Getting Started with Social Media Streaming: What You Need to Know

Social media streaming has made the leap from novelty to necessity. Channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have integrated live video to their platforms and an increasing number of brands are adjusting their social strategies accordingly.

Social Media Streaming is Taking Off

Audiences demand live video, and it’s easy to see why. Live video (and video in general) adds a human touch to posts that text and images can’t compete with. In 2018, an estimated 47% of global consumers reported an increase in their live streaming from the previous year. And that number is only set to grow — Cisco estimates that 82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2022.

Marketers are taking note. According to a recent Forrester report, in 2018, brands spent more than $90 billion on video content (much of it went to social media marketing). By 2023, that number is expected to rise to more than $100 billion.

By live streaming to channels like Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and LinkedIn, you’re creating eye-catching content that improves your positioning in their news feed algorithms. Social media streaming also gives you the opportunity to attract viewers and bring them back to your own website.

Sometimes maintaining a social media presence can feel a bit like spinning plates. With so many platforms competing for attention, it’s hard to focus your energy on just one. Many organizations struggle to give equal time to each platform.

It doesn’t have to be this way – streaming across social media platforms is easier than you think. We’ll also cover the where, why, and how to stream to social media and grow engagement for your organization.

How to Get Started with Social Media Streaming

The Destination: LinkedIn Live

Now, Premium and Enterprise subscribers can stream natively to LinkedIn, straight from Vimeo. With the click of a button, you can easily live stream while simulcasting to an embedded Vimeo player, Facebook Live, YouTube, and any custom RTMP-enabled social destination such as Periscope.

With more than 645 million members across 200 countries and territories, and 30 million businesses represented on the networking site, live streaming on LinkedIn presents a unique opportunity for companies of all sizes to engage professional audiences with high-quality live content.

LinkedIn also prioritizes live events in their feed, making the potential to reach more eyeballs even greater. Currently, LinkedIn requires its members to apply to get access to live streaming, but once you do, sit back and watch your audience grow.

How To Stream To LinkedIn Live

To get started with live streaming to LinkedIn from Vimeo, create your live event, then go to the “Destinations” tab. Click “Connect” (or “Reconnect”) next to LinkedIn and you’ll be brought to the connected apps page in your Vimeo account settings to authenticate the LinkedIn app. Login to your LinkedIn account and select the profile you want to stream to. If you have administrator privileges for a company page you can stream to that page, too. Once LinkedIn is synced to Vimeo, selected the LinkedIn page you desire and make sure the toggle is switched “on.”

You can learn more about best practices with LinkedIn Live in this handy guide from the LinkedIn team themselves.

The Destination: Facebook Live

Facebook revolutionized social media when it launched in 2006. Ten years later they launched Facebook Live, giving users the ability to stream live video directly to their Facebook pages. With more than two billion users worldwide, it’s no surprise that publishers and brands have flocked to the popular platform. According to Fidji Simo, Facebook’s head of video, 20% of all Facebook videos in 2017 were broadcast live. In 2019, live videos on Facebook experienced six times as many interactions as regular videos on average.

Streaming to Facebook Live reaches your viewers where they already are. But like any social media platform, there are limitations that producers will need to consider. Streaming to Facebook Live should be part, but not all, of your live video strategy. Going live directly to Facebook is good for a short stream, but lacks the qualities and features of a professional live stream.

Combining Facebook Live with a dedicated live video solution, like Vimeo, opens new possibilities for your content. Vimeo Live lets you seamlessly stream a portion of your live event to Facebook, before directing them back to your own properties. And with lead capture tools like forms, you can turn your live event into a source of revenue for your organization.

Facebook Live has made it easier than ever for their users to go live right away. But for larger organizations, you need a solution that empowers you to own your content and the way it’s distributed. Adding production value to your Facebook Live broadcast is a great way to attract an audience for your announcements or product launches.

How to Stream to Facebook Live

Anyone with an internet connection (or data plan, for mobile users) can stream to Facebook Live. The streaming platform was designed with the novice in mind, making it easy to stream directly to your profile or page.

