Since its launch in 2016, Facebook Live has quickly won the hearts of the platform’s billions of users. And within just two years, it had seen over 3.5 billion broadcasts in total. Even among marketers, the feature has seen large-scale adoption with 70% of them using it directly.
But if you’re planning to adopt Facebook Live for your business, you have to make sure that some planning goes into it. It’s not as simple as tapping on the “Live Video” button and hoping for the best. For starters, you need to make sure that you have something to broadcast and that you get enough people to tune in.
So check out this detailed guide on how to go live on Facebook for beginners to help you navigate the live broadcasting landscape more effectively.
Why go live on Facebook?
Now you might be wondering why you should go live on Facebook in the first place and whether it’s worth investing your time and effort into. Here’s a quick look at some of the biggest reasons why businesses should consider going live on Facebook:
- There’s been increased consumption of live video worldwide. IAB found that 67% of global consumers have streamed live video and 47% said they’d been streaming more live video compared to the previous year.
- Live streams on Facebook get 4X more views than pre-recorded videos; they also tend to drive more engagement.
What to broadcast on Facebook Live
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of Facebook Live is deciding on what to broadcast. Check out some of these ideas on what to broadcast, taking inspiration from leading companies and influential personalities.
1: Q&A sessions/interviews
Facebook Live gives you the perfect opportunity to answer your fans’ pressing questions in an engaging manner as it allows them to interact with you live through the comments. While you can host Q&A sessions featuring your team and C-level executives, you could even invite industry leaders and influencers for an interview.
Psychologist, Adam Grant regularly hosts interview sessions on Facebook Live with influential personalities and industry leaders like Melinda Gates, Valerie Jarret, Walter Isaacson, and Sheryl Sandberg.
2: Live events
You could also use Facebook Live to broadcast events like concerts, conferences, panels, workshops, and lectures. This type of content adds value to your audience as it provides them with educational or entertaining experiences.
For example, Salesforce broadcast a series of live videos from their Trailblazing Women Summit.
3: Breaking news/announcements
Facebook Live can also be the perfect channel to broadcast breaking news and announcements relevant to your business or industry. This is a great way to keep things fresh and current and thus, engage your audience.
4: Holidays and special occasions
You could also create special live broadcasts dedicated to holidays and special occasions – whether it’s Christmas, Earth Day, or International Women’s Day. This allows you to keep up with trending topics and conversations surrounding those occasions.
5: Behind-the-scenes views
Facebook Live is also the perfect channel to be spontaneous and showcase the human side of your brand through behind-the-scenes broadcasts. Show your audience what your team is doing behind the scenes and how you make things happen so they can better connect with you.
Here’s an example from Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre where the team took viewers on a live tour of their facilities.
How to go live on Facebook
Now let’s get to the main steps involving how to go live on Facebook. This will vary slightly depending on whether you use the Facebook mobile app or your desktop browser.
1. To go live on Facebook through mobile, start by tapping on the “Live” icon at the top of your screen. If this is your first time using it, you’ll get a prompt to give Facebook permission to access your camera.
2. Once you give the necessary permission, you’ll have the option to customise your settings such as change the privacy, add a description, raise money, tag people and locations, and even add lenses, filters, or drawings.screen.
3. Then tap on “Start Live Video” to begin broadcasting.
While broadcasting, you’ll have the option to see comments from viewers at the bottom of the screen. And whenever you choose to end the broadcast, just tap on “Finish.” After that, Facebook will give you the option to save the video to your camera roll and/or post the replay so people who missed the live broadcast can still watch it.
To go live on Facebook through your desktop browser, click on the “Live” option on the “Create” bar. This will take you to the Live Producer.
If this is your first time using it, click on “Next” on the welcome message.
Then choose one of three options to start setting up your live video. For this example, we’ll choose the camera.
Click on “Allow” when your browser prompts you and asks if you’d like to give Facebook access to your camera. Then click on “Done” after reading the Feature Highlights popup.
Next, you’ll see the camera along with the option to either go live now or schedule a live video. The scheduling option will let you send out an announcement about the upcoming stream and allow followers to mark whether or not they’re interested. Here’s an example:
Just like you schedule your Facebook posts for the right time, it helps if you can schedule your live video for a time when your followers are most active so you can get more viewership.
