Hello and welcome back to this two-part mini-series where we’re going beneath the surface of Facebook Live streaming.
In Part 1, last week, I argued that Facebook will dominate the live streaming landscape in the coming months and years. Despite the fact that the concept was first given true life by dedicated live streaming app Periscope (released last February, hot on the heels of rival Meerkat, which has since faded in the wake of Periscope’s success), now that Facebook is officially championing live streaming, the sheer size and power of the social network will ensure its domination of the technology moving forward.
I backed all these assertions up with evidence that, to me at least, seem to affirm my suspicions, and so please go check them out here: ‘Facebook Live Marketing Part 1: Why Facebook Will Dominate the Live Streaming Landscape’.
Done that? Cool.
Ok, so here we are in Part 2. We now know why pumping up some marketing muscle for Facebook Live streaming is going to be important – now let’s consider some strategies for how we might approach it.
The Marketer’s Guide To Facebook Live Streaming
Ok, first thing’s first – how do you use Facebook Live streaming?
Well, it couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is fire up Facebook and select “Update Status” on your device (mobiles are supported – which is handy as these will probably be what you’ll use for the purpose anyway), and select the live video icon.
Enter your description of the video, and select your audience, and then hit the “Go Live” button.
That’s it – you’re live streaming on Facebook. Cool, huh?
Once you’ve finished the broadcast, the video will be automatically saved for those who missed the live version. Viewers can comment in real-time during your broadcast, and, as the broadcaster, you will be able to see how many people are viewing as well as who they are.
Your connections also have the opportunity to subscribe to your live videos, and receive a notification each time you go live. It’s all very neat and simple.
So, beyond the actual technological practicalities of going live on Facebook, what else should you be doing to make sure that as many people tune in to your broadcast as possible?
Well, first, it’s imperative that you promote your live performance beforehand – just hitting “Go Live” and hoping for the best isn’t going to get you very far in the long run. So, let your audience know well in advance that there will be an upcoming live video. Do this on Facebook of course, but don’t neglect your other social networks – perhaps some of your Twitter audience will become new Facebook fans specifically to see your live output.
Indeed, since you’re advertising a video, why not record a short video to aid the promotion? At the very least you need to be sharing an image (social media has gone irreversibly visual, in case you hadn’t noticed).
If you’ve really got a good feeling about your live video and believe that it’s got the weight to give your brand an added boost, then you can even use Facebook Ads to promote your announcement posts – this will give you the best chance of reaching the largest audience possible.
Make Sure To Practice!
Before going live, it’s also important that you make sure that you know what you’re going to say, that you’ve got any prompts you’re going to need ready to use, and that you’ve got a strong internet connection.
Furthermore, you’ll need to make sure you’re not broadcasting in a noisy place, and decide whether you’re going to be holding the camera on yourself, have it mounted or held by a colleague.
All in all, what this means is that you’re going to have to do at least one dummy run before going live. Of course, one of the charms of live streaming is that it’s all a bit unrehearsed and rough around the edges, and so I’m not suggesting that you write a script and hire professional actors to perform your masterpiece live to the Facebook world (though I’m sure that this will all come to brands and users eventually). However, if you want your followers to engage positively with you during and after the broadcast, and if you want them to subscribe and come back for more, then you need to take a little care over the production.
Ok, we’ve got the fundamentals nailed – so what sort of content are we going to produce to enthral our Facebook Live audiences?
Here are just three ideas:
1. A ‘Spontaneous’ Behind The Scenes Broadcast
As I’ve gone at lengths to say, you will need to promote your videos before going live, and you will also want to rehearse them – so in this sense you can’t really be spontaneous.
However, one of the things that makes live video special is the ‘spontaneous’, interactive nature of the performance. The whole point of making live videos is that the broadcaster can interact with a live audience which is leaving comments and asking questions as the broadcast rolls along. If you’ve rehearsed a script to death, then you’re not going to be able to give your audience any of this gold – and you will disappoint them.
So, when you make your ‘behind the scenes video’ – even if it’s just in your office – let your hair down. Be a bit silly, do those animal impressions that your (goofy) fans want you to do, answer their questions, show them what they want to see, interact with your co-workers in the office or warehouse or wherever, and keep smiling as this will keep your audience smiling and wanting more.
Indeed, in some industries, you will have the opportunity to let your fans see parts of the business that they would never normally see. For instance, if you’re running a restaurant, set up a live stream of the chefs in action – perhaps right by the hatch as the final touches of the dish come together. Running a cocktail bar? Keep a camera on the most skilled bar person. Whatever makes your industry unique, let your audience see the live action.
2. Real-time Event Promotion
Got an offline event in the pipeline? Great! In the past your attendees would have only been able to tweet about it. But now, both you and they can share the live action on Facebook.
Important speakers can be broadcast live around the web for all to see, or, if it’s a product launch event, the grand unveiling can now be viewed by your whole following.
Either way, on your own Facebook page you should be conducting live interviews of attendees, and encourage/incentivise other people at the event to start live streaming to Facebook as well – a few free gifts for both broadcasters and viewers won’t go amiss.
3. Conduct Interviews
Here is really where I think that Facebook Live is going to eventually knock out similar players – in this instance Blab.
Blab is all about live interviews, really – and although it’s a great platform, it’s just so new. And now that Facebook has live streaming, I really do think that the smaller platforms are going to struggle.
But, be that as it may, continue to use Blab by all means, but, if you really want your interviews to reach a wider audience and promote your brand, then you’re going to have to start broadcasting them on Facebook as well.
Your options for interviews have quite a large range.
For instance, you could interview a key figure in your industry who is well-known for their thought-leadership in the field. This is especially good, because you will likely get people tuning in just to hear this person talk, and they will of course then be exposed to your brand as well.
Alternatively, interview someone from within the company. Whether it’s the CEO or a chef or a salesperson or a marketing rep or whatever – these interviews will give your followers some great personalised insight into the workings of your company.
You could also interview fans – testimonials are of course fantastic for building consumer confidence in your offering, so if you can find some enthusiastic fans who would be willing to give a short Facebook Live video interview telling the world how great your products and services are, then you’ve got the making for some really valuable promotional content right there.
You can of course also position yourself as the interviewee rather than the interviewer, and set up a Facebook Live session specifically aimed at answering your followers’ questions, giving advice, or even handling complaints – it’s all great opportunity to position yourself as a thorough, thoughtful and above all human brand.
What do you use Facebook Live for? Have you got any more tips for our readers? Let us know in the comments below.