6 Things We Learned From Our First Time Using Facebook Live

We recently did our first Facebook Live broadcast!

The experience was a great one, but it was one that we learned from as well. Getting Facebook Live right doesn’t have to be a mystery and you don’t have to make the same mistakes that we found ourselves making.

Here are some of the strategies that we gleaned from our experience, things that we’ll be sure to address in our next outing with Facebook Live.

Promote

The thing about Facebook Live is that it’s live. Though you’re going to catalog your video for future viewing (lots more on that later), the whole point of the thing is that it’s right now! You can’t just throw up the camera and expect people to tune in.

The more you make this event an EVENT, the more people will tune in and the better your video will be. There are tons of interactive features with Facebook Live that really only work if there are people online with you. You’ll want to reach out to people prior, create a Facebook event, send out an email, etc. Use your networking and promotional ability to get as many people on as you can. Though Facebook Live is certainly easier to get people into that a brick and mortar event, it’s not magic. Do the legwork beforehand to make sure you’ll have people online and engaging with you.

Practice what you preach

Whatever it is that you’re talking about in the video, make sure these are steps that you’re practicing yourself. If you’re doing a tutorial about how to, say, create a great Facebook Live video, you should be doing the things that you’re asking others to do, otherwise you lose trust. Because people are sitting right online when they’re watching, they’ve got easy access to your Facebook page, your website, and everything else you’re talking about in your video. And they will look. In fact, you WANT them to be looking!

Get all of your ducks in a row before you go live. If you say that popups are the best way to capture emails on a website, then you should have a popup to collect them on your site. If you’re touting blue berets as the hottest fashion trend, then you should be wearing a blue beret. You get the idea.

Be friendly and presentable on camera

This is something that comes with practice and with experience. People want to see you, but you also want to be confident in the way you look on camera. It’s worth a trial run in the clothes, hairstyle, etc. prior to you going live. Check your body angles, fix the lighting, change the background, etc. Are you wearing a green jacket and sitting in front of a green painting? Is the camera too far away from you? Too close? How’s the sound?

It’s a simple thing to check on the way that the video looks, feels, and sounds prior to going live. The reality is that you’re going to be looking back on this and dissecting it in the aftermath of your Facebook Live shoot, and you want it to look as professional as possible to project the image you like.

Another major key to success in a Facebook Live shoot is to be friendly. The people that we love to watch onscreen are those that are relatable. A friendly nature goes a long way in any kind of broadcasting, social media broadcasting included. There is no shame in practicing beforehand, and in fact it’ll vastly improve the look and feel of your videos. You’ll thank yourself later.

Get great equipment

As long as you have a smartphone and an internet connection, you can go live, which is exactly what we did! However, you’ll project a much more professional image with a few extras. A simple microphone isn’t prohibitive and can be integrated easily to improve sound quality many times over. A tripod makes a massive difference in your ability to get the right camera angle. The more you put into this venture, the more you’re going to get out of it.

Interact

The beauty of Facebook Live is that you can interact with your audience! Be sure to thank the people watching and acknowledge comments/questions in real time if you can. It might help to have a team member monitoring the comments while you are live. Once your video is over, go back and tag it properly to allow people to find it more easily. Add captions and comments to enrich the material you’ve presented. If you miss some comments in real-time, be sure to address them afterwards. One of the biggest disservices you can do to yourself is to just broadcast and forget it. This is great stuff that you’re offering to viewers! Be sure to take advantage of the reach that you get once you’ve completed your video.

Which leads us to . . .

Repurpose your videos

There’s more to Facebook Live videos than just broadcasting them on Facebook. You can download your recorded Facebook Live videos right from your Facebook page. You can then upload your videos to YouTube or to Vimeo or even embed them on your own website, which we did at the top of this post. Share your video with the people who subscribe to your newsletter, perhaps with a teaser for the next Facebook Live broadcast that you’ve got scheduled (promotion is a circle after all).

Another great idea is to create a blog post that communicates your Facebook Live information into a written format. Not everyone is going to watch a video, so you can reach a wider audience by generating written content to go along with your video, embedding the video right there for them to see as well. Facebook Live broadcasting offers you an amazing opportunity to create rich content!

The live broadcast medium is here to stay and it’s something that every business can benefit from. With the right preparation and attention to detail, it can be an incredibly useful tool for businesses. It’s one we’re certainly going to use in the future.

Like us on Facebook and stay tuned for the announcement of our next Facebook Live event!

This article was originally published on the Imaginovation blog.

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