Make the most of your Facebook Live videos by taking note of these twenty-one proven strategies and ideas.
- Practice Privately
Yes, the purpose of Facebook Live videos is to, well, go live … but if you are timid about it, do a few practice sessions that no one will see.
Simply set your “Who Should See This?” privacy setting to “Me Only”. (You can do this from your desktop and it will apply the setting to your mobile app as well.)
Just remember to re-set your privacy setting, once you’ve finished your practice session!
- Create a Pre-Recording Routine
If you know you are going to do a Facebook Live broadcast, set up and follow steps in a pre-production routine so that your broadcasts are as distraction-free and professional as possible while still feeling one-hundred-percent spontaneous.
- Have a glass of water at hand
- Shut doors and windows
- Turn off ambient noise sources such as fans
- Put the dog out
- Have the children babysat or entertained
- Unplug the phone and turn off your mobile
- Check your mic and light sources
- Set any prompts you need in place
It can feel hard to be ‘natural’ at first. A great pro tip is to deliberately smile (and keep smiling) for a few seconds before you start to broadcast. Smiling relaxes your face muscles and pre-conditions you to a positive frame of mind.
- Create a Re-purposing Routine
Don’t just re-purpose your Facebook Live posts randomly: Create a routine that virtually automates the process:
- Save your video to Dropbox or other project management software like Basecamp
- Have your freelancers or VA re-process the recordings by stripping out audio, transcribing them, turning them into blog posts or podcast episodes and giving them titles and descriptions
- Check Your Signal
Always make sure you are in the best spot with the strongest broadcast signal—especially when planning to broadcast outdoors.
- Mine Your Facebook Live Videos
Get into the habit of re-watching your Facebook Live recordings for nuggets you can turn into image quotes or Tweets.
- Make ‘Bloopers’ Videos
Liberate yourself from fear of making mistakes while live and compile your funniest or most embarrassing moments into a ‘Blooper’ reel. Upload to YouTube!
- Stop the ‘Shakes’
One of the most detrimental practices is holding your smartphone yourself while attempting to film. Get a desktop mount or stabilizing stick for your smartphone and record as hands-free as possible.
This eliminates errors such as dropping the phone, accidentally brushing the speaker with your hand and creating noise distortion and uneven acoustics.
- Select the Best Thumbnail
No, you don’t have to be stuck with that shot of you with your eyes half-closed and your mouth half-open in your recording thumbnail. Change it by clicking on the time/date stamp, selecting “Option” and then selecting “Edit Your Video”.
You can also edit your description here too.
- Use a Visual Topic Prompt
Tired of breaking off to quickly let people know what your Live video is about whenever they drop in, late? Have a bulletin board, chalkboard or white board behind you—or even a tent card sign on your desk—with “Today’s Topic:________”. (Fill in the blank, of course!)
You’ll retain more drop-ins, and get a more instant, enthusiastic response.
- Watch Out for Reverse Imaging
Be aware that having text appear in your Facebook Live broadcast works best if you’re broadcasting from a desktop: When you broadcast using a smartphone (especially some Android models) your audience may see mirror-imaging of your text.
(Try turning your phone around and using the rear camera, to solve this issue.)
- Consider Using Facebook Reactions
People can select the six basic reaction emoticons during Live broadcasts, so encourage them to do so and they will appear, live, during your broadcast. Those used to Periscope applause icons will really enjoy this feature.
- Turn it into an Event
To get more viewers to a Facebook Live video, turn it into a Facebook Event and invite people.
- Use Facebook Live for Your Regular Weekly Q&A Session
Setting a regular, recurring time for a regular, recurring feature can be a real trust-and-community building strategy. It this gets people not only into the habit of turning up to gain access—in real-time—to your ear, but also gets them looking forward to it … as well as ‘saving’ their questions specifically for YOU.
- Keep the Discussion Going Afterwards
Remember that most of your fans may only catch your Facebook Live post after it’s recorded and in your Group or Page feed. Unless you invite them specifically to leave comments after the broadcast, they will regard your Live feed as ‘dead’—so thank people for attending and encourage everyone to leave more feedback.
- Turn on Airplane Mode
If you’re actively using your mobile for broadcasting, turn it to Airplane Mode, in order to stop calls from interrupting the Facebook Live session.
- Check Your Upload Speed
If you are streaming via a desktop service such as OBS Studio, make sure you have adequate upload speed. You can do this easily online, no matter who your internet provider is, by visiting Fast.com.
10 Mbps is considered acceptable. Any lower than that, and you might want to speak to your Internet Service Provider.
- Make it Participatory
Boost your engagement by talking to or asking questions of specific Live viewers (you’ll be able to see who’s viewing while you’re broadcasting). Encourage your audience to comment as you’re talking.
- Ask Them to Subscribe While You Are Broadcasting Live
Use calls to action within your actual live videos as well as for the recordings. Remind them to tap their smartphones and subscribe.
- Be Careful of Copyrights
Many people play background music (‘underscoring’) when presenting Facebook Live videos. If that’s you, make sure you use only music you have the right to play. Facebook does detect unauthorized use of copyrighted music and will ban you from Facebook Live.
Use a service that provides professional-quality, royalty-free, original music such as the variety of mood music you’ll find at Mike Stewart’s TwoBuckThemes.
- Check Your Facebook Insights
Get in the habit of checking your Facebook Insights to see how your Live broadcasts perform. Particularly check your “Video Views” tab and “Peak Live Viewers”. (The latter will report on people who stayed to watch your Live broadcast ten seconds or more.)
These twenty-one tips will help you make the most of your Facebook Live experience. Put them to use—and enjoy the benefits.