Should You Be Planning to Use Facebook Live?

Have you heard of Facebook Live?

Have you seen any Facebook Live streams?

With Periscope and Meerkat so popular it would stand to reason that Facebook would introduce live streaming as well.  Just like the other tools available to connect with your fans, Facebook Live will allow you to connect with your fans, friends and followers by sharing real-time video of what you are seeing and doing.    The real question though is should you use it?  I am a firm believer in knowing who your ideal customer is and marketing to that ideal customer.  I believe not taking the time to do that is actually wasting your time in marketing.  There is no doubt that Facebook is the largest platform out there, but if your ideal customer is not on Facebook, then there is little sense in taking the time  out of your busy schedule to add this to your arsenal. We all know that visual content is the only way to go today.  The shift now is towards video.  

 

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People have been using Facebook video for some time now.  More brands are now uploading video directly to Facebook rather than sharing YouTube videos. Facebook has been releasing Live over the past several months.  It actually started in August 2015 for verified public figures. Live became available to select people on their personal profiles and then to verified Facebook pages later in the month.  Right now it is only available to select users with iPhone.  They will roll it out to more profiles and users as well as Android users in the coming months.  Here are some simple facts that might help you when it comes to sharing Live on Facebook.

  • Go to your Page on Facebook iOS and tap Publish

  • Select Live Video and write a description
  • During the broadcast you can see the number of viewers as well as the names of other verified people or pages who are tuning in
  • You can also see real-time stream comments
  • When you finish, your video will appear on your timeline, making it available to those that may have missed it. Of course the option to delete the post is available, just like any other post

You might be tempted to think that if you do not have access to Facebook live, why learn or do anything yet.  That is a huge mistake.  If Facebook is the platform for your ideal customer, then now is exactly the time to begin planning.  Follow some of the tips and tactics that are available on the other live streaming services like PeriscopeMeerkat, or even Google+ hangouts. Now is the time to start making videos and uploading them to Facebook, getting your fans used to seeing your videos and to start enjoying them.  It also gives you the opportunity to practice before you attempt something live.

Want to broadcast through your profile?

  • To broadcast through your profile, tap to update your status and then click on the share live video box

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  • You will be asked to allow the microphone and camera access to your phone,

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  • Next you will write in the quick description in the status update which is in fact your title.  This title is what will go out in the newsfeed and in notifications.

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  • You can also choose what audience (specific friends or public) before going live.
  • You can point the camera at yourself or at your surroundings. 
  • Invite viewers to tap the Subscribe button.  This will then give them notifications that you are going live.

This is where you will see comments

This is where you will see comments

 

  • When you complete your broadcast, it will be saved to your timeline, just like other videos you have uploaded.

Want to enable the follower option?

  • Go to settings

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  • Click followers in the left column

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  • Click on “who can follow me”.  This is the real difference between Periscope and Facebook Live.  Periscope does not give you a choice.  Of course if you are a business, you are going to select everybody
  • Now all of your friends and followers can subscribe when you go live

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  • Just a side note, another difference is that Facebook Live video remains on your timeline indefinitely…just like they were regular video posts.  Periscope broadcasts, on the other hand, only remain on the Periscope servers for 24 hours.  Meerkat videos disappear immediately following the live broadcast.

Of course the disadvantage of Facebook Live is that it is a network-specific live streaming tool.  Periscope and Meerkat can be used independently of any social network, and Facebook Live can only be shared on Facebook

Now that you have an idea about the basics, let’s go into a bit more detail:

Tell Friends ahead of time about the broadcast

Letting your fans know about your upcoming broadcast helps you to build that audience.

Improve your Broadcast

Be prepared.  Do not try to just go live and speak randomly.  Know what you plan to talk about ahead of time.  You want others to know you are a real business, so act like it.

Create a great title.  Of course the title needs to relate to the broadcast.  This is not the time to have catch phrases or sneaking ways to get folks to come to your broadcast, you want them to listen, not get frustrated with you and leave.  You also want to remember that you want to build your audience, not loose folks. 

Speak clearly, loudly and use a microphone.  Avoid the background noise if possible.

 

Personally I do not have the time to listen intently to a video because the audio is poor.  I will leave in a heartbeat and you can bet others will as well.

Remember there is a front and a back to the camera.  That may sound like a “dah comment”, but I write it to remind you to share your surroundings.  It does not hurt to go back and forth instead of having the camera constantly on you. Remember when you are not facing yourself to speak up.

This is an “all about me generation”. If you know someone is watching, then take the time to acknowledge them.  Respond to any comments during or after the show.  You have to acknowledge that audience not just broadcast and forget it.

Check the signal strength. You do not want to go live unless you have a strong signal.   If it is a weak signal, your “Go live” button will be grayed out.   To have a strong signal, you will need at least a 4g connection or be on Wi-Fi. If you lose a connection while live, find a place with a better signal.  Don’t panic, the app will continue trying to reconnect. 

Try different time lengths.  Facebook recommends that the longer you broadcast, the more likely fans are to discover and share your video with their friends on Facebook.  Their recommendation is at least five minutes, but my research has shown that a broadcast for as short as 2 minutes is fine.  Test your audience and see what they like.  Another suggestion is to test different times and see when your audience is most available. 

Different folks have tried different types of broadcasts, here are some of them.

Carson Daly from the Today Show

Van Diesel with family

In a bathtub with Ricky Gervais

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You want to end of course with a call to action.  It can be as simple as asking them to visit your website or even to private message you for more information.

Edit

Once the Live video is on your wall, you can go back and edit it.  It is going to be like any other video you have uploaded to Facebook. 

Click on the date of the post on your timeline to access it and then select edit

Choose your thumbnail, Facebook gives you 10 image options, or upload your own

Select the category, tap the drop down menu next to video category and select one

Add a call to action.  Shop now, learn more and sign up.  Match your call to action to what you stated on the video

Photo Courtesy: Mari Smith and Social Media Examiner

Photo Courtesy: Mari Smith and Social Media Examiner

Repurpose the video

Use that video in as many places as possible.  Write a blog post with some of the highlights and embed the post itself or just the video.  Then share it on your social media profiles. If you embed the video you will receive more views on that video and increasing the count.

Want more ideas?

  • Try using Facebook live through the lens of your business

  • Have people talking about your business.
  • Give folks a peek at who you are outside of work (this will create more intimacy between you and your audience)
  • Go behind the scenes.  An adventure of sorts to take friends with you or even somewhere on your downtime
  • Q&A  let your fans know you will be on live to answer questions.  Planning ahead will encourage people and help them to have questions.
  • How to find something that pertains to your business and show how to do it
  • Product demo   Unbox products you use and just share how you use the products

  • Breaking news   Get some sources and report news and share your own opinion on the information.   This helps you establish your expertise.

  • Flash sales

Conclusion

Video streaming is a great way to show your knowledge and increase your fan, follower, and customer base.  Now is the perfect time to use Facebook Live and get higher organic reach than other content.  It is definitely worth getting ready now to add Live to your marketing plans.  With over 1.5 billion Facebook users, we are likely to see an increase in the live streaming on the site in the coming months.  It will be interesting to see how Facebook stacks up against the current favorite Periscope.

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Any industry or niche can use Facebook Live: hairdressers can demo popular haircutting or braiding techniques, real estate agents can give live home tours, business coaches can broadcast live public speaking, and the list goes on.  Tell us how you plan to use Facebook Live for your business below.

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