How to be a great host

Best practices for engaging with a live shopping audience

In live video shopping, engagement is the name of the game. You want viewers to really feel like they’re engaging in a two-way conversation with you, not just watching a show on their computer or phone. This is what separates live shopping from regular video, social media, etc. So here are some tips on how to be a great live shopping host. 


Engaging with the audience

Remember why people are tuning in: they feel like they’re going to get something good in exchange for their time. Maybe they want to learn about new products, get a discount code, or interact with an influencer. Most of the time they’re looking to learn something new. 

Measuring engagement: the like button

You can see how your viewers are reacting to your stream by watching the like button. When a viewer clicks the like button, a heart will float up on the screen. The more likes, the more hearts. You’ll know you are engaging the audience if you see a lot of hearts on the screen. It’s not a 100% accurate measurement of engagement, but if you’re getting lots of hearts, it’s likely you’re doing things right. 

Answering questions

Your viewers will have questions about your products, and it’s a bit of a thrill to get their questions answered live. So while your moderators can handle many of your viewers’ questions right in the chat, you might also want to answer some viewer questions on-stream. Ask your mods to prompt you with good questions from the chat. 

Don’t be afraid to use the viewer’s name when you answer their question, either. It makes the viewer feel like they have been seen.

And on the other side, don’t be afraid to ask things yourself. Ask for likes and shares. Ask people to post questions and comments in the chat. As a host, it’s your job to keep viewers engaged, so don’t be afraid to ask them. 

The element of surprise

The most important rule of live streaming? Don’t be boring! People tune in to live broadcasts because they like the authenticity of it: anything can happen, and that makes live streams interesting. 

Your audience wants the social currency of being able to say “I was there,” so help them get it. If something special is happening later in the live stream, let the audience know that they should stay tuned. This will keep them emotionally engaged in the broadcast — and keep them watching longer.

Some special events or surprises you can include in your live stream to increase engagement include: 

  • New product or feature announcements 
  • Surprise guests
  • Special tutorials
  • Discount codes
  • Giveaways