As of 2017, Facebook is still the number one social media platform when it comes to reach. An unprecedented amount of internet users worldwide access the website daily, whether it’s through Facebook.com, via mobile, or via the Facebook apps. It only made sense that the most popular social media platform would roll out a live video streaming component.
Facebook Live allows users to stream in real-time, similar to other streaming components by Periscope or Instagram. However, what makes Facebook Live more enticing is once again its broad reach factor. Chances are everyone you know is on Facebook in some capacity. What better way to reach your audience in real time, to engage with them on-the-go, than to stream the goings-on or product launch for your latest project.
As marketers and business owners, there are endless ways we can utilize this component to further our strategies. We’ve compiled a solid list of dos and don’ts to help you navigate Facebook Live. Break out of your shell and join the future of streaming content!
Facebook Live Dos
Use an outline
Anyone who works in broadcast media can tell you that live television is a big deal, which is why having a script is essential. Don’t get caught without knowing what to say next. Outline your content and practice so you know how to proceed. Remember that the key is to provide value for your audience, so when you plan your outline, use important keywords and information that they’re interested in.
Find the best scenery you can
A background can make or break your Facebook Live stream. Your background should be simple, maybe show a bit of your brand, and free of distractions for your audience. Ensure that your voice isn’t muffled or obstructed by props while you’re streaming. The goal is to remain professional and the purpose of Facebook Live is for your audience to connect with the real you. (Pro Tip: Facebook recommends using landscape instead of portrait so keep that in mind when choosing a background!)
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
You might have a livestream from 7-9pm, but that doesn’t mean everyone will tune in at 7 and tune out at 9. Viewers will come and go — they’ll show up just to see that it’s a real livestream, and then they’ll leave once they’ve confirmed as such. You can’t predict when and where someone is viewing your stream, so make sure to repeat important details or points as you go. A great way to keep viewers engaged without making them feel as if they’re missing something is to let them know often that a summary will be provided at the end. This might also ensure you retain more of your audience.
Engage with your audience
This might be a given, but social media is a two-way street and calls for high engagement. As the Facebook Live stream is going, read viewer questions or comments and reply to them on air. Don’t forget that a simple ‘thanks for watching’ along with the viewer’s name can go a long way, especially when developing brand advocacy.
Have a Call-To-Action
Also another given, but ensure that you have a clear task outlined for your viewers. Why should they watch this livestream? What are they getting out of it? Do you want them to sign up for a great deal, or do you want them to share a post? Clearly outline what you’d like them to do and ask them to do it. This is the best time to communicate with your audience, so be mindful of how you approach them and the messages you’re sending. Audiences watching live are three times more likely to engage – so make sure you outline the activity you want them to participate in.
The best thing you can do to optimize Facebook Live is to use it like a regularly scheduled TV show: have an outline that has a clear story for viewers to follow.
If you are consistent, you’ll build a strong following with great engagement. If you’re setting up something regular, don’t forget to build up your subscriber base. This is a great way to communicate directly with people who are actively interested in your brand.
Facebook Live Don’ts
Forget to promote
This might be quite evident to many business owners and marketers, but a great Facebook Live event will crumble if it doesn’t receive the right amount of promotion. We must understand that many audience members might not be immediately keen to tune in for a livestream. It then becomes your job to get them excited about it, and that includes giving the stream a proper promotion campaign. Invite leads, reach out to your network, or invest in Facebook advertising to get the word out.
Forget the needs of your audience
Keep in mind that when engaging with your audience in real-time, you’re working on their schedule, not yours. Where is your biggest audience segment? Are they located in Eastern time or Pacific? Are they working mainly in another continent entirely? Schedule your livestream to match the needs of your target audience, to the best of your ability. Of course there will always be times when this isn’t as possible, but then consider offering an incentive (a free eBook, coupon code, or relevant infographic) for those viewers who might need to set an alarm or skip out on work to tune in.
Have an uninspired description
Keep your titles and descriptions catchy! Remember: people won’t tune into your livestream just because you’re having one (unless you’re a popular YouTuber, in which case, that’s very, very likely). Tell your audience why they should tune in and entice them with your words. It’s worth it to have a professional copywriter or marketing writer look over a title and description to ensure it accurately represents your Facebook Live stream.
Forget your other followers
You’ve announced and completed your Facebook Live event: great. But don’t forget that not every follower will have seen it, and don’t forget that many of your viewers might have missed some important information. Repurpose your video and share its contents across your social media accounts. Use relevant info and clips in an upcoming newsletter. Depending on your topic, you can even add it to your blog with some extra written content. You put hard work into it; make sure it’s going the extra mile for you.
Forget to complete the meta-data
Once the video is complete (some can be done before you begin), be sure to add location, time & date, thumbnail, category and update the description to include keywords. This might not be high on your list after pushing through an intensive livestream, but it’s important to fill out. This is for the people who will see the archived video, so you can continue to attract and engage new followers. Even if they weren’t there for the Facebook Live show, you’ll want to make sure you can be found and viewed later.
There’s lots to be excited about when it comes to Facebook Live and what it means for the future of inbound marketing. Take the time to experiment it now, and who knows, your brand could even become a pioneer in your Lots of testing and reporting on this platform are soon to come and our advice is to experiment with it now – while it’s still free.
Let’s connect if you’re in the mood to put together that stellar Facebook Live event or script that’ll push your brand into the public eye. We can help you put together a great plan that will give you a boost on the way to the top.