Facebook Live provides a great way to engage your audiences, and the best part is it’s free and easy to use! No matter what industry you are in, any company can take advantage of Facebook’s interactive feature. However, it does require a little strategy to get it right. Here’s our best practices to create high quality and authentic engaging Facebook Live stream video.
The question is, “how can you leverage this effective format to increase engagement for your brand”?
1. Build an authentic connection with your audience - be personable
The best part of creating a Facebook Live stream is that it’s authentic and doesn’t require post production. This gives a raw and humanized look at a brand, and that’s exactly what audiences are craving in a world of stunning manicured photos and videos. You want to be open and honest, use humor and try to relax. Try to think of how you can be approachable and create a one-to-one connection with you audience.
Here is a great example from Stella & Dot which demonstrates just that. This post generated over 8,000 interactions and 209,000 views, making it the second most-engaging Facebook Live video across the fashion industry in 2017.
*note, click play and enter full-screen for a better viewing experience*
Tip: This post looks effortless and personable in nature. The woman speaking was enthusiastic, smiling and seems approachable, and the video looks like it was captured on a mobile phone. She knows her audience, she informed the Stella & Dot community about their latest collection and gave a strong call-to-action (CTA) at the end. In short, it was simple, not overly processed and had a purpose.
2. Plan your Facebook Live stream before you broadcast
It’s important that you determine the objectives you want to achieve with your Facebook Live stream. What are the key messages and core brand objectives you are trying to convey? Remember who your audience is and why you’re talking to them. You need to define what success means. Think of specific metrics and KPIs, do you want to:
educate your audiences
stimulate a CTA such as an app install or website visits
3. Practice your Facebook Live in advance
Yes, Facebook Live is less polished than a traditional television newscast or documentary production with a grand set-up of lights and cameras, but it still requires thoughtful consideration of its content. After-all, you still represent your brand. So, now that you’ve determined the objective of your Facebook Live stream, it’s time to devote your focus to what you’ll be speaking about. We encourage doing a dry run before launching that Facebook Live broadcast. This will help you discover which talking points are the most interesting to discuss, as well as mitigate technological difficulties, and reduce nervousness.
Create Live Videos That Hook Audiences In Using Actionable Data
The more you do Facebook Live streams, the better you’ll become and the less practice you’ll need. The point of practicing is to see how the conversation flows organically with your guest and where you should focus your attention. You don’t want to to overdo your practice runs and sound scripted when you go live.
4. Promote your Facebook Live to tease your audience
As you are gearing up to conduct your Facebook Live, it’s critical that you inform your audiences when you are about to go live. Do not tease your audience only on one channel, cross-promote it to maximize the number of video views. If you build anticipation, then it will give them something to look forward to and tune in. If you happen to be collaborating with an an influencer, you will want them to promote the Facebook Live broadcast beforehand as well. That will help you reach their network and encourage more people to watch your discussion.
5. If you make a mistake on camera, just keep going
In the real world, sometimes we use the wrong word or term, it’s natural, but you won’t be reprimanded for it. Of course on camera, you don’t want to make mistakes or cause your video editor to pull her hair out. But on a Facebook Live stream, it’s just as normal and could be good fodder for the conversation. Slip ups happen, so if you make a mistake, don’t get discouraged. Use it, make a joke, turn it into enthusiasm, but just keep going! Don't be afraid to do that. That's what makes Facebook Live so powerful and fun, because it's not overly polished. Also you should keep your global audiences in mind - make sure to list the various time-zones so everyone can be watching at the right time.
6. Get audiences to participate during your Facebook Live
One way to increase engagement during your Facebook Live stream is to encourage your viewers to participate throughout the video. Create a dialogue between you and your audience, but what’s even better is if it sparks a conversation between them. You could respond to those questions in the video during the broadcast. Don’t leave questions unanswered. Go back and respond to the comment thread if you didn’t have a chance to address questions during the Facebook Live stream.
7. Think of a story - it has a strong beginning, middle, and end
Just like a story, videos should have a similar trajectory as well. First keep in mind that you’ll need to give your audience some time to join your Facebook Live stream, so this may take a couple of minutes. So don’t get into the thick of the conversation just yet, know that the large bulk of your audience are still to come. Instead, think of an attention grabber to captivate your audience at the beginning. It could be a statistic, a personal story about yourself, the reason for doing the Facebook Live video - but whatever it is, just be authentic and make it personable. You need to develop a connection with your audience from the beginning.
Keep in mind that your Fans will be joining your Facebook Live stream at various times as well. So you want to be sure that you check in with them frequently and reintroduce the topic and your guest several times throughout the Facebook Live broadcast e.g. “for those of you joining, welcome, we are here with Ms. Smith and discussing...”
This will also be a good time to encourage that audience to participate. Another critical component to your story is having a meaningful end. Remind yourself of what your audiences’ next step should be - you created this video to achieve a certain objective and the CTA that will lead to it. Start by summarizing the key takeaways, thank your guest for joining (if it was an interview format), as well as thanking your audience for watching. Point out what your audience should have learned while watching the video, and again, incorporate your CTA.
8. Measure your performance and implement your best practices
Ok, so you've finished your Facebook Live stream and are already thinking about your next one. Wrong! You need to look back and analyze how it performed to see what worked, then go back and use those best practices next time. Look at what people were commenting on, revisit those peaks in reactions and comments, for example. This will help you identify what really resonated with your audience so perhaps you can focus on that next time. You could use that for an attention grabber or use it in other content later. If you want to really step-up your game, look at how your competitors and other industries are leveraging Facebook Live streams for their business.
We also encourage your review process to consider how you can include the role of Facebook Live videos into the wider video and social media strategy. How can you integrate Live video metrics into your social media reporting scenario to help provide additional value? I think if you're not including Live video metrics today into your overall reporting structure, you're missing out on a huge opportunity.
9. General tips while doing a Facebook Live
Breathe deeply, it’s easy to get nervous
Smile at the camera and to create an authentic connection with your audience
Use humor and try to relax
Mistakes happen – embrace them
Turn nervous energy into enthusiasm
Pause – it helps to emphasize certain points and shows that you’re reflecting on your thoughts
Have talking points handy or what you need to mention in the video
As the trend of video consumption continues to rise, we predict that Facebook Live will become even more important for social media marketers. In short, Facebook Live provides new opportunities for marketers to engage their audiences in a landscape where live broadcasts are becoming immensely popular. We’re seeing that audiences are demanding short form and digestible content.
Creating great live video content begins by looking at who's mastered it and learning from them. Start monitoring live videos for any Facebook page and see which moments get the most interactions from that audience. Try it today.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.