5 steps to great results with your live streams
Facebook Live is a free streaming tool that you can use to boost your business. But before you dive in, there are a few key factors to keep in mind to avoid the risk of losing your credibility.
Facebook Live is a great way to get the engagement Facebook wants on your business page with their latest algorithm updates. As long as you’re prepared, you’ll get great reach and higher views than natively uploaded videos.
With Facebook Live all you need is a 4G or higher internet connection, a Facebook profile for yourself or your business page, and you can take advantage of up to 4 hours of live streaming for free.
Setting them up isn’t difficult, but with the volume of new live streams happening by the hour, you’ll need to work on your videos to engage users.
Read on to find out what you need to engage your followers when you host your next live stream.
Step 1: spread the word
Facebook Live alerts your followers about your live broadcast, but only after it has gone live. Unless you catch them when they are free, then you trust your timing is right for people to join you during the live stream.
To make sure your followers know about it in advance, it’s important to post posts announcing the upcoming live event. But there is more you can do.
Sendcalendar is a service that allows you to create your live calendar, which you can then share with your followers. As long as you know your schedule ahead of time, simply set your dates and the system creates everything you need to share your schedule in an email, on your website or blog, or in a social media post.
Once a user signs up, they are notified of the next broadcast well in advance so they can plan their attendance. It’s easy to use and seamlessly updates any calendar your follower is currently using.
You can also schedule your live stream directly in the Facebook Live admin area; however, you need to use third-party Livestream software like eCamm (for Mac) or BeLive.tv (for PC) or other similar services for it to work.
Step 2: Get to know your video
How you broadcast is just as important as what you talk about during that broadcast.
Do you have a home studio set up? Will you be streaming through your phone, iPad, or computer?
If you have a studio, that’s great, but understandably not everyone does. Having a dedicated studio space helps you get organized and literally “stage” your set so it’s free of clutter and background noise, giving you optimal control over the video environment.
Now, if you’re jumping into a live stream via your phone or iPad, consider the end product. Make sure you try everything beforehand.
Several times, I’ve been caught with poor audio or lighting, assuming everything is fine, but then found out they were seriously wrong!
So make sure you’re not encountering slow internet signals, distracting background noise, or any other issues beyond your control. We will cover more about this in step 4.
Step 3: Clarify the purpose of your Facebook Live stream
The description of your video is very important. When you write the description before posting, be very clear about the topic and what will be discussed or shown. Always think in terms of benefits: why would your followers want to upload? What’s in it for them?
This is your chance to engage potential viewers to check out the advertised live stream, so take your time and keep it concise, clear, and catchy! If you’re not clear why they should join you, they’ll just ignore you.
Step 4 – Prepare for Your Facebook Live Stream
When you’re live, you’re live! Viewers who clear their calendar to attend your video won’t stick around long if you’re not ready to go when the camera rolls.
Treat this aspect seriously because it is a defining moment of your live stream. Imagine a newscast where the broadcast is delayed and the anchor sits back asking for patience while the situation is resolved. This key moment could not only lose the viewer this time, but also for all future videos.
Prepare a script with brief notes and keep them handy as a guide for you. I often use sticky notes attached near the camera lens to keep up with pointers I don’t want to forget.
If you have a tablet handy, you can even use it as a teleprompter with your topic, notes, or script in large fonts. Promptsmart is an app you can use too, but we’ll save the more advanced streaming techniques for another time!
Step 5: Review and Correct
Your video may have been great, but it didn’t start at the best time to get the biggest audience, or it may have reached more people than you think.
It’s important to pay attention to the available Facebook metrics and use them as feedback for your future live streams.
Go to the Facebook Page you’re streaming from and click Insights. From there, click on Videos and then select the statistics for which video you want to review.
If you want to check individual video metrics, select Insights, then Advanced, then select Recorded Live. You can choose your video from there and really drill down into the analytics of who watched it and when.
But just a warning, don’t worry when you see a lot of 10 second views. Sometimes people get kicked out of your stream due to their own limited bandwidth and then reconnect. So look at the stats to get an overview of your streaming performance, but don’t take the numbers too literally. There are many variables outside of your control that make up those numbers.
Peak Live Viewers is good information to look at. This will show you when your stream was viewed the most, and if you see a big spike, consider that time a good time to start your next video.
Remember that it’s not so much about your schedule as it is about your followers. When planning your next live broadcast, start at peak time!
This month we’re focusing precisely on Facebook, and next week we’ll cover the best way to review and refine: user engagement.