Live-streaming on social platforms was hyped as the next big thing three years ago when Meerkat and Periscope were the new shiny social media platforms of choice.
Since then, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have all launched their own live services.
But just how far have we come with ‘live’ and what are the opportunities for brands when you’re already producing other video content? Where does it fit into your day-to-day marketing activities?
Hanging out in my beloved home of Bondi Beach recently, I ran into Perfection Chocolates founder John Kapos (aka ‘Chocolate Johnny’) and got to talking about how he has built his Rose Bay, Sydney business through live-streaming into a global brand shipping chocolate all over the world.
Why is social live-streaming important for helping brands grow their business?
CJ: Over the years is that social media has moved us from traditional marketing to where we are with social media and live video as the new reality TV.
“To be relevant a brand needs to be transparent, and the only way to be transparent is to get on live video.”
“The great thing about live video is that where you repurpose it, it stays as a video.”
So I could do a live video today of our meeting, and everyone's watching us, getting the benefit. And I'll go and explain how you can keep getting engagement after we're finished. Then what happens is people say “oh wow that's Dave and Chocolate Johnny, Dave owns Evolve, you know. They're interviewing each other, so they're watching this interview”.
We're like ‘well that's good’. We finish, you put it up on YouTube, you put it onto your blog, you put it on LinkedIn.
So live video is reality. It’s like a birth: You’ve planted the seed; you've built your business; you water it; you take care of it, nurture it; you talk to it.
It grows, and then all of a sudden it just sprouts out to a beautiful tree and fruit and people are like ‘I love this stuff’.
All brands benefit from doing this and more of it.
A perfect example is Justin Trudeau the Prime Minister of Canada who has become a massive hit. Why? He's always online. He's on Periscope, so that's one of my favourite apps. 52,000 people watching him. Not from Canada, but from around the world.
Another example is The Walking Dead which is one of my favourite TV series. I was on Periscope watching a million people watch the live stream of the ‘red-carpet’.
Behind the scenes. I didn't see this guy go hey ‘It's Randy Jackson and I'm here today’ etc.
No, I saw this guy and girl that were cool, casual, that we’re behind the scenes and I'm like a voyeur. So, they are with a brand.
Brands now need to do ‘live’, you know to be held accountable, to be transparent, and to show people ‘this is who we are’.
How does social live-streaming fit into a brand’s content schedule?
CJ: It depends on the brand, but I reckon you should be doing a live video to start off once a day. Yeah. Do a little one. You don't have to do something big. Big is hard; it's too much work.
Some of my best live videos have had the most ridiculous titles like ‘Another boring sunset on Bombo Beach’. We had 11,000 people watching that.
What people have got to understand is you could have three to four-hundred followers but have 10,000 people watching you. That's the thing. That's the power of it.
You know, I'm coaching and mentoring some guys, and I've got this one guy who's doing curtains. Curtains!
It's not the most exciting job. But I’ve got to tell you, we are making it the sexiest thing.
You're thinking how? I don't know. We're getting to look at strategies using different content. We got to bring in his staff. We got to bring in him, where's he's going to open and tell us his story. We're going to go around and watch him make stuff. We're going to make people laugh and say ‘Wow man! Curtains! This is exciting!’.
"So, you change with live video, and I believe that with live video you can change a business to look sexy. But you've got to do it. You really must do it. You got to start somewhere."
Another good example is John Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile in the States. He was on Periscope all the time. This guy has built a beautiful name for himself. CEO, tracksuit, T-shirt, hey it's John, and what he would do, he'd get his team to go back and look at the comments and he'd address them through Twitter.
Likewise, with Channel Nine, I’ve got a video of myself and Peter Overton. I said to him ‘Pete you ought to be careful, live video is going to take over from TV’.
Netflix and that, no. No one’s watching TV. We're not watching you on TV anymore, we're watching you on Facebook, we're watching you through Twitter; all these different channels. You've got to brand yourself.
And channel 9, Peter went to them and said let's do live video. And it's just taken off.
They are doing it now through Facebook Live. And Peter says to me, he says what should do now. I said ‘get behind the scenes mate. I want to see where you sit. I want to see what you're wearing. I want to see what it's like to go get makeup on’. You get the picture.
