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 a good concept, it can be tricky to really get 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's there. Have a purpose for all Live Videos and make sure you stay on brand. Here are the 7 best practices for Facebook Live Videos:
1. Have a Goal in Mind
Just like with any social strategy, try to align your goal with your overall marketing goals for your 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 that people who are already interested in your brand would be interested in? Whatever it is, stick with it.
2. Check Out Your Surroundings
Make sure you are in an area where there is a strong internet connection. That may seem simple, but if you're not, you may run into some problems if your Live Video gets cut short or is delivered with poor quality. That will hurt 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 broadcasts, set up before filming to make sure nothing is in view you don't have the rights to.
3. Give a Little Time for People to Engage with Your Video
Give up to a minute for people to log in and join. Make sure the first frame is something captivating so that people scrolling through their feeds will want to stop and see what's 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 doesn't like as numbers increase or drop. Do they stay engaged when the camera is focused on a certain thing? Do they exit when you have just been talking for a stretch of time? All of these factors give you insights into what will help you with live videos in the future.
4. Set the Stage
Try to eliminate as many possibilities for error prior to going live. Wind in the microphone or wind blowing your hair in your face while you are speaking will be annoying and distracting.
Find an area with good lighting, whether it is natural or purposefully staged. Much like throwing a party, you want things to go a certain way, but also leave room for spontaneity.
5. 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 event or show that your viewers will likely opt for instead. You are most likely to gain the attention of your audience the most between noon and 3 PM during a weekday. This allows 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.
6. Go with the Flow
Like any dry-run, testing Live Videos can be 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 your 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 purpose for viewers just entering the live stream.
7. Hope for the Best, Prepare For the Worst
Just like anything live, there are many things that you simply can't control. Prepare for the worst. Before setting up, review some video marketing stats and 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 it for various inbound marketing methods such as selling a product, directing your audience to your website, or increasing leads.