Now that you understand exactly how to go live, here are 10 tips for you to actually get the most out of your Facebook live videos.
1. Plan your broadcast
As former US President Dwight Eisenhower once said, “Plans are worthless, however, planning is important.”
Broadcasting live means you could not predict what’s going to occur. However, that does not mean you need to just wing it.
Like any kind of content online, a Fb Live broadcast need to have a goal.
Before you start Fb streaming, take some time to consider what your broadcast is about, what you wish to say (or do) in it, and why it makes sense as a Fb Live stream as opposed to some other format of content.
Prepare a list of talking points to have on hand. You might never need them, however, they could save your broadcast when you suddenly freeze once the camera’s on, or when you hit a lull in your conversation with a guest.
2. Be yourself
While viewers expect social video to be polished, audiences usually enjoy the opposite in Facebook Live videos.
Production value tends to be less professional and rawer, which many viewers perceive as more authentic.
“With so much competing for noise on social, the content could usually come across as an advert,” mentioned Hootsuite’s social media marketing manager, Amanda Wood. “Facebook Live videos give insight into brand personality and culture.”
“The appeal of Fb Live is its unedited and raw nature,” adds Hootsuite’s former social media marketing coordinator, Christine Colling. “Your audience is much more forgiving here.”
3. Notify followers in advance
Let people know about your live stream in advance with teaser posts on Fb and other networks.
Facebook says letting your audience find out about your live stream in advance “builds anticipation.” Make sure to also ask viewers to subscribe to Live notifications so they’ll always know if you go live. All they have to do is click on the Follow button at the bottom of your Facebook Live videos.
4. Check your Internet connection and equipment
It’s vital to be sure you have a strong signal before you start broadcasting. While WiFi is ideal, if it is unavailable, a 4G connection works well.
You also need to check your equipment in advance. Try setting your Fb Live audience to Only Me to preview how well your lighting and sound equipment is working before sharing the video with your followers.
On that note, while you could go live with nothing more than your mobile phone or computer, we recommend the following equipment:
- External microphones, particularly for interviews. When you are alone, you could use the built-in microphone on your earbuds.
- A tripod to make sure a steady shot. When you don’t have one, you could simply prop your device up against some books or a wall.
5. Write a compelling description of your video
Your description tells people what your video is about. A great one captures the audience’s attention and a bad one—or worse, none at all—makes it all of the more likely they will keep on scrolling.
Utilize your description to tell a story. Give context about what your broadcast is about and make sure to make it clear why people would wish to watch.
6. Tag other people and your location
Leverage the tag options for your Fb Live video to grow your chances of being found by new viewers and building engagement.
For instance, when you are interviewing an industry influencer in your Fb Live stream, tag them in the video.
If you do, they will show up in their followers’ newsfeeds — growing your video’s reach and drawing in new audiences.
Also, if you tag your location, you personalize your post by letting audiences know where you’re and what you are up to. For instance, you may be at an industry conference. Let your audience know that! It offers context for your Facebook Live.
7. Remember people may join part-way through
Not everybody will join your live stream right away. Facebook says they prioritize videos over three mins long “that inspire people to continue watching.”
So do not be afraid to make your video a little longer. Give your video a good intro, and don’t try to cram everything into the first couple of minutes, since some people may miss what you say.
When you are interviewing another person, a classic radio interview approach could help make context for people who join your live video in progress. Every so often, say your guest’s name at the beginning of a question to let viewers know who you are talking to without disrupting the flow of the conversation.
A brand watermark or branded background could also help ensure people have some context for what they are watching as soon as they join your live stream.
That is another reason why it’s vital to write a compelling and informative description of your video, and also leverage the tagging features mentioned before.
8. Engage with your audience
As with any type of social content, engagement is vital on Facebook Live video. Facebook recommends saying hello to commenters by name, then responding to their comments.
It could be difficult to keep up with the audience’s comments when you are the one hosting the video. If possible, assign somebody to reply to comments as they come in, so you could concentrate on speaking. This person could let you understand if there is a question you need to reply to live or could level people to related resources in the comments.
Think about what resources you may need in advance so you could have a list at your fingertips as the questions begin to come in.
To encourage engagement, try pinning a comment that asks viewers a question related to your video content. Just write your comment, post it, then choose it and select Pin this Comment.
9. Reuse your work
Your live video remains visible on Fb after it ends. However, you need to consider editing it into one or more shorter videos that highlight certain key points or good moments.
You could then share these as regular Fb videos, or post them to other social networks. This ensures you reach people on the platforms they use, rather than forcing them to come to you.
That said, if you share your video on other platforms, you could mention that the content comes from a Facebook Live stream and encourage followers to follow you on Fb or sign up for Live video notifications if they wish to be the first to see your new live video content.
10. Go live on a regular schedule
The Fb algorithm considers “how regularly viewers return to watch your content and how many you retain on a weekly basis.”
That means broadcasting live on a regular schedule will encourage viewers to return frequently since they know what to expect from you and when.