The 5 Things You Need To Know About Going Live

Aug 8, 2018

Written by Emily Shields, SMCLT Director at Large-Membership 2018

More and more companies are getting involved in live-streaming practices. From Instagram stories and TV, to Facebook Live, these streaming platforms allow companies to distribute their content in a unique way.

At OrthoCarolina, a large healthcare company, I had the opportunity to orchestrate the live- streaming of an actual surgery. The livestream, surgery of a shoulder rotator patch repair, resulted in over 70,000 views, the biggest social media success that OrthoCarolina has seen. Here’s how it happened and the best practices you can use to make the most out of live-streaming:

1.) Be deliberate with what you want to film: OrthoCarolina does a lot of surgeries and sees a lot of patients. We really had endless opportunities to pick from. However, we had to think about what our audience wanted to see. The surgery selected was not very gory and was shorter in time compared to say, a hip or knee replacement. As much as companies may want to go for a shock factor, we knew our social media followers may be turned off by a lot of blood and a long and complicated surgery. Make sure you livestream something that is going to resonate with your viewers. While your company may have something to film comparable to a surgery, showing something behind the scenes that viewers may not be able to normally see is a good place to start.

2.) Plan for the unplanned: In healthcare, things sometime go off schedule. The surgery we filmed was about thirty minutes behind and we had viewers asking us what the hold-up was. To make sure we didn’t lose anyone, I improvised and live-streamed interviews with staff members to kill time. If you promote a live-stream, you simply cannot disappoint viewers who tuned into a specific time. Always have back-up talking points if your live-streaming subject is running behind. Your viewers will thank you!

3.) Invest in good equipment: Get a stabilizer. If your live-stream is more than a few minutes long, your hand is going to get tired and shaky. A stabilizer holds your phone and frees up at least one hand, giving you the ability to look at notes and otherwise film a more a professional looking video. If you are feeling fancy, also invest in a microphone. We did not bring one into the operating room and that is one thing that I plan to do next time.

4.) Follow viewer comments along the way: Social media is all about engagement so engage! Users were asking questions during the surgery and I read them aloud to the doctor performing the surgery. It was a neat way to truly bring patients into the operating room and keep them tuning in. Don’t ignore those comments!

5.) Recap! Show your value by putting together a recap of the live-stream. Showing a recap to your marketing team allows your co-workers to see how essential these live-streams can be to a company’s overall marketing strategy. I created a recap that not only had viewing statistics, but had key takeaways, viewer comments and lessons for moving forward with future live- streams. It is also a fantastic piece for your portfolio.

I hope these tips help you as you put together your live-stream plan moving forward. To see OrthoCarolina’s livestream, please visit