By Gregory Bortkiewicz
Following the launch of Facebook Live to a select group of VIP accounts last summer, the social network last month opened up the feature to any profile or page. This marks the next step in Facebook’s continued push towards video (and overall digital domination), and comes as no surprise considering the success of other live video apps such as Periscope and Snapchat. It could also prove to be an important tool in helping to retain and attract the younger demographic that Facebook craves.
Expect to see more videos in your newsfeed than ever before as your friends broadcast every aspect of their waking moments, from an exciting holiday to a mundane trip to the local supermarket – although it will be very interesting to see if people really to adopt Facebook Live in place of other apps.
As a marketer I am keen to see how brands will utilize this feature, but of course there are some things that every live streamer should consider before going live. Here are my top five tips:
- Promote the stream ahead of time
Your stream will hopefully pick up an audience while you are live, but you want as many people as possible to join you from the start. Make sure to promote your stream across all social platforms to get the word out and create a buzz amongst your followers.
- Be prepared to make a longer video
Up until now, successful videos on Facebook have tended to be short and sweet. However, with Facebook Live you’ll definitely want to plan on making longer videos. While it’s unlikely that you’ll reach the 90 minute time limit that Facebook has set, to effectively be able to share a story and interact with your fans you will need at least the five minutes that Facebook has recommended.
- Share something genuinely interesting
Celebrities already have a highly engaged following who may be excited to see them even if the footage is ‘boring’, but brands need to put in a little more thought before starting a live stream. Just because your footage may be behind the scenes this does not make it automatically stream-worthy; really think about what appeals to your audience. One such tactic might be a Q&A, which leads me perfectly onto my next tip…
- Engage with your audience
Perhaps the biggest advantage of a live stream as opposed to posting a pre-recorded video is that it gives you the opportunity to directly engage with your audience. Whether or not you are hosting a Q&A, reacting to your viewers is a priority and someone should be on hand to pick out the best questions and comments. When replying to these, make sure to call out commenters by name as everyone loves a mention!
- Remind viewers to subscribe and share
Don’t forget your call to action – ask your fans to subscribe to your feed so that’ll they’ll be notified in future whenever you go live. Once your broadcast is finished it will live on your page so ask your audience to share it with their friends, and to leave comments and suggestions.
As with any new digital feature, it is important to test what does and doesn’t work and adapt your process as you go along. Above all, remember to have fun!
What is your top tip for live video streaming? Leave a comment below or tweet me @greg_borko.