By Graeme Donnelly

Not long ago, social media was all about static imagery. By posting a lone, cumbersome graphic, your company could instigate thousands of reactions and generate a handful of leads. Nowadays, image-based posts don’t even merit a click.

According to research by Adobe, video-based posts earn 25% more engagement than static imagery. Video is even taking over image-based networks like Instagram – which boasts the best engagement rate of any network on the web. It’s clear that users are sick and tired of static imagery – and social networks are racing to meet this fresh demand for video.

In March, Twitter launched a new app called Periscope that allows users to stream live video from their mobile devices – and within ten hours, a million users had already downloaded Periscope. Facebook has its own live streaming service, too – and smaller competitors like Meerkat are also on the rise. Through these apps and services, live streaming video is a relatively easy process. Yet the concept is still a little daunting to most small business owners. After all, what on earth are you supposed to stream?

The truth is, there are loads of frightfully simple ways to capture the attention of your would-be consumers using live streams. Here are three ideas to get you started.

1. Capture Live Events

One popular method of live streaming is to post videos from corporate events. This could pertain to a small product launch party you’re hosting, or even an appearance at a national trade show. Users love to gain access to exclusive events via social media – and so it’s always worth trying oblige. So as long as you have permission from the event holders to stream video, posting from live events can drastically include your social media reach and expand your brand profile as an industry leader.

When live streaming corporate events, remember that you are the eyes and ears of your followers. Take a stroll around the event. Show them the sights, sounds and have chats with interesting industry bigwigs.

2. Host Q&A Sessions

One gripe that customers will often have with companies is that its leaders aren’t readily accessible. People have questions they want to take right to the top – and if you’re unable to provide them with that opportunity, you very well might lose them indefinitely. Live streaming provides the perfect solution.

Hosting live Q&A sessions via social media will not only bolster your overall engagement, but it will give your followers a rare opportunity to inherit major industry insights. Organise and publicise an appointed day and time, and try to get through as many questions as you can during the allotted time. Users will love this unprecedented level of accessibility, and it should go a long way towards developing a strong sense of digital brand loyalty.

3. Conduct a Demonstration

Another fantastic way to offer followers a behind-the-scenes take on your company is to demonstrate how you create your products. By live streaming production on social media, customers will be able to see just how much hard work and skill goes into your products. If you offer services rather than tangible products, why not video a quick stroll through the office and show followers what your day-to-day looks like?

A lot of your customers want to get to know what kind of company you run before they’re willing to make a purchase. Live streaming enables you to provide your target audience with a transparent snapshot of the type of people working in your company and what they’ve got to offer.

At the end of the day, the potential of live streaming video is virtually limitless. No two businesses are alike, so you may be able to produce videos that your competitors simply can’t. Sit down and think about unique aspects of your company that social media users might find interesting. Don’t be intimidated, take it slow, and you should be able to enjoy a wide range of benefits from your new arsenal of company videos.