Facebook Live is fast becoming the hottest live-streaming platform for individuals and brands. Broadcasters – whether professional or amateur – are really starting to embrace its features. With video tipped as one of the biggest marketing trends of 2016, it’s time to get on board.
Users are still trying to determine what resonates with their audience, along with attempting to get their viewer number up. During this learning phase some ‘best practices’ are starting to emerge. Here are my 15 tips to help you master Facebook Live.
1. Pick your orientation before you start filming
Make sure you decide whether you want your video to be shot portrait or landscape before you start. There is nothing worse than the jolted change halfway through.
2. Change the perspective
For those who want to add more context or go between showing themselves and their surroundings, you do have the option to switch between your main camera and selfie view whilst broadcasting.
3. Take care of your comments
One of the best parts of Facebook Live is that questions and comments from viewers appear on the screen as you broadcast. You need to be aware that you cannot delete one after the broadcast, and it is important to keep the conversation going after the broadcast.
4. Don’t panic if you loose connection
Try and pick a spot with strong connectivity to either Wi-Fi or cellular service, but if you lose connection, don’t panic. Facebook Live will pause and try to reconnect. If you are still having trouble, the existing broadcast will be saved to your Page – and you can always delete it if you’re not satisfied with the result.
5. Write an engaging description
This may sound basic, but an engaging description will be the difference between someone deciding to tune in or not. Use personality in the wording and make sure it is aligned with your brand’s purpose. Also remember to keep your description short and sweet.
You do have the option to edit your description once your stop broadcasting. This may be worth doing if your broadcast changes direction e.g. at a live forum or when conducting an interview.
6. Promote, promote, promote
Those who tease an upcoming Facebook Live broadcast tend to have higher viewership than those who don’t – so a few days or hours before post a little tease to what’s coming up.
7. Timing is everything
Are afternoons better than mornings? What about later at night? The truth is there is no magic answer for everyone, but you will eventually find the sweet spot for your audience – the key is to experiment. It is also a good idea to look in your Facebook Page’s Insights – that way you will be able to see when most of your followers are online, which should convert into a high view count.
It is also important to consider what you are broadcasting too, and what the best time of day would be for this content to be digested by your audience. If you are showing people how to make a protein packed smoothie, this may be better timed for the morning. Whereas a Q&A interview could do better in the afternoon, that way your audience can engage with it, whilst working.
The longer your broadcast, the more likely your follower are to discover your video live. The aim should be to broadcast for more than 10 minutes, however don’t overdo it or drag broadcasts out any longer than they need to be.
8. Plan ahead
Don’t go into a broadcast without a plan of attack. Know what you want to do in the video, whether it’s a few key talking points, or have a few questions ready ahead of time, in case your Q&A slows down.
9. Get personal
Beyond just reading comments and questions, say hi to viewers by naming them personally and encouraging them to stay engaged with follow-ups and suggestions. It will make everyone feel more part of the experience.
10. Invest in some equipment
Nobody enjoys watching a shaky live-stream. Consider buying a tripod or other professional – level tools, especially if you’re taking viewers on a tour. You can also get creative and DIY your own stand with a pile of books or coffee mug – just be sure to check your shot before going live.
11. Get the lighting right
Pick a spot with good lighting or go outside, but don’t have the light directly behind you as it will wash you out. If you plan on going live often, it may be worth investing in some lighting tools that you can attach to your phone.
12. Sound Check
Too many broadcasters overlook sound, but what is the point in going live if no one can hear you? If you’re in a loud space, or speak quietly you’re going to need some kind of external microphone, to make sure your viewers hear everything crystal clear.
13. Provide context
When starting a broadcast, be sure to introduce yourself and what you are doing – if you’re hosting a live fitness show for example, let everybody know what today’s fitness focus will be and don’t forget to mention it a few times throughout the broadcast for those who tune in late.
14. Be authentic
This may seem obvious, but when you have a camera on you it can be hard to stay true to yourself and stick to the key brand message and overall purpose of the broadcast. Stay calm, stick to your talking points and be yourself. The more authentic you come across the more viewers will identify with you and care about what you have to say.
15. End on a good note
Make sure to thank your audience for tuning in, and tease what you will broadcast next time. Also be sure to pause for a few seconds until you hear the “pin” sound that signals you are no longer live.
Video streaming especially through Facebook Live, is an incredible opportunity to showcase your business to your fan base. Since video is a strong marketing tool this year, along with the fact that Facebook Live often gets higher organic reach than other types of content – it is definitely worth adding live video to your marketing plan.
Looking forward to seeing your next Facebook Live broadcast.