Tips for Using Facebook Live

I don’t know about you, but it seems like every time I turn around there is a new tool on social media. These developments are exciting for a PR person because they open doors for new ways we can help our clients get their message out to their target audiences. That being said, I personally find it hard to truly form an opinion of what’s useful and what’s going to flop until I’ve seen it done a few times.

So, while this may not be brand new anymore, I’d like to spend sometime talking about Facebook Live.

If you’re unfamiliar, Facebook Live is a live-streaming feature launched by Facebook earlier this year. With it, any user can broadcast what they’re doing in real-time to anyone on the platform. Afterwards, the video is saved to your page like any other content you’ve uploaded.

Facebook Live can be an useful tool for engaging with your audience. As social media has evolved over the past few years, we’ve seen that followers tend to enjoy and engage more with brands that act more “human.” This tool is a great way to do that.

For example, during the Olympics, Michael Phelps used it to casually answer fan questions and give his followers a glimpse into what it’s like to hang out with him and his roommates in the Olympic village. With videos like this, Phelps makes himself more relatable to his fans and followers. As a brand, it’s important to remember that the pages your audience is following show up right in line with the posts they see from friends and family. The more you can blend in to that feed, the more likely users are to interact and keep following you.

I know what you’re probably thinking – okay cool, but I’m not Michael Phelps and no one wants to watch me and my developers hang out at the office. Well, your right. However, B2B companies have had a lot of success using Facebook Live in different ways.

For example, our client Red Hat used it during their annual Summit to live steam experts talking about some of the biggest trends and announcements coming out of the event. This gave both attendees and people who couldn’t make it to the event a chance to ask questions directly and hear from subject matter experts in a less formal setting.

If you’re intrigued and interested in exploring the potential of Facebook Live but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few tips:

 

Promote:

If you have time, make sure your audience knows that you’re going to be streaming, what the topic is and who is going to be on video. This doesn’t just have to be on Facebook, post it on twitter and LinkedIn (without spamming anyone) so you get the message across to all of your followers. That way, they can plan to attend and (hopefully) prepare some good questions for the star of the show. Additionally it’s a great idea to encourage followers to click “Live Subscribe” during a live video. That way, they get a notification the next time you start streaming.

Prepare:

As a business using Facebook Live, you’ll want to present yourself as professionally as possible. While it’s is a casual platform, you want your audience to see that you have it together. This means preparing, if you’re at an offsite location make sure to choose a place with a high-speed, reliable Wi-Fi connection and minimal background distractions. You may also want to invest in a quality microphone and have it ready to go for the live-stream.

Engage:

This probably goes without saying, but the beauty of this platform is that it isn’t just live TV — it’s interactive. Your speakers should absolutely be prepared with talking points in case there is a lull, but be sure to address and engage with comments you receive in real-time.

Pro tips: If possible have your PR person on stand by. They can be a huge asset in screening questions and reading them out, saving your SME from awkwardly having to fumble over an answer. Additionally, they can be on point to post links to any articles, collateral, etc. that someone posts in the feed.

Evaluate:

Congratulations! You’re wrapping up your first Facebook Live event! Now what? First off, before the video ends make sure your on-camera speakers encourage viewers to follow your Facebook page as well as any other handles or accounts that you are trying to grow.

When the video is over, take some time with your speakers and your team to gather feedback and analyze results. Talk about what went well and what can be improved upon next time. You can never have a full house on social media, so there is always room for more followers!