In marketing, sharing your story with your audience is of vital importance. Generating content about your brand is essential for reaching your audience and keeping them engaged. Social media tools such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook livestreaming make continuous engagement easier than ever; however, it is possible to overshare. While sharing too little is a surefire way to lose engagement, oversharing can also result in market suicide. But where do you draw the line? It can be a tricky balance to strike.

It’s becoming more and more common for influencers to engage with their audiences through casual livestream videos – often while performing other mundane tasks. For significant public figures, this can be an effective means of showing humanity and relatability. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez has livestreamed on Instagram to talk about political issues while making mac-n-cheese in her Instant Pot. Segments like this can relate to viewers: I’m just like you! I may be making laws, but I make my own dinner too!

The tale of Beto: a lesson in the perils of oversharing

However, sometimes public figures don’t know when enough is enough. Consider, for example, Beto O’Rourke’s Instagram livestream, which has recently faced criticism from fans and opponents alike for sharing just a little too much. In the contested clip, Beto films part of his trip to the dentist, conversing with the hygienist about her experience on the El Paso border. While he utilized the interaction for political dialogue, the nature of the setting made most of his audience uncomfortable.

Sharing effectively

Not only is how much you share important, but so is sharing effectively. Livestreaming can come with technical difficulties too: Pakistani regional minister Shaukat Yousafzai recently made headlines after a video team employee accidentally turned a cat filter on the leader during a livestreamed press conference. In Yousafzai’s case, however, this embarrassing livestream incident was a mistake – and was handled properly. The video was removed within minutes of the press conferences closing, and Yousafzai discussed the incident with humor. He joked, “Let’s not take everything so seriously. I wasn’t the only one- two officials sitting along me were also hit by the filter!” While Yousafzai was able to handle the incident well, the lesson it leaves still holds: familiarize yourself (and your team!) with any livestreaming platform before using it for an official event!

When livestreaming, it’s helpful to keep a few questions in mind:

  • How is this going to strengthen the company’s online presence?
  • How will viewers respond?
  • What is the message I hope to convey and/or the purpose of the livestream? Are there more effective ways this purpose could be accomplished?
  • What are the risks involved?

With thoughtful consideration of these questions, you’ll be sharing like a pro in no time!