Facebook Live is a fantastic way to create a personal connection with potential clients. It puts a face on your local business, and creates exciting new ways to engage. And because Facebook promotes live feeds over traditional video, by jumping into the deep end, you can get more views and more engagement.
Let’s take a look at seven best practices to help your Facebook Live broadcasts shine:
1. Remember, you’re an expert at what you do!
When it comes to providing information, many people assume they don’t have anything of importance to share. Remember, even the most basic information in your chosen field is novel and new to someone who isn’t in that same field. No one does exactly what you do in the way that you do it. You have a unique perspective that others will benefit from.
2. Know your audience
Think about what subjects would be of interest to current or prospective clients. How can your broadcast serve to affirm the brand you’re trying to build? For example, if you own a home improvement company, touring a renovation might be a great way to get viewers excited. Maybe your business has a specific aesthetic. Our clients at Indy Grimo offer a party hearse limo service, and their live broadcasts at the Irvington Halloween Festival demonstrated a sense of fun, while also promoting their service to those most likely to use it.
If you are stuck and can’t decide what kind of information would be helpful to share with your fans, sit down with a friend and have her ask you a few questions about your business or industry. The questions she has are likely questions that others also have.
3. Hatch a plan
Make a rough outline of what you want to talk about or accomplish—and how long you expect your video to be. If you’re nervous, it’s okay to keep your broadcasts short at first, but keep in mind that going longer gives people more time to notice you’re live and tune in. Facebook Live will broadcast for up to 90 minutes, so you’ve got time. If you’re nervous enough to be shaky, pick up an inexpensive tripod for your phone; just remember what a versatile tool a smartphone is! Don’t hesitate to flip the camera’s perspective to really show your audience what you’re talking about.
As you hone your plan, see if you can boil your outline down to a few points that describe your broadcast. As you navigate your way through the Facebook live setup, it will ask you for a description, so this step will come in handy!
Because every broadcast is live, it probably seems like you can’t practice, doesn’t it? Fortunately, that’s not the case! All you need to do is change the setting for who can view your broadcast to “only me,” just as you might do for a normal Facebook post. Then you can do a practice run. This is a great opportunity to track your time, and see if your broadcast is longer or shorter than you intended. Afterwards, you can replay the broadcast and watch for issues. For example, did you get nervous and speak more quickly than normal? Is the lighting okay? Are there any distracting noises coming from the background?
5. Promote ahead of time
If you’re going to put in the time to do a great livestream, you want as many people watching as possible. Promote your broadcast ahead of time, not just on Facebook, but on every social media platform you use.
Author and happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin, promotes her Facebook Live broadcasts several ways—on her podcast, via social media posts, and with Facebook event pages.
6. Engage with viewers
The great thing about a live broadcast is that viewers can engage with you while it’s going on. You can ask for audience comments and questions. You’ll see them scrolling on your screen as you film, with the newest at the top. Take breaks within your broadcast to answer some of these questions. Responding to questions with the commenter’s first name gives your response a warm, personal touch.
If you have a large audience that asks a lot of questions (way to go, you!), you may want to employe an assistant to reply to questions in real time via the comment stream. This assistant should be off camera but identify himself in the comments so viewers know who is engaging with them. You can also announce that you’ll have your assistant answer questions while you’re broadcasting.
Encourage engagement throughout your Facebook Live session, both by asking for questions directly, and by keeping people up to speed. Make sure you introduce yourself and your topic at the beginning of the broadcast, then repeat that information every so often for those who are just joining in.
7. Build your audience
During the broadcast, encourage watchers to subscribe to your live notifications, so they’ll know when you begin future broadcasts. Don’t disengage when your broadcast ends, either. Continue to watch your notifications and follow up on comments. Facebook Live’s analytics also offer a variety of intel about your viewers, including how many unique viewers you had, how long they watched, and when you hit peak viewership. Use every scrap of data you get to adjust when and how you broadcast to attract and engage more people.
Using Facebook Live can seem intimidating at first, but it’s very open-and-go. Just pick a spot where you’ve got plenty of bars and a minimum of distractions. Then apply our seven tips, and you’ll be broadcasting fluidly in no time!