In case you haven’t already heard (or seen), Facebook recently introduced a new feature that allows users to stream live video to their connections. It’s called Facebook Live, and given the current love affair with instant, live broadcast, it’s no surprise that the feature has taken off like wildfire, particularly for businesses. In fact, according to Digiday, one brand, the Economist, has seen a tremendous response to incorporating videos into their Facebook marketing strategy.
[The Economist’s] videos are averaging around 45,000 views, peaking at 2,000 at any one time and get around 500 comments, 10 times the interactions that links to articles get.”
It’s obvious that live broadcast is the next big thing in social media marketing, but as with anything else, there’s a right way and a wrong way to approach this type of communication. That said, let’s go over a few tips and best practices to help you get the most out of your Facebook Live interactions.
Verify your connection.
First and foremost, you’ll want to ensure that the connection you’ve got set up is strong enough to withstand and support live streaming. A good Wi-Fi signal is ideal, but if you aren’t going to be using your computer or you don’t have access to Wi-Fi where you’re streaming, you’ll need at least a 4-G connection in order to prevent poor image quality or annoying interruptions.
Pay attention to length.
There’s a fine balance between keeping your audience tuned in and entertained and losing their interest altogether. The general consensus for Facebook Live is to broadcast for at least a minimum of 10 minutes. Anything shorter than that and you risk not reaching enough of your audience. After all, the goal is to grab their attention and draw them in. Too short and you’ll miss the mark. As far as how long to broadcast, there’s no magic answer. Your best bet is to see how long people continue to actively engage with you while you’re streaming. When things slow down, sign off.
Make it personal.
The beauty of live streaming is that it presents another avenue for connecting and engaging with your fans and followers. Take advantage of this by making your video broadcasts interactive and personal. Invite viewers to introduce themselves and welcome them by name (if possible). Ask questions and encourage viewers to participate in a live discussion by sharing their answers, thoughts and opinions in the comment field. The more you make it a two-way street, the better the results.
Have a purpose in mind.
Don’t just live stream because you can. Have a purpose and goal in mind for each message. Before going live, determine what you’d like to accomplish with your video. What kind of value will your broadcast bring to your customers and prospects? How can you leverage this powerful medium to further establish human relationships with your brand? Also, figure out if it makes sense to develop a basic agenda you’d like to follow or if you’d prefer to wing it.
Spontaneity is great, but unless you time it perfectly, your unplanned broadcast will probably not reach the number of people you’re hoping for. Just like any other marketing campaign, your Facebook Live videos should be planned in advance and promoted beforehand. Give your fans and followers ample notice and suggest that they mark their calendars so they can watch and participate when the time comes. The live stream feature also provides the ability to subscribe at the click of a button, either during a live broadcast or when watching one that was previously recorded, so encourage viewers to click so they can be notified each time you’re live again.
So, there you have it. Now you’re ready to start sharing your story live and connecting with your target audience in real-time. What are you waiting for? Start streaming!