Live Streaming on Social, What You Need to Know Part 2: Best Practices

If you’ve read the first part of our What Your Brand Needs To Know About Live Streaming On Social Media blog post, you know social media interest around live streaming has dramatically increased during the pandemic. You even know which social media platforms are most associated with this increased interest. However, understanding what live streaming content is most effective on which social media platform? That’s what this blog post is for. 

Here by platform, is a best practices primer on where your live streaming content would be the most appropriate.  

When Brands Should Be Using YouTube For Live Streaming 

Considering how YouTube is the social media platform most associated with video, and has so many different options around video, it’s the social platform where there’s the most situations where live streaming through them makes sense. For example, it’s easy to use around fundraisers, you just need to verify your phone number and check off a pre-approved charitable cause. YouTube has frequently been used by brands to raise money for charitable causes during the pandemic, such as the One World: Together At Home fundraiser, The Actors Fund’s #StarsInTheHouse fundraising series which reunited casts like Desperate Housewives, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band livestream fundraiser.  

YouTube is also being used for sponsorship opportunities around livestreams, such as American Express sponsoring a livestream with Alanis Morissette and the Broadway cast of Jagged Little Pill which got over 250,000 video views on YouTube; and for virtual premieres. For example Hyundai premiered the all new TUCSON on YouTube, generating 20K views in the first 3 hours it was up. 

When Brands Should Be Using Twitch For Live Streaming

One of the biggest advantages of using live streaming through Twitch is Amazon Watch Parties. Thanks to corporate integration, as long as everyone involved has an Amazon account, they can view Amazon’s library of movies and TV shows together through Twitch, commenting in real-time. For example, the Jenna & Julien podcast  hosted a Knives Out watch party on their Twitch channel.   

Since Twitch is a social platform extremely focused on gaming, brand live streams with a strong gaming angle should be hosted there. Tony Hawk, skateboarder and star of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 video game, appeared in a Chipotle livestream on Twitch that gave away 5,000 burritos and generated 61,403 total views. Additionally, as Twitch is a platform whose audience skews younger, it’s also ideal for live streams targeting a younger demographic, such as when We Bare Bears creator Daniel Chong Live streamed the movie’s premiere on Twitch. Even fashion is experimenting with Twitch, as Burberry is live streaming their Spring/Summer 2021 show there. 

When Brands Should Be Using Twitter For Live Streaming

While Twitter powered by Periscope does offer the ability to stream live video, for brands the biggest value Twitter offers brands around live streaming is amplifying the public conversation for watch parties, as opposed to streaming video directly. For example, there were 35,055 Tweets using the hashtag #DickinsonAtHome on July 30, 2020 around Hailee Steinfeld hosting a Twitter watch party of Dickinson’s first episode. Between May 11 – August 11, 2020 there were also 10,381 Tweets using the hashtag #MaiselMonday around a weekly watch party for season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which was followed by a live Q&A on Amazon Live; while a Michelle Obama Tweet about a global watch party for her Netflix show Becoming generated 39,529 responses.  

Overall, between March – August 2020, there were 858,794 Tweets mentioning a Watch Party. 

When Brands Should Use Facebook For Live Streaming 

Facebook is a platform that proportionally has a larger percentage of older users, and along those lines, it makes the most sense to live stream content there that can appeal to an older demographic. That often means live streaming sports related content, for example The Chicago Blackhawks streaming a training camp scrimmage or Heineken promoting a Champions League pregame show. Facebook is also a great live streaming platform for older musical acts such as Hampton Water sharing a Jon Bon Jovi concert on Facebook or The New Kids On The Block live streaming. Essentially if you’re targeting an audience older than millennials, Facebook should be viewed as a key live streaming platform. 

 When Brands Should Use Instagram For Live Streaming

Musical content and beauty tutorials both tend to do especially well on IG Live, so when brands find a way to combine the two, that’s an especially sweet spot for marketers. For example, Megan Thee Stallion generated 5.8 million views on a Revlon makeup tutorial she shared while Fenty Beauty generated over 100,000 views for a DJ set they live streamed for Juneteenth.