If you’re streaming using a desktop computer or laptop, click inside the status update box at the top of your newsfeed and choose the “live video” icon from the menu. A browser window will open up, activating your computer’s webcam. For mobile users, you can use the Facebook app. Simply tap the “live” icon beneath the status update box. Write a description for your video, set your audience (Public, Friends, etc.), choose a filter, and press “start live video.”

With Simulcast from Vimeo, you can stream your content to Vimeo and Facebook Live at the same time. There’s no special code or configuration, just a simple on/off toggle in your settings. Learn more about simulcasting to Facebook from Vimeo here.

The Destination: YouTube Live

Although it was the first to enter the online video space, YouTube has been playing catch-up with Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope. Right now, anyone can live stream to YouTube from their desktop, although live streaming from a mobile device is limited to verified content creators with over 1,000 subscribers.

How to stream to YouTube Live

If you’re streaming to YouTube using a desktop computer, simply click on the recorder icon in the upper right hand corner, followed by “Go Live.” Next, select “Webcam,” enter a title and description for your stream, and choose a privacy setting. You can also choose to schedule your live stream for a later date, and choose from more options under Advanced Settings. Click “save” when you’re done, and then “Go Live” to begin streaming. Streaming to YouTube via the “Events” dashboard is ideal if you prefer to announce a planned event before it goes live. You can access or schedule a live stream via the Live Control room.

If you’re a Vimeo Enterprise or Premium customer and are looking for a more professional stream, you have the ability to push your stream from Vimeo to YouTube directly through its native integration. Simply connect to your YouTube account under the “Destinations” tab in your live event on Vimeo to get started. This help center article has step-by-step instructions to sync your YouTube and Livestream accounts.

The Destination: Periscope

In December 2016, Twitter integrated Periscope into their desktop and mobile sites. The up-to-the-minute algorithm of Twitter, plus Periscope’s ease of use, have made both platforms a destination for organizations of every kind.

How to Stream to Periscope

Users can stream directly to Periscope from a mobile device, or an encoder with Periscope Producer, a program designed for content creators and streamers.

Streaming to Periscope from a mobile device is simple: when you open the app, tap the “Broadcast” button or the camera icon and you’re live. Periscope released Periscope Producer in 2016, opening up their API to third-party streaming encoders. This release created new avenues for brands to stream to Periscope and, by extension, Twitter.

If you have access to Periscope Producer, you can effortlessly stream from Vimeo to Periscope or Twitter. Like streaming to Facebook Live, our Simulcast feature lets you easily add an RTMP link from Periscope to your Vimeo account. This help center article has step-by-step instructions that will walk you through getting started. Once you’ve synced your Periscope and Vimeo accounts, you can toggle streaming to Periscope on and off, and even stream to destinations like Twitch and YouTube simultaneously.

The Destination: Instagram Live

Following on the heels of Facebook Live, Instagram rolled out its own live video function in the fourth quarter of 2016. Housed within the app’s popular Instagram Stories section, the feature allows users to engage and interact with followers in real time with streaming content. A “live” badge will appear on your profile picture to alert followers of your broadcast. Your story will also move to the first spot of the Stories queue at the top of your feed.

Over 500 million people use Instagram daily, and more than 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily. Instagram reports an 80% increase in time spent watching video on the app, and a third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. With the right live video strategy, brands can use Instagram Live to help drive engagement with their target audience, and even boost the bottom line.

How To Stream To Instagram Live

There are a number of ways to access the live video feature in the Instagram app. To start a live video you can either tap on the camera icon in the top left corner, swipe right on your feed, or tap to add to your story. From there, choose “live” from the bottom menu, then tap “Go Live” to begin streaming. You’ll see the number of viewers at the top of the screen and comments at the bottom.

After you end your live video, you have the option of sharing a replay in Instagram Stories. Simply tap “Share” at the bottom of the screen after you’ve ended your live video. Unless you save the story to your highlights, it will disappear from your feed after 24 hours.

