting. No one wants to read an essay in the chat box. So why not just ask your audience to make a quick video and send it to you? They'd probably finish telling their story before they finish typing it.
- You can build stronger connections and lasting relationships with your audience. Video comments turn your audience from faceless texters to actual human beings whose personalities can shine through nonverbal gestures and emotions, and showing video comments on screen is a better way to acknowledge your audience. This also helps you understand your audience's feelings and thoughts better, and makes it easier for you to make and maintain genuine, lasting relationships with your audience.
- It serves as great fodder for you to enrich your content. Video comments from your audience can help you better understand what interests your audience, and give you a lot of inspiration for what to talk about.
- It's great for content moderation. The convenience of sending chats makes it easy for trollers to send irresponsible messages. With video comment, viewers show their face, which means that what they say can be held accountable. This makes the work of content moderation easier for the host.
- It's more suitable for emotional topics, whether it's happiness, sadness, or other emotions. When we communicate through online platforms, one of the challenges we experience is that we lose many of the essential elements of communication. So whenever your message involves topics that are highly emotional in nature, it's best to communicate these in person, so the emotion can be better delivered and nothing can be misconstrued. It also helps you connect with your audience emotionally.
If you want to build and maintain the relationship with your audience that is so integral to successful live streams, you should encourage your audience to
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About the Author
Rebecca Xu is the Product Marketing Manager at Opus, and a professional simultaneous interpreter. She is a story teller, food lover, globe trotter, and sarcasm connoisseur. She loves learning new things through reading, traveling, and exploring. Most of the time, you can find her either in an ice-cream shop, or on her way to an ice-cream shop.