When Brands Should Use TikTok For Live Streaming 

TikTok is all about cool visuals and engaging (often lip-synced) audio. To that point, TikTok recently announced that they will be live streaming two fashion shows a week, from brands like Louis Vuitton and Alice + Olivia while they also premiered a special augmented-reality, live-streamed concert from The Weeknd. Meanwhile Sarah Cooper, who lip-syncs an impersonation of President Trump has become the platform’s breakout star, while drag content such as the #MyPride Realness livestream also performs well. For brands that want to stand out around TikTok live streaming, finding clever ways to mash up visuals and audio is a must. 


Live streaming is a communication tool that’s increasingly being embraced on social media, but it’s also important for brands to realize that audience expectations around live streaming can vary drastically from platform to platform. Having a bird’s eye view of what live streaming content is performing best in which contexts is critical in putting together your live streaming strategy. 

Want more ListenFirst insights around live streaming best practices? Request a demo today! 

Live Streaming on Social: What You Need to Know Part 1

It’s no secret that live streaming has become more front and center during the pandemic and, in the absence of most in-person events, has become an increasingly important marketing tool for brands. To answer how much more interested the social media audience has become in live streaming, ListenFirst is sharing a two part blog post on the topic. In this first post, we’ll discuss what the social media data reveals about audience interest in live streaming while in the second part, we’ll share live streaming best practices by platform.

Here are the three key insights you need to know about live streaming on social media during the pandemic.

Insight #1: The Virtual Version Of Big Cultural Events Are Still Driving Social Media Conversation  

There were 28,181,253 Tweets mentioning the phrases Livestream or Virtual around events, concerts, festivals, and performances between March – August 2020. Those conversations peaked on April 18 when there were 3.6 million Tweets mentioning Livestream or Virtual events, around the World Health Organization One World: Together At Home fundraiser. Other notable peaks included on June 7 when around the YouTube Dear Class of 2020 livestream there were 2.4 million Tweets mentioning Livestream or Virtual events, and on August 22 when there were 1.4 million Tweets mentioning either the phrase Livestream or Virtual around an event, thanks primarily to DC FanDome. 

For brands looking for sponsorship opportunities or just looking to join the cultural conversation, events that previously would have been held in person are still moving the needle on social media. 

Insight #2: There Have Been 159% More Tweets About Live Streaming During The Pandemic 

Between March – August 2020, there were 9,499,384 Tweets mentioning the specific word Livestream, which was 159% more Tweets than mentioned the term during March – August 2019. There aren’t just more live streams being shared during the pandemic; the social audience is also more interested in them overall. 

Insight #3: YouTube And Twitch Is Where The Most Live Streaming Is Occurring, TikTok Has The Most Steaming Related Growth 

Volume of Tweets Mentioning Both A Social Network And ‘Livestream’ During Quarantine 

TermLivestream Related Tweets March – August 2020Percentage of Change Compared To March – August 2019

Methodology: Looking at the number of Tweets mentioning both the word “Livestream” and a specific social network between March – August 2020 compared to the time period of March – August 2019. 

Based on how often Tweets have mentioned a Livestream and a specific social media platform in the last 6 months, there’s no question that YouTube is the social media platform most popular for Live Streaming, followed by Twitch. However, other than Snapchat, all of the social media platforms we tracked were mentioned in at least 130% more Livestream related Tweets during the past 6 months compared to March – August 2019. Additionally, while TikTok historically hasn’t been associated with Live Streaming, during the same time period there was a 756% increase in the amount of Tweets mentioning TikTok and a Livestream, the highest such total.    

Essentially, YouTube and Twitch are the most important social media platforms for live streaming but situationally almost all social media is relevant to live streaming.  