“I don't care if you're a massive brand, you've got to bring yourself down to the people who are buying because if those people don't buy, you’re going to have to shut up shop.”
How has social live-streaming worked for your business?
CJ: I started live video four or five years ago and moved over to introducing myself as Chocolate Johnny about two years ago.
I start my live-streams with ‘We are live here at Perfection Chocolate’. I'm a small bricks and mortar business that started back in 1939 that has become a global brand. And I have become a global brand because now I'm shipping stuff overseas. I have people from America, Canada, Japan, France, England, you name it, around the world, buying my product.
What I do is include a call-to-action. When I do a Facebook Live I put a little tab, Same with Instagram.
Like most busy business owners, I didn't want to do this at first. But I spoke to my business coach and she was saying, ‘John do it now’. I said, ‘Oh I can't be bothered’. Anyway, I set up the tripod, set up my camera, put the title Just Making Caramel. That's all I did and that’s all you need to get started!
In the beginning, I was doing three to four times a day because I loved it. But I've now reduced it to two times a week, twice a week, maybe three.
I use all the platforms: Facebook Live, Instagram live, Periscope (twitter). And I'll do a YouTube live too. I don't do them every day but I aim to do four platforms in one week.
Which social Live-streaming platforms should brand & businesses be on?
CJ: With live video, you can do YouTube live, Instagram live, Facebook Live and Periscope but if you’re a medium-sized brand with 10k followers on Facebook and 3K on Instagram, I would say concentrate on your Facebook Lives and spend a $100 a week to promote each video.
Maybe do a Facebook Live and use that as an Ad.
"What brands need to realise that even though there are times when you feel as though you are speaking to yourself and you are not getting many views live in the moment, you need to remember that most of your views will come after the event."
What I do is place a piece of blu tac on my monitor to hide how many viewers there are online at any one moment.
So, what I care about is what the brand says to me. If the brand or person has engaged with me not only am I going to feel great, I’m going to come back and engage back with them.
What are some quick & dirty social Live-streaming best practices people should remember?
CJ: First off is the greeting to get the people involved and create that hook. Ideally, this should be short and sweet because people are a little lazy. So, making the hook is a good title and talking straight away by asking a question immediately.
For example, I start with ‘Good day everyone, it's Chocolate John, we're here live in Sydney, Australia. Thanks so much for watching. Guys, please tell me where you're coming in from.’ That's the first three, five seconds of it.
Brands should accept at the beginning they’re not going to get it perfectly right, and to focus instead on what the audience will ‘love’. On my Periscope channel, I’m not bragging about getting 25,000 people watching me. What they love is when I make a mistake because they’re like me: real.
Your boss might not jump on right away, but you can use someone at the company who is reasonably well-spoken who can build up your boss for when he comes on to talk about a specific topic. Likewise, it’s worth remembering that a company is the also the people that work for you.
What live-streaming does is ‘humanise’ the brand, so when I meet people for the first time after they’ve heard me online, we already know each other. This is what I love about it.
"People want brands to be transparent and Live-streaming breaks down the barrier forcing us to be vulnerable. So, or anybody reading this article remember its not about you it's about your audience and if you live broadcast to them you’ll win."
Tell us about your Live-Streaming Course that Evolve readers can get a discount on?
CJ: Yes, I’ve done about 3,000 live-streams to date and at one point doing 4/5 a day for a whole year. So I thought it was about time to share my passion for live.
What I've done is put together a seven-step program starting with equipment.
People often say to me ‘oh I can't do a live-stream because I don't have the camera’.
I tell everyone at the beginning, all they need is their phone. Then we run through how to do behind the scenes footage, product reviews, Q&A’s and the ‘ask-me-anything’ format, the do’s and don’ts of live-streaming and ‘re-purposing your content’.
Finally, and perhaps the most important is that we provide a safe environment for our trainees in our private Facebook group to demo and hone their skills before implementing these skills on behalf of your brand.
All of this information is provided in a PDF checklist of what you need to do before, middle and after implementing these activities.
Want to find out how you can build your brand with live-streaming then check out Chocolate Johnny’s live-streaming for success course and Use the following link to get your exclusive Evolve discount and learn how to leverage social live-streaming for your business today.
You can find chocolate Johnny online at