In August of 2015, Facebook announced an entirely new way for people to engage with their family, friends and fans.
Facebook Live was instantly all about what was happening at an exact moment in time. It was a way to show people something, rather than just tell them. It was an opportunity to make people part of things — even when they weren’t physically there. But… it was also very exclusive.
First, they unlocked access for top celebrities. Then major media outlets. Then important influencers. Then, seven months later, they unrolled the feature to every single Facebook user. And now, it’s truly taken over.
Today, one in five Facebook videos is live, and according to Google Trends, search popularity for the phrase “Facebook live stream” has increased by more than 330 percent.
Additionally, a recent report from Facebook says users watch Facebook Live videos three times longer than videos that aren’t live, and live videos are driving comments at more than 10 times the rate of non-live videos.
Why should my brand do a live video?
Facebook Live is affordable, and it’s easy. It’s a way to tell a story in real time and reach a significant amount of people, as the algorithm prioritizes this type of content. And because it’s still in its early adoption phase, it’s not too crowded – which means there’s not a lot of competition. At any given moment, your live video could be the only piece in production, which means it would be ranked rather high. Additionally, because Facebook isn’t yet monetizing live broadcasts, it pays to play in the space.
Plus, after a live video airs, it will be published to the page. So, even if someone doesn’t watch live, they can still stumble upon it later. It lends itself to a long shelf life.
What are the tips and tricks?
Think you can’t pull off a perfect live video? Think again. All for you and your brand, we’ve compiled a list of the best tips and tricks that exist:
- Storyboard your broadcast. Know what the beginning, middle and end will look like.
- Cast talent. Whether it’s an industry influencer, brand ambassador or an employee, decide who will deliver your message.
- Test it out. Practice makes perfect. Before you go live for the first time, do a test run. On any Facebook post, you can switch the privacy setting to “Only Me,” so only you can watch what’s recorded.
- Tell fans when you’ll be going live, ahead of time. Promote your live video across all social media channels and encourage people to tune in. Within your teaser posts, you can even ask fans to subscribe to your live notifications. That way, they won’t miss a thing.
- Write a catchy description before going live. What will your video actually be about? Have a status update ready to paste into your post.
- Go live when you have a strong connection. Before you begin, make sure you actually have the ability to broadcast. Facebook recommends a strong WiFi signal, but if you can’t find a nearby network, use 4G. (To check your internet speed ahead of time, just download the Speedtest app.)
- Shoot horizontally. To record a full screen video, start the broadcast in landscape orientation. Just remember: You won’t be able to change the orientation once the broadcast has begun. So, turn your phone to landscape mode before you press the “go live” button.
- Repeat the most important parts, like who is talking, and why. When you start the video, have the speaker say who they are and what they’ll be talking about. Then, as more and more people join in, the speaker should quickly do it again. It’ll bring new viewers up to speed, and hopefully interest them enough that they won’t leave.
- Encourage engagements. Then, engage back. When a live video has a high number of comments, Facebook will give it a high relevancy score – which means it’ll likely appear higher in feeds. So, when you see comments (and reactions) appear live, start a conversation. Say hello to people by name, then respond. Expecting a lot of viewers? Recruit someone who can help respond by replying in the comments section. That way, these people may not get a mention in the live stream, but they’ll still get a response in real time.
- Broadcast for 10 minutes or more. As soon as you go live, viewers will slowly (but surely) start to join in. And as those viewers like, comment and share, even more people will discover your video. But, because you need some time to attract an audience – even if you gave them advance notice – you’ll want to be live long enough for people to tune in. The sweet spot? Ten minutes. But, explore different durations and optimize accordingly. (A live video can last up to four hours.)
- Use a closing line to signal the end of the broadcast. Let people know the broadcast is over. And if you can, let them know when you’ll be back.
What should we measure?
After a live video, you’ll want to see how well it performed. To do so, the most important metrics are: video completion rates, reach and engagement rate.
How should we shoot?
Initially, live videos could only be broadcast from a mobile device. But now, you can stream live from a desktop computer – which can make it a little easier to execute. Gadgets like the MEVO by Livestream and the DJI Osmo can also support you and your projects.
When it comes to live video, the opportunities for advancement are endless. In the future – immediate or not – look for live 360° videos, live videos with ad breaks and maybe even a Facebook TV app. (Meanwhile, we’ll look for a live video from YOU!)
Want more social media insights? Subscribe to the Brogan Weekly Recap – a skimmable email that will arrive in your inbox every Friday.