Choosing the Right Live Streaming Destination

When you first begin to experiment with social media streaming, remember to take things one step at a time. It’s better to channel your efforts into one great live event than a handful of hard-to-manage, simultaneous video posts. You also want to make sure you have someone designated to manage and respond to comments or take questions on each channel.

Depending on your audience, they might prefer one platform over another, or have a presence on many places at once. After you become more familiar with social media streaming, it’ll be easy to expand your strategy to include these other destinations.

Diversifying is a great way to reach viewers on multiple channels – your strategy should accommodate those viewers. With tools like Simulcast from Vimeo, it’s easy to branch out and take your live video strategy to new heights.

Ready to start reaching your audience on social media? Download our Facebook Live Guide for interesting use cases, workflow suggestions, strategy tips, and more.

[Download the Guide]

Marketing Best Practices: Why Not Just Stream To Facebook Live?

While Facebook Live should be a part of your overall livestreaming strategy, it’s important to diversify your distribution channels. A few things to consider as you build your live video strategy:

Variety is the Spice of Life: Go To Facebook (But Go Everywhere Else Too)

Most brands do not post updates to only one social media network. Similarly, why only stream your video to one platform? Facebook Live is an easy-to-use tool but should be considered but one tool in your diverse streaming distribution tool box. While there are one billion people in the world on Facebook, that means there are another seven billion NOT on Facebook. With Livestream you can also use tools like Livestream Audience Booster to reach people around the web with your stream on sites like ESPN and CNN. Build a strategy that reaches your audience in a number of different locations. Using syndication tools like those built into the Livestream platform, you don’t have to pick and choose. You can push content to all platforms at once and ensure you’re not missing key segments of your audience.

Convert Facebook Viewers Into Your Audience + Customers

While Facebook has the reach, your ultimate goal should be getting people back to your website. Turn viewers into traffic by hyping or sampling content on Facebook Live while encouraging them to head back to your page. Additionally, if you are using cookie tracking or retargeting in your marketing strategy, you can only track the people watching video on your site. By driving Facebook audiences back to your site you can collect much more information about your audience. And, of course, you can turn your audience into that most important outcome that you are hoping for – customers of your business!

Control The Message

With Facebook Live, you don’t have as much control over the viewing experience. Watching your video in a fully branded portal with custom calls to action is more likely to convert. Viewers are less likely to be distracted by notifications or other things happening on the platform. In fact, based on a recent survey we conducted, viewers prefer to engage content on a branded destination for just that reason. 40% of audiences want to watch live video NOT on social media, but at a dedicated web destination.

Shifting Sands

What Facebook undeniably has, and what won’t change in the near future, is reach. Streaming to Facebook Live immediately gives you access to millions of eyeballs where they already are, which is good marketing distribution 101.

In the past two years, Facebook’s algorithm has changed 24 times – an average of one update per month. Marketers and brands never know how Facebook’s feed algorithm will shift in the future, making it an unsteady place to build a brand or content strategy on its own. As all social media platforms change based on audience interests and behavior, it’s hard to build a reliable strategy when you don’t control the platform.

Support + Quality

A stream on Facebook is not optimized for large-screen or high-quality viewership. Video quality is the most important factor for 67% of viewers when watching a livestream broadcast.

If there are any issues with your stream – or your stream is taken down for any reason – there is no one to call at any large social media platform. Many large companies stream on multiple platforms to account for any outages caused by electricity, bandwidth, or the platform. When streaming to more than one player/platform, you have a back up to direct your audience to in case of emergency. Additionally, dedicated streaming platforms like Livestream offer round the clock support for Premium and Enterprise customers. If you have issues with your stream, we’re a phone call away.


Our free guide, “Live Streaming for Social Media,” is the perfect crash course for organizations of any size. Download the guide to learn:

  • How to connect with viewers on Facebook Live and other social media platforms.
  • Why Facebook Live should be part – but not all – of your live streaming strategy.
  • How to stream to Facebook Live.
  • How to analyze the success of your live video.

DOWNLOAD THE LIVE STREAMING FOR SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDE.