Facebook Live is one of the hottest trends in social media (who hasn’t heard of Chewbacca mom?). This new Facebook feature allows users to broadcast a live stream and connect with viewers in real-time through live chat. People are finding all kinds of exciting uses for Facebook Live – whether it’s to host a live yoga session, roll out a new product, or talk to astronauts. Marketers will especially find Facebook Live useful, considering that it’s been getting much higher organic reach than other types of content. In fact, people comment 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than regular ones! Exciting, huh? Here are five tips to get started:

  1. Prepare: Facebook Live can seem wild and spontaneous, but to really pull it off, it takes some behind-the-scenes planning. Make sure you have a strong connection (WiFi or 4G) so your video doesn’t cut out in the middle of a big announcement. Next, make sure you have good sound and video quality. Choose a location with minimal background noise and distractions. If you’re using your phone, set up call forwarding so you don’t get calls during your broadcast. A tripod or selfie stick can come in handy for getting a steady, level video and you may want to invest in a nice lavalier microphone for better sound quality. Finally, practice makes perfect! If you change your privacy setting to “Only Me”, you will then be able to test out your live video and see exactly what it will look like without worrying about anyone else watching before you’re ready.
  2. Promote: Give friends and followers notice in advance of an upcoming live video. You’ll reach a lot more viewers if they know when to expect your broadcast. A simple post a day or two in advance can go a long way – especially if you share some enticing details. Post a few reminders leading up to the main event and you’ll attract even more viewers. Ask viewers to subscribe to your live videos, and they will receive notifications every time you go live.
  3. Structure: Facebook Live is great for streaming content with a little structure, such as speeches, ceremonies, presentations, classes, Q&A sessions and other organized events like concerts and sporting events. But even if you’re going live for other purposes, make sure you have a little structure to your recording. If you start rambling on and on with no focus, viewers will lose interest. Try to take a dry run and rehearse as much as you can before you go live, or at least know ahead of time what your focus will be and remind yourself to stay focused on that topic.
  4. Engage: What’s the difference between Facebook Live and a YouTube video? Hopefully a lot, if you’re doing it right! Facebook Live allows viewers to comment and even react with emoji’s during your broadcast. Encourage your audience to participate. Answer their questions as they appear onscreen (or afterwards, if it doesn’t make sense for your purposes) – and answer them by name to make them feel extra-special. Give a shout-out to your fans and make them feel like they’re part of the action. Make sure you take time to share with them how much their involvement means to you. Without interaction, they might as well just watch a regular video.
  5. Wrap It Up! Once you have finished recording your video, you can go back and make some edits. Create a title, tag yourself and any other Facebook friends who appear in the video, choose an appealing thumbnail image and add some other details like location, time, and categories. A brief description will let people know what to expect. You can even add captions, (which definitely come in handy for those watching from their desks at work). Don’t forget to add a call to action – direct viewers to your website, buy your product, learn more, subscribe… tell them to do something!

Ready to go live? How do you plan to incorporate Facebook Live into your marketing strategy? Share in the comments below!

Want to learn more about using Facebook Live for marketing? Check out this article for some helpful information. Click here for more of the basics on getting started with Facebook Live.

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