Since it was launched in the Spring of 2016, Facebook Live is continuing to gain popularity as an easy (and fun!) way to communicate who you are (and your brand) to your community. Originally launched for mobile use only, online marketers can now stream live from their desktops as well.
Why is it so important to build Facebook Live videos into your social media marketing strategy? What we know is that they are more likely to appear higher in the News Feeds of your followers, when the videos are live. We know that Facebook users spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to other videos. There is a definite appetite for “happening right now” content, versus “you missed it!”.
Here are our top 10 tips for getting started with Facebook Live:
- Getting started is tough, especially for those who are less tech savvy – it’s OK Facebook thought of that! Start by using the “Only Me” privacy setting – this can be changed later, by while you’re dipping your virtual toe in the water of live streaming, it’s a great option to leverage. Soon you’ll be a pro, and jump right in!
- Still not comfortable in front of the camera, its OK, we get it! Do a couple of webcam practice calls with a friend/colleague. What do they notice? Are you tapping your desk, making the camera unstable and difficult to follow, is your voice clear, is there a lot of background noise? Iron out the glitches you can control (and just embrace the one’s you can’t).
- Make the video spontaneous, yet planned. If you’re streaming from your home office, look at the view behind you, over your shoulder. Overflowing garbage can? Empty it. Client info? Tuck it away. But… Don’t over script it. Your Live video, should be you in all your imperfect glory! It’s OK to stumble over a word or two, and its OK to be nervous – your community will love you more for it! Don’t let imperfections hold you back!
- Make Facebook Live a part of your overall marketing strategy, not the only marketing strategy you use. Keep posting written content, blogs, and links to interesting articles. Continue to engage your community by commenting and sharing on their content. Remember, not all your followers will have time to view a Live broadcast, but will want to check out your blog.
- Keep reminding your viewers who you are. Think about a conference call, how there’s the odd straggler or two who is late for the beginning, and you need to bring them up to speed. Facebook Live is no different. Also remember to pace your content, since you know not all of your viewers will be there at the beginning, its OK to spend some time talking about what’s coming up, great articles you’ve read, shout outs to followers who have shared on your page (thank them by name, they’ll appreciate it). Then jump into your content.
- For your planned Live broadcasts, promote them across your social media channels, let your community know when they can join you. Have a team member sending reminders as your broadcast is about to begin, and then providing some “tech support” while you’re chatting, responding on your behalf to questions.
- Think about timing – who is your target market, and when are they most likely to be online? Busy professionals are not likely to tune in during the workday, busy parents don’t have time after school during the dinner rush. Leverage what you know about your market, and time your broadcast appropriately. Not sure? Play around with it. Choose a variety of different times/days of the week and watch your engagement.
- And with timing of course we need to talk about the length of your Live broadcast – keep it reasonable. Go too long, it’ll get wordy and awkward, too short and your followers will be disappointed. Think your broadcast through, what do you really want to touch on, what can wait, and know when enough is enough.
- Watch other’s Livestreams – what are your colleagues doing, what can you learn? Don’t just look at what they’re doing, but understand why. Is there Livestream mostly Q&A, or is it prepared content.
- Smile! Enjoy every moment! You’ve worked hard to get here – so let’s go for it!
It’s time to jump in!
We’d love to hear your Facebook Live successes (and not as successful moments!)