In a quest to help my clients connect and build authentic relationships with people who care, I’m always looking for ideas that can be implemented easily, that can have a big impact on visibility. I LOVED Periscope when it came out, but there were some requirements like downloading another app and learning how to use it effectively. Also, Periscope connected nicely with Twitter but for many of my clients, Twitter is not the prefered social media platform.
Once Facebook entered into the live video market, the game changed immediately. I wanted to highlight some reasons small businesses and brands should use Facebook Live and also provide some tips that will make this process/implementation easier.
Why Should You Consider Facebook Live?
**Built in Audience: Your audience is already there. These are your friends, fans, tribe… Your people! They don’t have to download another app or learn how to use it. In fact, according to Facebook, one in five internet pageviews occurs on Facebook, and the average person “Facebooks” for 20 minutes at a time. With Facebook Live, you can easily capture some of that attention.
**Facebook is Rewarding FB Live: When you post a status update on Facebook, it doesn’t immediately go out to all of your friends/fans. There are lots of considerations and computations taking place with Facebook’s algorithm, but basically your post is sent out to a small number of people, and if the engagement is high, that post will be sent to another small group and so on. When testing Facebook Live, I’m seeing live video content being ‘rewarded’ by Facebook, ie: sending that same type of post to a larger audience. Larger by a factor of 100x. One of my clients ran FB Live performances on similar music artists… One was a 5 minute video uploaded to Facebook and one was a 5 minute Facebook Live video. The Facebook Live video received 10,000 impressions vs. 3,000 for the pre-recorded video.
**Facebook Live is the Easiest Way to Produce Video Content: As a society we are voting with our eyes that we want to see video content for everything. YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world right now and video will get the biggest bang for your content on Facebook. You can produce this video for virtually free and once you are done shooting the video on Facebook Live, it will auto-post to Facebook. If you don’t like it, you can delete it, but if you leave it there, it stays forever on your timeline. It will also give you the option to download to your device if you have the space for you to use on another platform later. You can also embed a Facebook Live video (sample at the end of this blog).
**Incredibly Low Barrier of Entry: All it takes is a mobile phone and a decent internet connection. That’s it. Everyone is their own broadcasting station with a built in audience.
Here are some tips on using FB Live to Increase Views
- DND: Nothing like being interrupted by text alerts, phone calls and Pokemon Go updates. Turn on your Do Not Disturb before you start a FB Live session.
- Add Titles Beforehand: Think through your titles and write them in a notes app on your phone. That way, you don’t have to type from scratch right before you go live, it’s a simple cut/paste. These titles are what your friends are seeing when they get a notification in their newsfeeds. “Jason Elkins is live [TITLE]”. Make sure you are specific and intentional! My Facebook friend Yolanda posted about an event she was attending, and it was short, but very specific (even had the city).
- Check Internet Connection: Whenever possible connect to local wifi. I was in the middle of a presentation and wanted to show the audience how easy it was to use Facebook Live. I added my title, and started to broadcast, only to receive a notification on that my internet connection wasn’t strong enough. I had to then ask for a password, then wait for the connection… This sucks for a live scenario, and took the momentum out of the presentation. Don’t do that.
- Can You Hear Me Now? Make sure your audio is solid. You can get away with shaky video today, as long as people can hear you. If you speak loud enough and the background noise is low, you can do this without an external mic. However the external mics are inexpensive and will enhance the overall experience. (I’ve been doing research on good mics/equipment to use and I’ll be sharing that this week in another blog).
- Promote Your FB Live: If you are doing this as a series, or are using this as a type of webinar or announcement, make a quick graphic in Canva or in an app and post that a few days ahead of time, to let people know when you are going live. (Make sure you start on time if you do this).
- Use What You Makes You Special: One of my software development clients is using Facebook Live as a webinar type series to introduce new features, answer technical questions and show the human side of the developers/support folks in the company. A painter friend is preparing a painting instruction series, a law client is exploring the legal aspects of an “ask a lawyer” FB Live scenario. A client that builds tour buses is giving their own ‘tours’ of their gorgeous homes-on-wheels.
- Take Questions From Your Crowd: A good way to encourage engagement and build relationships with your audience is to answer questions that your audience is posting. If you have a large audience, pick and choose a few that would be helpful to them and/or the crowd, and if you use people’s names as you address them. This will help build stronger connections.
- Facebook Live For a Long Time: For the optimum views (assuming that what you are doing is compelling to your audience) try a bit of a longer video. There was LOTS of data when YouTube video creators started realizing the benefits of video, and they would tell you “NEVER LONGER THAN 3 MINUTES” or 2 or 5… Basically the shorter the better as long as the content was great.However, on Facebook’s blog about Facebook Live, they suggest longer videos. “We recommend that you go live for at least 10 minutes, and you can stay live for up to 90 minutes.” This allows Facebook to continue to send notifications out to your audience’s newsfeeds that you are now live, which in turn will create a larger audience. A client and good friend Alexandra from the Gospel Music Association, recently toured the Facebook headquarters in New York with her husband’s band “The Afters”. Facebook had invited The Afters to do a Facebook Live video at Facebook’s NY headquarters. Alexandra asked the folks at Facebook if more shorter FB Live videos were a better strategy than one longer FB Live video. They encouraged her to go with longer videos! The Afters video was just over 13 minutes (embedded below).(FYI: The Afters new record drops this week: “Live on Forever”. I’ve heard it, it’s amazing. https://itun.es/us/8xGMdb)
Here is the Facebook Live Video from Facebook Headquarters in NYC.
One more reminder: Most people don’t like seeing / hearing themselves on video. Do it anyway! Facebook Live video posts are consistently the highest engaged posts for ALL of my clients.
Are you using Facebook Live? Tell me about your experiences with it and if you have any other tips to add to this list, feel free to post them in the comments!