Facebook is one of the most used social media platforms with numbers likely to reach 2 billion users this year. So social media, video, live content are popular. Facebook Live combines all these in one package. It is similar to other services such as Periscope that has been around for longer.
The difference being, that Facebook is the largest and most popular social network. Facebook giving priority to Live videos and currently it is actively promoting your live videos to those that follow you or connect with you on a regular basis, by sending an alert to notify them that you are live.
So if you are looking to improve audience engagement, and draw more people to your page (and other content), then this can help.
Facebook Live is rapidly being rolled out although some may find that they do not have it. In my experience it is that pages have Facebook Live enabled although I have come across a few pages that do not have this. It is also being rolled out to persona profiles, with a the icon appearing on my profiles end 2016.
Once you “go live” the video is broadcast and people can click to watch. Once finished these videos then appear on your time line. Which differentiates it from some other platforms where the content is not listed once broadcast is completed.
It also give you the ability to communicate to people in real time as you are able to see comments and reactions to your live stream.
The Real Time Video Conversation
Where to start?
These images are based on mobile devices which is the easiest and most flexible way of using Facebook Live. Although the steps are similar on desktop mode. Open Facebook profile/ page through the usual menu and tap on the “post” button as if you were going to write a status update.
Thus opens the text area used for status updates and posts, below which are some options for other things you can publish or do on your Facebook page. In addition to posting pictures, checking in to a location, or indicating a feeling/activity, you can choose to “go live” with Facebook.
This opens a screen which will ask you for the title of your live broadcast, then click to complete and it will give a 3, 2 ,1 count down and then you are ‘live'.
When you’re done, tap the “finish” button and you then have a choice to delete the video or click done and it will post to time line.
Making the Most of Facebook Live
Based ion an article published by Facebook
- Tell people ahead of time. If your followers know that you’re going to go live at 6pm on Sunday night, they’re far more likely to “tune in” during that time. If you go live without letting anyone know, many of your biggest fans might “miss” your live broadcast and that’s not very good for your engagement.
- Check your connection. It’s great if you want to use live video at a particularly interesting event or location, but it doesn’t do you much good if your 3G/4G or Wi-Fi connection keeps cutting out. A weak signal could be your worst nightmare.
- Write a compelling description. I already mentioned this above, but just as you should be mindful about your blog posts or the text attached to any link you share, the video description you use for your live videos should be equally enticing.
- Ask viewers to subscribe. You know how you can ask your Facebook fans to get notifications of your page updates? You can do the same with your live videos. Encourage your viewers to hit that “follow” button.
- Say hello to commenters by name. If people are commenting on your live video while you’re still broadcasting, calling them out by name (and replying to their comments) can really help with engagement. It helps viewers feels special and connected, giving them more of a vested interest to keep following and watching you.
- Broadcast for longer periods. A short live video leaves a very small window for people to watch and engage with you in real time. Remember that your Facebook Live videos can be up to 90 minutes in length. Take advantage of that big window.
- Be creative and go live often. Just as more frequent updates to your Facebook page, particularly very creative updates, can help with engagement and reach, the same is true for your live videos. Give people a reason to follow and watch you.
It's a great tool and feels less formal than a video posted to youtube, it is great for building engagement and connecting with your audience.