parade with marching band

Why I’m Not Ready to Join the LinkedIn Live Parade…Yet

By: Brian Fanzo, Founder and CEO, iSocialFanz; Host of The Social Shake-Up 2019

April 17, 2019

In February, LinkedIn announced that they would be rolling out LinkedIn Live video to select partners. LinkedIn hasn’t yet given us many details around who will have access, how long live videos will be or how the notifications will work. Still, the announcement had many LinkedIn content creators jumping for joy.

I was hesitant to get too excited.

Brian Fanzo, Host, Social Shake-Up 2019; CEO, iSocialFanz

Brian Fanzo, Host, Social Shake-Up 2019; CEO, iSocialFanz

I’ve personally launched over 3,000 mobile live streams across Meerkat, Periscope, Facebook Live and Instagram Live. My mantra (and title of my upcoming book) is “Press The Damn Button,” so it goes without saying that I’m a massive advocate for live video. I’ve learned that live video is powerful because anyone can go live. But the fact that anyone can go live is also the reason that most live videos are so boring.

The user learning curve on both Facebook and Instagram live video has been huge, as neither of those platforms cared much about real-time engagement initially. The first year of streaming on both Facebook Live and Instagram, the most frequent comment you would see on a live video was, “Is this video live?”

Over the past year or so, brands and content creators have gotten better at strategizing around live video style and length. Users also now understand the difference between live video and video that was uploaded natively.

If it took us over a year to educate Facebook and Instagram users on real-time engagement and the value of live video, I can’t imagine how long it’s going to take to educate the average LinkedIn user. As I see it, the typical LinkedIn user spends less time on social networks than most content creators, and isn’t used to logging into LinkedIn with the goal of live interaction with others in their network.

LinkedIn is unique in that most content is shared by people, not brands. Most users follow only the brand accounts of companies they used to work for, or that they want to work for in the future.

With LinkedIn Live, I expect to focus more on educating executives and “faces” of brands on how and why they should go live from their personal accounts. This could have massive value for the brand, but the learning curve will be much steeper.

With all of this said, will I be using LinkedIn Live? YES, 100 percent. In anticipation of the rollout, I’ve created a content strategy for the feature, and I know many fellow content creators and early adopters are doing the same.

But the true value of live video on LinkedIn won’t be measured by how us content creators use it. We will need to observe how the average LinkedIn user responds to live content, and whether the feature’s availability inspires the everyday user to consume and create videos on the platform more often.

For a deep dive into the strategies I’m using for my weekly LinkedIn videos, you can listen to Episode 1 of my podcast with Amy Landino, Just Try This.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn.

At The Social Shake-Up