Since inception, Facebook Live has allowed anyone and everyone to broadcast videos in real time — from Michael Phelps showcasing his experience in Rio and Kobe Bryant playing in his final NBA game, to the Emmys taking us behind the scenes.
But this new phenomenon doesn’t stop at celebrities: My personal newsfeed is filled with friends and family live streaming concerts, documenting their travel excursions and broadcasting from their own digital soapbox.
As a marketing expert, I believe now is a better time than ever for businesses to jump on the Facebook Live bandwagon. Not only is it one more exciting opportunity to showcase who you are as a company and what makes you unique, but Facebook gives priority to Live videos in people’s News Feeds. It’s an opportunity to break through the clutter.
So what’s the best way to use Facebook Live? Let’s start with the basics.
Get started with Facebook Live
Luckily, the only tools you need to broadcast on Facebook are a smartphone and a good internet connection (Wi-Fi or 4G).
If you’re streaming on behalf of your business, go to your Business page. Click “Publish” as if you were creating a post, then click on “Live Video.” Next, describe your live video in one short headline, like “Behind The Scenes at My Company.” Then click the blue, “Go Live” button.
Once you’re live, be aware that your Facebook followers will be notified of your broadcast. The top half of your screen will display what viewers see, while the bottom half displays comments and notifications.
Facebook Live best practices
Before you decide to go live, consider what you want to say and showcase. Here are some best practices to help you get started.
You want to come across as authentic and genuine, so don’t read off a script. Prior to going live, think about what you want to accomplish and what you want your followers to take away. Are you a restaurant showcasing the prep work behind your meals? Discuss the details behind your recipes and give us a tour of your kitchen.
Announce it ahead of time
In order to increase views and engagement, let people know ahead of time that you’ll be going live. For example, one of our clients will be rehearsing for their big show at a set date and time, so we let our followers know that we’ll be broadcasting live on Facebook so they could get a sneak peek. Post a day or two ahead of time, explaining what you’ll be broadcasting and what time you’ll be doing it.
Pay attention to audio and lighting
Though I did mention you want to be authentic, it’s still important to have quality lighting and sound. If users can’t see or hear your live broadcast, they’ll stop watching immediately. Invest in a wireless lavaliere microphone that you can plug into your phone, and record in well-lit areas.
Share behind the scenes
People love going behind the scenes. Facebook Live is a great platform to showcase how your product is made or capture a day in the life at your company. Give us something that we wouldn’t be able to see elsewhere. As a result, individuals will be more apt to watch your future broadcasts.
Keep your phone steady
It can be easy to constantly move around, but for the sake of your viewer’s stomach, refrain from a mobile rollercoaster ride. Be sure to hold your phone steady and make slow movements or invest in a smartphone stabilizer.
Open the floor for Q&A
Facebook Live allows viewers to ask questions during broadcasts. This is a great time to address them. Be sure to mention the person’s name when you address their question so you’re speaking directly to them. Don’t forget to respond to comments once the live broadcast is over. Your live broadcast will stay on your newsfeed for others to watch, so encourage people to ask questions or comment long after the live version is wrapped.
With these quick Facebook Live tips, you can provide your followers with something they’ll want to engage with — and still have fun while doing it.
This article has been edited.
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