Updated: Sep 18, 2018
The great thing about live streaming is that it brings an element of real-time footage to your audience. Whether it's live streaming from your kitchen while baking a cake or giving dog training tips, the audience love it's real, raw and authentic vibe (with a hint of suspense that live streaming could go horribly wrong at any moment) and that's why they tend to perform really well when you look back at the analytics.
Though Facebook Live is a more laid-back and natural experience, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead and this blog will cover what you should do before, during and after the event!
Set up an event on Facebook. By listing your online event on Facebook, not only will your fans see the event, Facebook will showcase your event to a much wider audience by showing your event to people who have responded to similar events. It's a great way of getting some free advertising!
Building suspense. Announcing your upcoming Facebook Live will build excitement and anticipation. Write a post a week before you go live linking to the event page and do a reminder post the day before. Your page fans will be notified when you're live.
Limit Distractions. Your activities when you're Live represent your brand, so you can’t afford to give a bad impression. Test your lighting, sound, your backdrop and other surrounding elements before you do anything is a wise idea. Also check how good is your internet connection is.
Think about a beginning, a middle and an end. It's important to think about the structure of the event, what will the audience see? Do a walk through of the location and consider where you'll move to and from and where you'll finish for a final round up of the event, ideally in front an interesting background.
Address what your audience are looking for. Ask your audience what they want to know through your social network or do a keyword search in Google to see what keywords are being searched for. This way people will stick around for longer to find out more about what they're interested in.
Share a good story. Storytelling is a huge marketing trend at the moment. By telling stories, funny, scary, happy, sad, it will allow the audience to live that story with you. It's an emotive way to help your audience connect into what you're talking about.
Make Sure You’re Likeable. And this is a hard one, I'm not a great public speaker and tend to fall to pieces when someone sticks a camera in my face, so live streaming fills me with horror! This is easier said than done!
One of the most important Facebook Live tips to remember is this is your chance to really connect with your audience. You’re not trying to sell. You’re trying to build relationships.
When you’re ready to broadcast, make sure you’re relaxed, smiling and feeling confident. Of course, keep in mind that it can be useful to draw attention to your products or services from time to time, as long as you do it subtly.
Live videos on Facebook have an engagement rate of 4.3% compared to 2.2% of non-live videos.
Ask viewers to subscribe to Live notifications. Remind your audience that they can tap on the 'Follow' button on live videos and videos that were live so that they can get notifications the next time you go live.
Be prepared to offer context constantly. You might naturally assume it’s a good idea to introduce yourself and any other speakers at the beginning of your video broadcast. However, Facebook Live allows visitors to join the stream at any moment. So as more people come in, reflect on your introduction and let your audience know what’s happening. For instance, you may want to use lines such as:
“If you’re just joining us, welcome to our broadcast. We’re currently talking about [topic] and we’ve just covered [previous topic].”
Say hello to commenters by name and respond to their comments live. Your audience will be thrilled to hear you mention their name and answer their questions when you are live. It's also one of the best things about going live, having a direct link to you!
Have a buddy there to field questions. For any technical problems or if you can't see the audience questions, having a buddy will be great to help you film, they can fire questions to you that come through and signal when you need to talk louder.
Broadcast for longer periods of time to reach more people. The longer you broadcast, the more likely people are to discover and share your video with their friends on Facebook. We recommend that you go live for at least 10 minutes although you can stay live for up to 4 hours at a time.
Use a closing line to signal the end of the broadcast. Be sure to finish with a closing line, like “Thanks for watching!” or “I'll be going live again soon.” After you've wrapped up, wait a few seconds until you hear the “ping” indicating your broadcast is complete.
Be prepared for something to go wrong. It could be someone invading your live event, a dog barking, a fire in the kitchen. If you can move away from the incident and make a light-hearted comment about it - great! If it's something more serious, politely say goodbye and that you'll be back soon. Your health and safety is paramount and your fans will understand.
Download your video. Once you've finished uploading your video, you can download it. This is great for editing the video for other use or sharing it on other channels such as your website, YouTube, Instagram or even in your emails. To download the video, go to play it, on the right hand side of the screen there should be three dots, click them and select 'download video'. Easy peasy.
Keep an eye on future comments/questions. Just because the live streaming is over, the video lives on and it's likely engagement will continue, make yourself available for a couple of hours after the live stream to answer questions/comments in a timely manner. This is common as most people will check in on Facebook later in the day and will watch it at a later time.
Check the analytics. Facebook have so much insight available at your fingertips, allowing you to see what content your posting is receiving the most engagement. If you can spot some trends in what is working for you, you can keep doing more of it to keep your page alive - hooray! When you're on your page, visit the 'insights' tab and play around with all the information that is available to you.
We'll do another blog on the insights available to you and provide you with some guidance on 'what looks good' so you know if your posts are performing well or not. But even a quick glance of the statistics that will be available to you will tell you if people like what you're doing.
If you're keen to make live streaming part of your marketing strategy, try hosting one session per month to see how you get on and build it up from there. Get in touch if you'd like to plan the topics of your live events and if you need some help in filming them. We'd love to support!