Facebook Live is a game-changer for video streaming. There’s a simple reason for this as Facebook is quick to point out in its advertising: “Broadcast to the largest audience in the world with the camera in your pocket.” If you are still in doubt, consider these stats:
- Facebook boasted 8 billion video views daily as at November 2015 (the last time they released numbers)
- Data from Facebook shows that people comment 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on normal videos
- Online video streaming is expected to grow to more than 80% of consumer internet traffic by 2020 (Cisco)
(Candace Payne’s ‘Laughing Chewbacca’ was originally published on Facebook)
Still not sure? A Facebook Live video of a Candace Payne, a Texan woman sitting in a car laughing while wearing a Chewbacca mask has been viewed more than 160 million times. That trounced the previous record claimed by two BuzzFeed staff members making a watermelon explode using rubber bands. That only generated 10 million views although it was streamed live to more than 800,000 people.
In short, if you are not using Facebook Live to promote your business, you should be. Like any new online platform though, it can take a little while to get to grips with the best way to go about it. Here are 9 simple tips for getting the most out of Facebook Live:
1) Tell people about your broadcast in advance
This will come as no surprise but Facebook says if you tell people about upcoming Facebook Live broadcasts you get more viewers. Facebook is the perfect channel for this but you can use other social media platforms, too. You can also send out teaser trailers so people can get a glimpse of what to expect.
2) Write a great description
You need to give people a reason to watch your stream so make it compelling. Add some personality and grab their attention. If the stream veers in an unexpected direction you can edit the description once you have finished it.
3) Make sure you have a reliable Internet connection
If you lose connection stay calm, Facebook Live will try to reconnect you. The ‘Go Live’ button will be greyed out until the connection comes back but if it fails completely the broadcast will automatically save to your page.
4) Plan your broadcast
Like any marketing activity, think carefully about the message you want to put across and how you are going to do it. The fact that it is going out live means you need to take extra care. Have a few practice runs so you feel more confident before you go live.
5) Sort out your equipment
This is a video so the visual presentation is crucial. If you are using an iPhone, decide if you are going to be broadcasting vertically or horizontally. To make your stream more professional consider using a tripod to avoid looking like you have a case of the shakes. Think about sound. Getting decent sound from a phone especially outdoors or in a large space can be a challenge so you may need to invest in an external microphone.
(Image: Facebook Live Map)
6) Location, location, location
Tagging your location is essential. You will appear on the Facebook Live Map and are more likely to be found by viewers.
7) Engage with your audience
One of the things people love about Facebook Live is that viewers’ comments appear on screen during the stream. Social media is all about engagement so responding to these comments is vital. You can keep the conversation going after the live stream has ended, too. Don’t forget to ask your audience to subscribe to your videos so that you build your audience for future videos.
8) Add personality
The best broadcasters are authentic, relaxed and friendly. They also engage personally with their audience, using their name where possible. Explain who you are at the start of the stream and what you are doing. Also, keep in mind that people may be joining you part way through so don’t be afraid to repeat yourself.
9) Experiment to find out what works
Play around with location, the time and for how long you broadcast, and your content to see what works. There are no hard and fast rules. Be creative and have fun!