In case you haven’t noticed, Facebook is betting big on live streaming. Released in April, it’s already become a powerful tool for sharing experiences—and people are watching.
At first glance, it seems like something that might separate business from pleasure. People are using it on their personal accounts— now you don’t have to just look at picture’s of your friend’s food, you can’t watch them eat it, live! But there’s plenty of reasons businesses should be live streaming, as well.
Facebook is changing its algorithm again to give priority to family/friends posts—meaning brands that struggle with reaching audiences organically might see their numbers drop even lower. But here’s how they can recover: While you are broadcasting with Facebook Live, your post gets priority and is pinned to the top of viewers’ news feeds, increasing your reach. Our top Facebook Live stream got nearly 15,000 views!
We know the average person has an 8-second attention span when watching traditional videos (yes, that’s less than a goldfish, which ends at nine seconds). Yet when it comes to watching live streaming videos, viewers are, surprisingly, watching 20-minute live streams. We’re guessing that’s because it has the same appeal as reality tv—the story is seemingly unscripted.
Consider this a great new tool to get your message out to a captivated audience.
Speaking of attention spans, you made it this far into the post, so now we’re going to reward you with some tips on how to shoot a live stream. Having done a few of them myself, here are my top tips:
If you have more than one person in the screen, make sure they all fit!
Facebook Live broadcasts as a square. Set it up ahead of time (but don’t go live) and view how the shot looks.
Choose a quiet location if possible, and use a microphone to capture sound.
You’re shooting this from your phone, so it will feel low-production (that’s okay, and is to be expected). But, you still want your viewers to hear what you’re saying. To improve sound quality, find a quiet space, speak loudly, and/or use a condenser mic.
Got an incoming call while filming? Don’t panic—just hit decline!
NOT NOW MOM. When the phone rings while your in mid-broadcast, hit “decline.” Better yet, put your phone on vibrate or silent beforehand so you don’t have your DMX ringtone awkwardly captured in the background.
Type your copy ahead of time (but know you can always go back and edit later).
Make things easier on yourself. Type up your copy ahead of time in an email or notes app. Include any links, emojis, or CTAs, “copy all”, and then paste when prompted for your live stream text. If you catch an error later, or want to change anything, Facebook allows you to go back and edit the post.
Prep your on-screen talent (how to open, talking points, what to do if they mess up).
If you have someone speaking on your live stream, it’s a good idea to prep them with some talking points (give a brief intro about yourself, talk about these things, end with this call-to-action). Remind them that they will be live, which means if they mess up they can’t drop F-bombs and then ask to start over.
Use tools to help with shaky camera syndrome.
Sometimes it’s hard to hold your phone steady. It’s not a big deal, but if you want it to look a little more polished, invest in a tripod.
Horizontal or Vertical? It doesn’t matter!
Horizontal or vertical, it will show up correctly, as a square in your feed. Still feeling apprehensive about going horizontal? Test it out on a dummy account.
Promote it after!
Do some promotion to maximize your viewership. After you broadcast, the video lives forever (unlike Periscope), so you can promote it again afterwards to increase views and sharing. Yay repurposing content!
Now go forth, and go live.