The Power of the Live Stream and Real-Time Content on Social Media

We all know that video content has made a big impact on social media, but live video and real-time updates are game changers. Between Snapchat, Facebook Live, Periscope, and recently introduced Instagram Stories, the opportunity to share real-time content on social media is expanding. But what exactly is real-time content? And, as a marketer, where does it fit in my social media strategy?

Have no fear, Red Door Interactive is here to help break it down for you.

The Main Players

1. Instagram Stories

What is it?

Instagram Stories is the latest addition to live video. Introduced in the beginning of August 2016, this added feature allows users to share moments throughout the day that disappear after 24 hours.

Why is it important?

Brands and users have been building their Instagram communities for years and, by now, they have most likely created an established audience. The introduction of Instagram Stories offers the opportunity to build a stronger connection with this audience and create a more personalized voice on the platform.


ASICS recently hosted the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, Calif., and shared various moments from the weekend in their first ever Instagram Story. The story featured all the volleyball action, exciting videos from the stands, and exclusive appearances from Kerri Walsh Jennings and Terrell Owens, among others. Garnering over 33K views in just 23 hours, it was definitely well received by the ASICS target audience.

2. Snapchat 

What is it?

Snapchat is a video-messaging application that allows users to capture photos and videos, then add various graphics, filters, and text before sending to a list of designated recipients. The content is only viewable for a pre-determined amount of time.

Why is it important?

Snapchat has proved itself as an effective tool for brands to connect with their online communities – especially young consumers. Creating a daily Snapchat story keeps brands interesting and relevant to target audiences.


Taco Bell uses Snapchat to promote various menu items throughout the year and reveal exclusive sneak peeks. As the summer comes to an end, Taco Bell is using Snapchat to encourage followers to go get their limited edition Crush Orange Vanilla Float Freeze, using a fun “secret message.”

3. Facebook Live 

What is it?

Facebook Live is a feature that offers live-streaming video capabilities to users. By tapping the live stream icon, you can start broadcasting video live to all of your followers.

Why is it important?

Facebook Live offers a new opportunity to share in-the-moment updates and garner live engagement from followers via behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, how-to videos, product demonstrations, interviews, and more.


ASICS Live Event Coverage: ASICS utilized Facebook Live to share real-time updates from their Beat the Sun race around Mont Blanc in June 2016. The coverage included live interviews with athletes, behind-the-scenes videos, and a celebration at the finish line. 

Product Launch: To introduce their new running shoe, ASICS used Facebook Live to host a product demonstration of the shoe in action – featuring Ryan Hall and Candace Hill.  

4. Periscope

 What is it?
Periscope is an app that allows you to “go live” on your mobile device anytime and anywhere. The live streaming video mobile app was purchased by Twitter in February 2015.

Why is it important?

Periscope is one of the very first live streaming apps introduced to social media. Many brands have been using the app since its debut and, at this point, brands and influencers have successfully integrated it into their social media strategies. With the recent introduction of the ability to embed Periscope feeds, you should definitely consider testing this platform out.  

The Strategy 

So now that we understand each platform, how do you incorporate real-time video content into your social media strategy? First of all, you must have a unique offering that will actually be enhanced by these updates. If it feels forced, your audience will be able to tell. Think of real-time content as a window, one that gives consumers a glimpse into your world and business. What do they want to see? What matters most to them?
Here are a few thought starters to consider:

  • If you are selling a product, stream a live demonstration of how it works.  
  • If you are hosting an event, post real-time updates and behind-the-scenes shots. 
  • If you are having a sale, post exclusive offers and deals for avid followers. 
  • If you are releasing a new product, feature sneak peeks and teaser videos. 
  • If your fans have questions, host a live Q&A session to provide insight. 
Today’s online audiences crave authentic content, and when delivered properly, your engagement rates will skyrocket. Use real-time content as an opportunity to show your followers the personal side of your business – the people, the staff, and the collaborators that contribute to making your brand unique.

Real-time content is a powerful tool in social media marketing and it’s here to stay. Are you ready to embrace the challenge? Comment below or tweet us @RedDoor with your thoughts!

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