Based on the substantial increase in audience interest around live streaming during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that brands have a live streaming strategy. By working with ListenFirst, your marketing team will get the “live” insights necessary to dominate on social media. 

Want more ListenFirst insights around live streaming best practices? Request a demo today!

Why The #StopHateForProfit Boycott Isn’t Benefiting Twitter

This is the third in our series of check ins on how the #StopHateForProfit boycott asking brands to stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram is impacting social media and brand’s relationship to those platforms. In this week’s installment, we share a general update while also specifically focusing on how Twitter is or isn’t being impacted by the boycott of their competitors. 

It Appears The Boycott Is Going To Hold Through All Of July 

Methodology: Looking at the indexed number of Facebook and Instagram ads brands from the ListenFirst Data Co-op launched between July 1 – 26, 2020 compared to the indexed number of Facebook and Instagram ads brands launched between July 1-26, 2019.

As we head towards the end of July, data from the ListenFirst Data Co-op shows the #StopHateForProfit boycott continues at the same rate of participation. Brands shared -70% less new ads on Facebook and Instagram, comparing July 20-26, 2020 to the same time in 2019. That’s consistent with what we’ve seen looking at the entire month so far with -73% less Facebook and Instagram ads by brands from July 1-26 compared to the same period in 2019. 

Will brands return to those platforms in August, when the one month advertising boycott is lifted?  

The Spending Freeze Hasn’t Necessarily Benefitted Twitter 

Twitter Paid Spend, on the other hand, while down -42%, is down less than Facebook and Instagram. The money brands aren’t spending on Facebook and Instagram hasn’t translated to brands spending more on Twitter ads. 

During The Boycott Top Advertisers Posting Less Organically On Twitter

Methodology: Looking at the volume of new posts 485 Top Advertisers posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr between July 1-26, 2020 compared to July 1-26, 2019

While the #StopHateForProfit boycott is centered on Facebook owned companies, in terms of organic posts it’s actually Twitter where brands have proportionally become most hesitant to post. Comparing July 1-26 during 2020 to 2019, the amount of new posts Top Advertiser brands shared on social  decreased by -18%. Breaking that down by platform, comparing July 1-26 in 2020 to 2019, the volume of posts Top Advertiser brands posted on Twitter decreased by -24%, with the number of Top Advertiser brands posts decreasing by -18% on Instagram and by -4% on Facebook. 

The fact that Top Advertisers are decreasing the amount of posts they are sharing on Twitter more than on Facebook and Instagram speaks to the lack of live events occurring. Twitter is the social platform most used for real-time reaction; and there’s just isn’t that much going on right now to react to. Other than protests, public in-person events have stopped happening entirely; sports are only beginning to start up again, and there’s only so much people can talk about the coronavirus.    

Cancel Culture One Topic That Is Being Talked About More On Twitter 

Methodology: Looking at the volume of Tweets using either the phrase “Cancel Culture” or the hashtag #CancelCulture between July 2019 through July 27, 2020. 

One topic that people have been talking about more on Twitter is Cancel Culture. Since George Floyd died on May 25, sparking an unprecedented level of grass root protesting, there’s been a huge increase in the volume of Tweets discussing Cancel Culture. There were 127,631 Tweets mentioning Cancel Culture in April 2020, which increased to 320,933 Tweets in May, to 1,297,423 Tweets in June, to an amazing 2,299,211 Tweets discussing Cancel Culture so far in July.

It’s important to make the distinction that Twitter conversations about Cancel Culture are often framed around the point of view that Cancel Culture has gone too far, meaning the person posting is advocating for a specific person or thing not to be canceled. Additionally, of course brands like Ben & Jerry’s have received incredible amounts of positive feedback for posting about social justice issues, including defunding the police to great acclaim. Still it’s a trend that brands should be aware of, as they participate in the real-time conversation occurring on Twitter.     

Want to learn more about how ListenFirst can help brands understand social media trends around owned, earned and paid content ? Request a Demo Today!

