#1: Promote Before You Broadcast
Facebook Live allows you to target your personal network, the fans of a business page (if you’re an admin), a group, or an event. If you can’t find a group or event to meet your needs, consider starting one.
It’s important to let your audience know about your upcoming live video with news feed posts. Experiment with images and perhaps even a short video to tell them about the bigger video to come.
If your live video is important enough, you can boost your announcement posts as paid Facebook ads. Then, remind your audience again right before you go live.
#2: Prepare and Practice
Before you broadcast your live video, you need to do some preparation to ensure that viewers will be able to hear you clearly without distraction, follow your future broadcasts, and participate.
Set Up Your Location
Here are some tips for optimizing the location and setup for your live video:
- Try to minimize background and ambient noise. While users will expect the production quality to be a bit raw and unrehearsed, be sure that they can see and hear you without undue distractions.
- Decide whether to hold the phone yourself or use some type of mount. You could also delegate the job to a co-worker. For the live video, you can use either the front- or rear-facing camera.
- Choose a spot that has a strong broadband connection.
#3: Be Personable
When you’re ready to broadcast to your audience, start by relaxing, and don’t forget to smile. Make yourself comfortable and the audience will follow. You don’t need to give people a 60 Minutes-level production, but you do need to give them a reason to like you.
Introduce yourself and your company and tell the audience what you plan to cover. Unlike a prerecorded YouTube video, viewers will have no idea of the time commitment involved so help manage their expectations. Encourage comments and other feedback. You’ll be able to see how many viewers you have at any time.
Important: Be sure to end your live video with a call to action and tell your audience a bit about your plans for the next video. Ask them to share the archived copy of the video that will be in the timeline. Make sure that they can easily contact you with any follow-up questions.
#4: Optimize Your Live Recording
Facebook Live videos are immediately archived, and it’s quite common for archive views to exceed live views.
Add a post-show comment thanking everyone again for watching. Encourage further comments and questions to get more news feed activity and engagement.
You can edit some of the metadata of the video and change the thumbnail. Click on the date stamp (which also acts as a permalink that you can use for sharing), click on Options, and select Edit This Video. You’ll probably need to do this from Facebook.com, especially if you’re using the Android app.
#5: Analyze the Results
Facebook added two new metrics for live videos. You’ll be able to see the total number of people who watched at least a portion of the video, along with a running count of how many viewers you had at different points in time.
The Audience Retention metric could assist your plans for the length of future videos. Given the attention that Facebook Live is getting, there should be future releases of analytics that provide even more data about the interests and demographics of viewers.
Experiment with your next live video. Try a different day of the week or time, modify your approach, and perhaps add a second person on camera. The great thing about video is that there are so many ways to approach it.