Going Live on Facebook and Instagram is a great way to boost awareness of your business and brand. The format is algorithm-friendly, an eye-catching novelty, and a great way to engage with audiences in real time. It can also be the most nerve-racking activity for a Social Media Manager. In fact, we’re willing to bet that the fear of something going wrong may have stopped you from going Live at all.
In this blog post, we’re going to give you top tips to help you get prepared, quash your nerves and absolutely smash your next (or first!) Live video.
First of all, though, let’s take a look at why going Live on Facebook and Instagram is so effective:
- Over 3.5 billion Lives have been posted on Facebook so far, and currently one in five Facebook videos are Live
- Facebook Live generates 6x more engagement than regular video and 10x more comments
- Daily watch time for Facebook Live increased by 4x over the course of 2018
- People gaze five times longer at video than static content on Facebook and Instagram
- 80% of people would rather watch a live video of a brand than read a blog post about it
Clearly Live video is worth the time, effort and courage. So how can you ensure your broadcast goes smoothly and performs well?
Here are our top five tips for going Live with a smartphone.
1. PREPARE YOUR SETUP
This is an obvious step, but an important one. To ensure you’re fully set up you’ll need to gather all of your tech to ensure it’s working properly.
Here’s a handy checklist of things you’ll need:
- A very quiet location to film
- A strong WiFi connection
- A smartphone with a good camera
- A tripod (you can find a good selection here)
- A microphone (optional but we’d recommend it for a clear sound – find a good selection here)
2. PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE
Promoting your Live is so important to drive as many viewers as possible. We’d recommend starting to tease your Live a week before across all of your social channels. Let people know the time and date, who’s going to be in it, why they should watch and what they’ll gain from it. Use eye-catching visuals and concise, engaging post copy to do this.
We’d then recommend promoting the Live regularly throughout the week. On Instagram this can be done using Stories, and on Facebook consider adding a reminder to the end of each of your posts where relevant. Then, on the night before or morning of the Live, post about it again across all of your channels.
On Facebook you can also schedule your Live. This will create a placeholder post on your Page which will include the time and description of your video. It will also open a “discussion room” in which future viewers can discuss the Live. You could use this to gather questions or even ask if they have any requests of things they’d like to see.
3. PLAN AND PRACTICE
The majority of Lives are carefully planned (and sometimes even scripted) to ensure they provide high quality and engaging content. Plotting out the key themes within your Live will help you set out what you’d like to communicate and how you can do this in an engaging way. You’ll also be able to work out how long your Live will be. Facebook recommends aiming for a longer video to maximise on views; we recommend going Live for as long as possible without stretching your content too thinly; 15-30 minutes is a good length.
Once you’ve planned your content, it’s important to have a dry run of your video. We use a dummy Facebook Page for this, which means we can go Live and practice without worrying about anyone seeing. Doing this will enable you to iron out any kinks and revise your video if needed. Then, it’s time to go Live!
4. INTERACT WITH YOUR VIEWERS
The beauty of Live is that viewers are watching you in real time, so you can interact with them and even use their feedback to direct your content. If it’s the latter, try to anticipate the sort of reaction you’ll receive during your planning phase, so you have an idea of how to respond.
You could ask your viewers to answer a question, vote in a poll or share their ideas. Do this multiple times during your video to help boost engagement. It can be complicated trying to read questions and think about what to say next at the same time. You might need an extra pair of hands to help you do this.
5. SAVE YOUR LIVE
So, you’ve wrapped up the video and stopped streaming – congrats! Now you should consider whether you’d like to save your video for future audiences to watch. We’d recommend doing this for most videos – time-limited competitions are one of the only exceptions to this. Saving your video is easy: Facebook gives you the option to ‘Post’ straight after you’ve finished broadcasting, while Instagram gives you the option to ‘Share’ (look for the button at the bottom) a replay to your Stories. Remember that Stories are only be live for 24 hours, so it’s worth saving your video to a Highlight if you’d like to give it longevity.
And that’s it! We hope these tips will help you feel more confident about going Live. We’d love to see your broadcasts, so do share them in the Avocado Social Hub Facebook Group.
All photos via Unsplash.