Facebook Live video is a league of its’ own. A completely different strategy needs to be put in place in order to deliver a successful Facebook Live video, and even with that it can be tricky to achieve what you want out of it. The first thing to keep in mind is to be realistic. Testing out this concept is the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t, but don’t just use it because it is there. Have a reason for all Live Video and make sure you stay on brand. Here are best practices for Facebook Live Videos:
- Have a Goal in Mind. Just like with any social strategy, try to align your goal with your overall marketing goals for the brand/company. What Are you trying to accomplish overall? Do you have an event or product launch you want to promote? Are you filming a production, show, concert, or presentation people interested in your brand would be interested in? Whatever it is, stick with it.
- Check Out Your Surroundings. Make sure you are in an area where there is a strong Wi-Fi or 4G connection. If not you may run into some problems if your Live Video gets cut short right in the middle and hurts your engagements. Check to see if there is any other branding in the area you do not have permission to film. Just like live news casters set up before filming they make sure nothing is in view they do not have the rights to picture.
- Give a Little Time for People to Engage with Your Video. Give up to a minute for people to login and log on. Make sure the first frame is something captivating so that people scrolling through their feeds will want to stop and see whats going on. After a minute or a few seconds, introduce where & what is going on. Keep track of the number of people engaging to feel out what the crowd likes and doesnt like as numbers increase or drop. Do they stay engaged when the camera is focused on a certain thing? Do they exit when you are talking for a consistent amount of time? All of these factors give you insights into what will help you with live videos in the future.
- Set the Stage. Try to eliminate as many possibilities for error prior to going live. Such as weather, or wind in the camera microphone, or wind blowing your hair in your face while you are speaking. Find an area with good lighting whether it is natural (outside), or set up inside a room, theatre, or stadium. Much like throwing a party, you want things to go a certain way, but also have room for spontaneity.
- Timing is Key. An important factor that may be difficult to control is timing your live feed. Try to eliminate any possibility that your stream might align with another popular event, or TV show that might wash out your viewers. You will most likely gain the attention of your audience the most between 1-3PM if on a work week allowing you to have access to anyone on their lunch break checking their phones. Broadcasting for at least 10 minutes will help give you enough time to engage people and deliver results if done right.
- Go with the Flow. Testing Live Videos can be a hit or miss. Don’t expect results right out of the gate. You may be following all the rules when it comes to recording Live but it could still be missing that IT factor that makes people want to engage. Test to see what things you audience engages with most, just like your content marketing. Respond to comments by name, notice who is engaging, answer questions, and try to establish a sense of what is going on for viewers just entering the live stream.
- Expect the Worst, Hope for the Best. Just like anything live, you will not have complete control over photo-bombers, bloopers, or other random chances things might affect your video. Prepare for the worst. Before setting up have a plan of action in case anything in the frame does not turn out as planned. Try to stay positive and make the error as unnoticeable as possible. Rehearse a list of possible responses for trolls that bring negative comments to your Q&A sessions that stays on brand and looks professional.
Remember that best practices for Facebook Live videos leave room for spontaneity and the ability to be creative. People like authentic experiences and Facebook Live is a perfect showcase for performing something without a forced plan. This feature is one of the many ways social media marketing has become increasingly powerful and relevant. Once the Facebook Live Stream has ended keep in mind that it will live on the page after it is over for people to continue to engage with. At that point, you can use if for various inbound marketing methods such as selling a product, directing your audience to your website, or increasing leads.