Since its inception, Facebook Live has allowed anyone and everyone to broadcast videos of what they are doing or seeing in real time — from Michael Phelps showcasing his experience in Rio, to Kobe Bryant playing in his final NBA game, to the Emmys taking us behind the scenes.
But this new phenomenon doesn’t stop at celebrities: My own newsfeed is filled with friends and family live streaming concerts, documenting their travel excursions and simply broadcasting their own digital soapbox.
As a marketing expert, I believe now is a better time than ever for businesses to jump on the Facebook Live bandwagon. Not only is it one more exciting opportunity to showcase who you are as a company and what makes you unique, but Facebook gives priority to Live videos in people’s newsfeeds. It’s an opportunity to break through the clutter.
So what’s the best way to use Facebook Live? First, let’s start off with the basics:
How to Get Set Up With Streaming Using Facebook Live
Luckily, the only tools you need to broadcast on Facebook are a phone and a good internet connection (Wi-Fi or 4G).
If you’re streaming on behalf of your business, go to your business’s page. Click “Publish” as if you were creating a post, then click on “Live Video.” You can then describe your live video in one short headline, like “Behind The Scenes at My Company.” Then click the blue, “Go Live” button.
Once you’re live, be aware that your Facebook followers will be notified of your broadcast. The top half of your screen will be what users are seeing, and the bottom half will display comments and notifications.
But before you decide to start filming, make sure you’re aware of what you want to say and showcase. Here are some best practices:
- Prepare. You want to come across as authentic and genuine, so don’t read off a script. Prior to going live, think about what you want to accomplish and what you want your followers to take away. Are you a restaurant showcasing the prep work behind your meals? Discuss the details behind your recipes and give us a tour of your kitchen.
- Tell people you’re going live ahead of time. In order to increase views and engagement, let people know ahead of time that you’ll be going live. For example, one of our clients will be rehearsing for their big show at a set date and time, so we let our followers know that we’ll be broadcasting live on Facebook so they could get a sneak peek. Post a day or two ahead of time, explaining what you’ll be broadcasting and what time you’ll be doing it.
- Pay attention to audio and lighting. Though I did mention you want to be authentic, it’s still important to have quality lighting and sound. If users can’t see or hear your live broadcast, they’ll stop watching immediately. Invest in a wireless lavaliere that you can plug into your phone, and record only in well-lit areas.
- Show people what they normally wouldn’t see. People love going behind the scenes. Facebook Live is a great opportunity to showcase how your product is made or capture a day in the life at your company. Give us something that we wouldn’t be able to see elsewhere. As a result, individuals will be more apt to watch your future broadcasts.
- Keep your phone steady. It can be easy to constantly move around, but for the sake of your viewer’s stomach, refrain from a mobile rollercoaster ride. Be sure to hold your phone steady and make slow movements.
- Open the floor for questions. Facebook Live allows viewers to ask questions during broadcasts. This is a great time to address them. Be sure to mention the person’s name when you address their question so you’re speaking directly to them. You also shouldn’t forget to respond to comments once the video is over. Your live broadcast will stay on your newsfeed for others to watch, so encourage people to ask questions or comment long after the live version is wrapped.
You can provide your followers with something they’ll want to engage with — and still have fun while doing it.