Need tips on how to create live videos on your mobile device for your active social media accounts? These highlights from my recent talk for Freelance Austin (plus a few extras) can help you get started.

You can find the full presentation with more information here:


There are several options for broadcasting live via social media:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

LinkedIn is currently testing live video, and I expect a live video option will come to Snapchat sometime soon as well.

Live Video by Social Channel


Depending on whether you are using your personal profile or your business page, Facebook gives you the option of broadcasting from either your smartphone or your computer. However, the broadcasting from desktop is ONLY available for page admins.

To see samples of the videos I shot, click on the screenshots on the slides.

If you want to invest in live video, Facebook also gives you options to use external cameras and live switching software. Learn more about using streaming software in Facebook’s Help Center.


Twitter’s option for live broadcasting is mobile only with the integration of Periscope. You can save the live video you captured to your phone to edit and repurpose elsewhere.


Instagram’s live video is available in the “Story” section of Instagram. This is the option I recommend trying first if you need to build up your personal comfort level with live video. The videos are only visible while you are broadcasting. As soon as you end the live video, it goes away.


YouTube’s live broadcasting option is currently desktop only for most users. It takes a few clicks to get to the Creator Studio, but once there you can go live immediately or SCHEDULE your broadcast sometime in the future. The scheduled broadcast can be shared and embedded in advance just like any other YouTube video. It can also be viewed live in any channel where you’ve shared the link.

Psst – Since LinkedIn does not yet have a live video option, you can set up your broadcast in YouTube, share the link, and let your LinkedIn connections watch live without leaving LinkedIn.

If you find that mobile video is your thing, you can always record video directly to your YouTube channel from the mobile app.

YouTube knows there is a demand for mobile livestreaming, so if you have over 10,000 subscribers to your channel, you can access live broadcasting from your phone.

How to Make The Most of Your Live Videos

So, now that you know about your options, what does it take to be a good spokesperson for your business?

Whether you broadcast yourself or you choose someone else to step in front of the camera, you need to have a plan.

The only way to get comfortable with live video is to do it. What you are looking to achieve is a presentation of yourself that demonstrates your expertise in a fluid, fluent, and conversant way. You don’t have to be perfect. I still get tongue-tied when speaking in front of a group of people.

For live videos, you don’t necessarily want a script. These videos are interactive and you need to be able to respond to live audience feedback. However, you don’t want to turn on the camera and say nothing while waiting for that first person to show up. Provide value for the video capture even if your audience isn’t there in the moment.

Extra Tips

We had a lot of great questions from the audience during the event, and I didn’t quite have time to cover all of my slides. So, here are some bonus thoughts.

Testing & Repurposing

I’m a big believer in getting the most out of every effort to create content. (As evidenced by this blog post) If you are going to take the time to plan a topic for a live video and turn that camera on, look for ways to use it beyond the interaction during the live broadcast.

Live videos are great for testing a concept you intend to take into full production. Product videos are a good example of that. Walk through a live demonstration of your product to see how best to show off the item and get feedback from your live audience about what they need to know and see.

“Ask Me Anything” videos are a good way to develop ideas for webinars and training videos.

And you may find that what you captured is worth keeping and sharing in another context. Look for ways to re-use the live video either in part or in whole.

While creating videos to show the Freelance Austin attendees how video for each social network works, I also interviewed a filmmaker about some of the things you need to know about testing and repurposing. The link to the full interview is in the slides, or you can watch it right here.


For those of you already using paid placement in social, display and/or search, you can create retargeting/remarketing audiences based on video views. If you want to learn more, we have an article on the topic at the Gruen Agency Blog.

Cool Tools

Throughout the talk earlier this month, I pointed out several of the gadgets and software I use when creating video content. When you consider what to do with your video once you’ve finished broadcasting, it’s important to think about how you’re going to capture the best possible quality output.

Things like table top tripods, smartphone adapters, and a high-quality Bluetooth mic will help to make your mobile videos look steady and sound as good as they look.

Taking an extra moment to consider the lighting will take your efforts to shoot watchable video a step further.

And finally, software used in conjunction with your desktop broadcasts will give you greater flexibility with who and what you are able to show during a live moment.

For those of you who still have questions or want to continue learning more, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email. The address is at the end of the slideshow.

Michelle Stinson Ross
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