If you scroll down, you’ll have several options to customise the settings for your live video. You could add polls, ask questions, feature a link, add a title and description, change the audience settings, and more. If you manage multiple related pages and/or groups, you’ll even have the option to cross-post the live video to those pages and groups.
Once you have all this setup, click on “Go Live” at the bottom of the screen and that’s it.
7 tips for using Facebook Live
If you’re going to stand a chance at engaging your audience through Facebook Live, you can’t just rely on luck. Check out these seven helpful tips to help you make the most of Facebook Live and get more out of your live broadcasting efforts.
1: Plan ahead
Spontaneity may be the essence behind Facebook Live’s success, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to go completely unprepared. There are some things you still need to plan ahead before going live on Facebook so that it doesn’t end in a complete disaster. Here’s what you should prepare before you hit the start button.
- What you’re going to broadcast. You don’t want to start a live video with nothing to say. Planning your content ahead of time will help you follow a certain direction and engage your viewers more effectively. Even if you want to make it unscripted, it’s still a good idea to prepare some talking points just in case.
- Your equipment and internet connection. You don’t want your broadcast to suddenly come to a stall because your microphone isn’t working or your internet connection is lagging. This is crucial because people will tolerate a choppy live-stream for only up to 90 seconds.
2: Send out notifications in advance
Notify your audience ahead of time so you get as many viewers as possible. Try letting people know ahead of time when you’re going live, what your broadcast is about, and how they can access it. Make sure you cross-promote the broadcast through multiple platforms and channels to attract more people to your live stream.
Here’s an excellent example of PopSugar Fitness notifying Facebook followers about an upcoming live workout session on Instagram. You can do something similar with your Facebook live videos.
3: Encourage engagement
As mentioned earlier, Facebook Live tends to garner plenty of engagement. But you could further boost engagement by giving your viewers a little extra nudge. Keep encouraging them to leave comments or reactions throughout the broadcast. You could also ask questions and create polls they can engage with. And don’t forget to ask them to subscribe to your Facebook Live notifications.
4: Add a compelling description
The description in your live video gives people an idea of what the content is about. So it’s crucial that you use this opportunity to give some context about the broadcast and why people should watch it. Make sure you add relevant long-tail keywords and hashtags to improve visibility. You should also use the description space to add CTAs and links to drive further action.
5: Include a custom link
Live broadcasts can also be a great way to direct people to certain pages on your site. Perhaps you could use it to introduce a certain product or a new piece of content, for example, and add a link to the product page or the content in the description. If you want them to visit a landing page at the end of the broadcast, make sure you let them know where to find the link and what happens when they click on it.
It helps if you can add a custom branded link to give it more credibility and compel more people to click. You should even consider tagging the link with UTM parameters so you can track the traffic coming from your Facebook Live video. Rebrandly provides you with excellent tools to tag your links with relevant UTM parameters, shorten them, and turn them into branded links.
Here’s an example from National Geographic linking to a longer blog post on the same topic discussed in their live video and to their subscription page. They’ve used shortened branded links tagged with UTM parameters.
6: Avoid short broadcasts
According to the previously cited BuzzSumo study, longer broadcasts tend to perform much better as they’re more likely to add value. Ideally, you should broadcast for at least 15 minutes if you want to engage your viewers and improve the performance of your live videos. On average, the top-performing 10,000 live videos on Facebook were 20 minutes long.
7: Track your performance
It’s not enough to blindly go live on Facebook and hope for the best. You should also track the performance of your broadcasts to see what resonates with your audience and what improvements you should make.
Facebook comes with a few native analytics tools to help you track how your live video is performing in terms of video views, comments, shares, peak live viewers, average watch time, reach, and viewer demographic. In addition, you can track the traffic from your live videos using the UTM-tagged links as mentioned earlier.
There you have it – a detailed guide on how to go live on Facebook for beginners. Not only did you learn how to use the feature, but you also discovered the types of content you can broadcast and the tips to improve your performance. If you have any additional questions about this topic, let us know in the comments.
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