Week 3 Data Around Brands Embracing “Stop Hate For Profit”

With many brands pausing their Facebook and Instagram ad spending during the month of July to protest the use of hate speech, ListenFirst continues to monitor how the boycott is impacting the social media ecosystem.  

Following up on the data we shared last week, here are our top findings for the week of July 13-19, 2020:

Methodology: Looking at the indexed number of Facebook and Instagram ads brands from the ListenFirst Data Co-op launched between July 1 – 19, 2020 compared to the indexed number of Facebook and Instagram ads brands launched between July 1-19, 2019. 

Finding #1: Brands Have Stuck With The Boycott 

Through the third week of July, brands continue to participate in the July boycott of buying Facebook ads. Between July 13-19, 2020 brands shared -72.05% less new ads on Facebook and Instagram compared to July 13-19, 2019. That’s consistent with what we’ve seen through the entire month, as during July 1-19, 2020 there were -74.26% less new Facebook and Instagram ads compared to the number of new Facebook and Instagram ads during those 19 days during 2019.

Finding #2: The Real Time Conversation Around #StopHateForProfit Slowed, Except Around Disney 

Around the news that Disney, Facebook’s biggest advertiser during the first half of the year, would be suspending their Disney Plus and Hulu ads on Facebook, there were 5,477 Tweets mentioning both Facebook and Disney between July 18-19, 2020 with 237 Tweets mentioning the #StopHateForProfit hashtag specifically. The phrase “Well Done” appeared in 11.52% of those Tweets.

However other than additional companies opting into the pause on paid,  the July boycott was far more talked about on social media before it started. There were 68,743 Tweets mentioning the #StopHateForProfit hashtag between July 1-19, 2020 which was a decrease of 53.96% from the 149,315 Tweets mentioning the hashtag between June 12 -30, 2020.

Methodology: Looking at the volume of new posts 485 Top Advertisers posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr between July 1-19, 2020 compared to July 1-19, 2019

Finding #3: Advertisers Are Not Increasing Organic Posts During The Boycott  

There were 31,599 posts that Top Advertisers shared on social media between July 1-19, 2020 which was a -22.36% decrease from the volume of posts they shared during those 19 days in 2019. Brands are not sharing more organic content on social media, to try and make up for the loss of reach, now that they’re running so many less Facebook and Instagram ads.  

Methodology: ListenFirst Social Engagement measures the volume of post responses (likes, reactions, comments, shares, retweets, replies) and fan growth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram around 485 Top Advertisers brands during July 1-19, 2020 compared to July 1-19, 2019.  

Finding #4: The Return Of Sports Is Starting To Lift Organic Engagement 

While social engagement around Top Advertiser brands had been down –17.97% during July 1-12, 2020 compared to July 1-12, 2019; there was actually 22.10% more social engagement around those brands during July 13-19 in 2020 compared to 2019. That turnaround was largely about Instagram specifically, as there was 22.63% more Instagram social engagement around Top Advertisers brands during the past week compared to July 13-19, 2019.

The NBA, which made up 20.58% of all Top Advertiser social engagement on Instagram between July 13-19, 2020, had a social engagement score of 21,420,835 during that time, which was an increase of 52.7% from the NBA’s Instagram social engagement score during July 13-19, 2019. Meanwhile, the NFL which accounted for 7.53% of all Top Advertiser social engagement on Instagram between July 13-19, 2020, had a social engagement score of 7,831,968 during that time which was a 34.13% increase from the NFL’s Instagram social engagement score during July 13-19, 2020. Around NBA activity in the Orlando restart bubble heating up and around the NFL revealing which players are getting a 99 rating in the upcoming Madden 21 video game; sports both real and simulated is starting to generate more engagement on social media.    

Want more information about how ListenFirst can help your brand monitor trends around Facebook, Instagram and the rest of social media? Request a demo today!