How to succeed with Facebook Live

It’s often said that video is the most shared content format – and this is certainly true for Facebook users who consume more video than any other type of update. It’s also the best converting, with the biggest ROI according to marketers. Live video is the next step in this field thanks to the popularity of ephemeral content types such as Instagram Stores, SnapChat and Facebook Live.

As a brand marketer, live video opens up a whole new realm of possibilities but, knowing where to begin and how to turn Facebook Live into a viable use of resources is another thing entirely. Luckily, we’re here to help you get to grips with the basics and discover how to succeed with your first broadcast.

First things first, what is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is fairly similar to Instagram Live – so if you’ve already tried that, you’ll be comfortable with Facebook Live in no time. If it’s new to you, it’s essentially a live broadcast, made from your smartphone or tablet, to your followers. Think of it akin to a video call, but with hundreds or thousands of people on the other end who can see you and ask you questions, rather than just one person.

The video runs one way, so anyone watching your Live broadcast can see you, but you can’t see them. Viewers can interact with you however, by sending messages which will pop up on the screen for both you and other viewers to see.

Viewers can also react to your Live broadcast in a similar way to liking or loving a regular Facebook post, which means you have a real-time feel of how they’re responding to your broadcast.

You can run a Live broadcast at any time, as your followers will be notified when you start one, but of course, it’s better to promote it in advance so that your audience is ready and waiting.

How to get started

It takes just three quick steps to begin a Facebook Live session:

  1. Log on to your Facebook page and click ‘What’s on your mind?’
  2. On the dropdown menu, you’ll see an option called ‘live video’
  3. Fill in the description field, choose your audience and start talking!

How to make your Live broadcast worthwhile

Of course, to make your Facebook Live sessions a success, you’ll also need to do a bit of forward planning.

  1. Promote, promote, promote

To ensure you have a primed audience, ready and waiting to interact and engage with you, ensure that you promote your Live session ahead of time. Although those on Facebook will be alerted when you go live, they will only see that if they are actually on Facebook at the time.

You want to make sure your audience is ready and waiting so promote the day and time well ahead of the actual broadcast – you might also want to tease the content of the Live broadcast to build interest. You can promote on your Facebook page of course but also push across your other social media channels, add to your email shots and even post on your website if you can.

  1. Make sure your description is on point

As you’ll have seen in step two above, you’ll be asked to write a short description about your Live video before the session activates. You should prepare this in advance when you start promoting your Facebook Live broadcast, not just so that you can simply copy and paste when you’re ready to get started, but so that you have time to formulate something informative, interesting and engaging.

  1. Plan your topic

The most successful Facebook Live users broadcast regularly to build up their audience and if you want to emulate that, as well as keep your audience hooked, you’ll need to plan your topics for maximum interest.

You don’t need to take this to the level of scripting out a whole show but, you do need to formulate a key hook. This might be something such as the unveiling of your latest product, going behind the scenes at an event or a pre-arranged question and answer with a personality or expert relevant to your brand.

Using your Live as an instructional video – such as teaching your followers how to cook a dish with your product if you’re a food brand or create a certain style of eye make-up if you’re a cosmetics company – is also a great way to build your audience and ensure fans show up for your broadcast.

  1. Respond to messages

While you’re on Facebook Live, your viewers can message you and send comments and emojis – read and reply to these while you’re broadcasting, referring to each commenter by name, to ramp up audience participation.

  1. Let viewers know when your next Live broadcast will be

Don’t forget to tell viewers when you’ll next be Live before you sign off. This kick starts promotion for your next broadcast right away and helps you build a loyal audience.