Only one month after launching, Facebook Live has already cemented itself as more than just “the next big thing.” It’s clear that video streaming is here to stay, and is only going to continue to furiously grow in the months moving forward.
Why do you need to take note? Facebook Live is a powerful way to share your brand’s personality and story. Video is the most popular type of content, rounding out at over 4 billion views a day. It’s also completely free, and you have everything you need to do Facebook Live in your pocket.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps to get started on Facebook Live.
1. What You’ll Need
Don’t worry, you won’t have to go anywhere. You should already have what you need:
- A mobile device
- A strong internet connection
- Another person to monitor the stream & answer messages
- A plan of what you want to broadcast
That’s it! Now you’re ready to get started.
2. Getting Started
Before you go Live, build up steam by letting your audience know when you’ll be going live. If they’re expecting your live stream, you’ll see more people tuning in.
When you’re ready to go, tap “What’s on your Mind” at the top of your News Feed. Next, select “Live Video” from the dropdown menu. You’ll be prompted to enter in a description and define your audience (public, friends, only me, etc.). You’ll also want to make sure that your camera is facing the way you want – selfie or camera view. Either format is supported by Facebook.
One of the most important pre-live steps is to write a clear and engaging description. Don’t just describe the broadcast – give your audience reasons to watch.
Once you’ve perfected your description, all you have to do is hit “Go Live.”
3. Keep Your Audience Engaged During the Broadcast
This is where that other person from step 1 comes in handy. While you’re busy broadcasting, they can monitor the stream and comments (have them keep their device’s volume on silent, so you don’t get a feedback loop). Have them respond to text comments. It’s a good idea during the stream to respond to comments with the person’s name:
“Mark Thompson just asked about measuring ROI. Thanks for the question Mark! Well first, you’ll want to…”
This makes your audience feel like they’re a part of the conversation.
During the stream, you should also re-introduce yourself and summarize the stream. Some of your viewers may stumble into your video partway through and have no context. This is yet another reason why you want to have a good description for your Live stream. During the stream, take the time to routinely remind your audience who you are and what your stream is about. A good rule of thumb is to do this frequently (every 2-5 minutes or so) when you first start the stream, then switch to about every 10-15 minutes during the rest of the video.
Facebook Live broadcasts can stream for up to 90 minutes. For best results, stream for at least 10 minutes to give your audience ample time to discover your video.
4. Measure Your Results
When you’re done with your stream, tap on the “Finish” button. Following the stream, your video will say on your Facebook page like any other video post.
You’ll want to use the Insights tab to measure your video’s success. Here you’ll be able to see crucial stats, including:
- Peak live viewers
- Minutes viewed
- People reached
- Reactions, Comments & Shares
It’s also a good idea to follow up your stream with a thank you post.
Ta-da! Your first Facebook Live video. The defining trait of Facebook Live is its spontaneity and reliability, so don’t feel like your stream has to be “perfect.” But these steps will ensure that you see the most engagement for your effort.
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