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The Side Dish

8 Tips for Facebook Live Success

Chelsea Warren, Social Media Specialist / 2.27.2018

With the power of today’s technology, anyone can broadcast live from their smartphone, potentially reaching people around the world. These types of first-person videos perform well, as they give audiences authentic, insider views into you and your brand.

With any type of live video, there are certain challenges. Here are eight tips for Facebook Live success.

Facebook Live

It can be difficult to pull off Facebook Live videos, but they offer great ROI if done right.

#1 Formulate a Plan

With any social media trend, it’s awfully tempting to jump on the bandwagon without asking yourself this key question:

  • Will this tactic help me to connect with my target audience in a meaningful way … or will I just be creating white noise?

If you answered “yes,” then comes the harder part – developing a strategy. To be worthwhile, Facebook Live should help you further your organization’s goals. We recommend starting by making a master list of the overarching topics you want to discuss and then breaking them down into digestible chunks. (see Tip #2)

Once you have determined what you want to talk about, schedule out the topics. You may wish to group similar themes in a particular month as part of a campaign or intermingle them, depending on your goals. You might consider having a set time each week so that you can promote it to a faithful audience, or switching up the times to attract new audiences.

#2 Keep It Short

You’ve probably heard that people have the attention span of a goldfish. For your first few videos, plan on enticing people in with “snackable,” 2-3 minute videos. If you start to see these performing really well and it makes sense for your brand, you can consider extending the time to a longer format, but be sure to A-B test to see if this transition is effective.

#3 Have a Structure

Each Facebook Live post should have a structure and a list of things to incorporate into an effective video. This structure isn’t rigid – you can change it up depending on what you’re talking about or how things perform. But following these basic guidelines will help you adhere to best practices and set good habits from the get-go.

Beginning:

  • Start off each video by saying hello to your viewers. As people start watching your video, you will see their names pop up on your screen. You can call their names out to make them feel special, but remember – people are going to re-watch this video later on your profile and will quickly get bored of you calling out other people’s names.
  • Introduce the topic you are going to discuss right away to grab people’s attention.
  • Let people know that you won’t be able to address all their questions during the broadcast, but will respond to comments afterward. And then, make sure you do so – if you don’t, people will feel cheated.

Main Message:

  • This will change greatly depending on the purpose of each video, but a good rule of thumb is to address three main points for whatever topic you’re discussing.
  • Each video is a digestible bite of information – don’t feel the need to say everything you can say on that topic.

Ending:

  • Thank everyone for watching.
  • Ask them to share the video if they found it informative.
  • Sign off. You could have a set phrase that you always say, a call-out to your website or you can change it each time, depending on what you’re going to discuss.
  • Wait five seconds before halting the broadcast as there is often a lag. If you don’t wait, the broadcast can end partway through your last sentence, which looks pretty silly.

*Note: It is VERY helpful to practice what you want to say in advance. This will help you refine your structure and incorporate all of your public speaking must-dos (see Tip #6).

#4 Download the Apps

If your personal Facebook account is the one linked to your brand, all you need is the run-of-the-mill Facebook app to get started. This is also the app you will use for your Facebook Live trial run (see Tip #5). However, if you’re like most brands, you probably utilize a business or organization page on Facebook. In this case, you will need to download the Facebook Pages Manager app to do a Facebook Live video on your page.

Facebook Live

This app is available for both iOs and Android devices.

#5 Do a Trial Run

There can be a variety of things that are a little wonky the first time you try to use Facebook Live (i.e., the sound isn’t working, the internet connection is spotty). Once you have an idea of what you’d like to talk about, it’s a great idea to do a trial run. This helps you get the technical aspects out of the way so you can focus on your message. You will need to do the following trial run via a personal Facebook account. The option of a trial run is not available on the Facebook Pages Manager app. Make sure you use the same mobile device for the trial run as you plan on using during the actual event, so you can test the audio and connectivity.

First, go the Facebook App on your phone or tablet and click the camera icon in the upper-left corner of the homepage.

Facebook Live

Next, slide over the bottom scroll to “LIVE.” Then, click the drop-down menu next to where it says, “Public.” This will show you who will be allowed to see your video.

Facebook Live

Select “SEE MORE” and click “Only Me” to do a test video.

Facebook Live

Now, navigate back to the prior screen and push the bright blue “Start Live Video” to begin recording. Do a practice run as though it were the real thing, practicing both your video structure and your public speaking skills. At the end of the recording, you will be asked if you would like to save the video. Select “KEEP” to save a copy.

Review the saved video, asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Can you hear the audio? If it’s hard to hear, consider moving to a room with less white noise, speaking more loudly or investing in a mic that plugs into your phone. If you have a selfie stick or headphones plugged into your phone, you won’t have any audio at all.
  2. Is the video smooth or choppy? If you’re sitting still and it’s having problems, it may be that your internet connection is not fast enough. Consider going somewhere with a better connection or try using a mobile hotspot. If you’re moving around, make a conscious effort to hold your phone smoothly or invest in a phone stabilizer.
  3. Is the video angle you used flattering? A lot of amateurs will shoot videos with their cameras titles upwards. There is NO ONE on the planet that looks good from this angle. Consider shooting with the straight on your face or raised up and titled down.

#6 Public Speaking Must-dos

Each of these videos will be published to your profile and will remain in your video section (unless you choose to remove them). So, it’s good for your continued branding to treat this as you would any other public speaking engagement.

  • Be animated.
  • Dress the part.
  • Try not to spend the whole time looking at your notes (or any, if you can help it).
  • Speak a little louder than normal and consciously slow down. We all tend to talk faster when we’re a little nervous.
  • Try out what you are going to say ahead of time so that you know how you want to phrase things.

#7 Be Authentic

The best thing about these videos is that they help people feel like they know you, so be authentic. If you mess up, it’s not the end of the world. Oftentimes, those little slips of the tongue help people connect with us as they recognize our humanity.

Also, don’t be afraid to have fun. These videos are meant to be creative, engaging and to show off your personality. So, own it!

Not sure which social media platforms make the most sense for your brand? Check out my recent blog posting: https://bigyam.com/blog/which-social-media-platforms-should-i-be-on/

#8 Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose

Once you’ve invested in creating the perfect Facebook Live video, you now have a piece of prime content to share. Save copies of it and post it to your blog and your Instagram channel. Link to it on Twitter and LinkedIn. Promote the heck out of that thing, because everyone loves video!