12 top tips for using Facebook Live video

Tripod for Facebook Live

Facebook’s focus on video continues with the roll out with Facebook Live Video now rolled out to all Pages regardless of verification level (including in the UK).

Facebook Live is a way of broadcasting a live video feed from your smart phone to your newsfeed and in doing so brings video within the grasp of even the tiniest businesses with highly limited technical expertise or equipment. Live video is built into Facebook so there is no need to open a separate app.

Still only available (for now) on iOS (note the irony of our picture here of my phone above waiting patiently for the Android roll out) it’s an important update and as ever, one that will reward the early adopters with improved reach as well as the all important novelty factor. But with the success of Google Hangouts and now Periscope and Meerkat, we don’t see this as a passing fad. Facebook Live is a great way for brands to share the moment. And because it’s live, and captured on a smart phone, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Having said that, there are a number of recommendations we’d make to make the most of your Facebook Live experience.

Using Facebook Live Video

Before your broadcast

  • Test it before a big event
    This goes without saying but I’ve lost count of the number of conferences I’ve been to where they experienced multiple technical issues that should have been trouble shot in advance. My personal favourite was a Google Hangout with Google where the Hangout tech broke down….
  • Give advance warning of the broadcast time
    It’s great to have people join you live so let them know a day or two before and remind them an hour before (because of reach challenges you might be best doing this be email as well as FB update)
  • Write your description in advance: use compelling copy as per headline best practice
    The last thing you want is fat fingered typing or embarrassing auto correct when you are in the heat of the moment. Pre-write it and then paste the headline into your broadcast
  • Check your connection (4G / decent wifi)
    This is typically the thing that will fail at a conference. You tested it the day before the delegates came and everything was fine, then you hit d-day and suddenly you are sharing that wifi connection with a thousand other people. Try to use a private wifi connection, or better still 4G

During your broadcast

  • Namecheck people during the broadcast
    People love to get a mention, and with Periscope having been around a few months now, we have some evidence of what works well during a live broadcast. You’ll see who is tuning in so give them a mention
  • Answer questions on air
    Great engagement – invite questions and answer them live
  • Swap from front to rear camera by tapping icon on the top right
    You can switch from selfie mode to camera mode easily so introduce in selfie mode then switch to show what you are seeing
  • Remind viewers to subscribe 
    During the broadcast viewers see a Subscribe button. In these early days of Facebook Live at least, it is worth reminding people that by subscribing they will get live notifications for your next broadcast
  • Encourage viewers to share
    Viewers can also share the broadcast to their own timelines – ask them who they know that would also be interested in watching the livestream

After your broadcast

  • Embed in blog posts
    Unlike Periscopes which disappear after 24 hours, Facebook Live lives forever. Fans can see the broadcast in their timeline and also in your Page’s video collection (see Carlton’s scary face below).
    Facebook Live in the Video archive
    Why not create a Playlist of all your Live Broadcasts or  Playlist around particular topics?
    You can also embed your broadcasts in a blog post so a great way of repurposing content for a later date
  • Be creative 
    Facebook Live is currently novel so make the most of it. Remember how popular that Newcastle puddle was a few months ago: a live stream Periscope of people crossing  a puddle in the north of England hit national news

Before, during and after your broadcast

  • Tweet it
    And if you have some soundbites to tweet during the broadcast even better (obviously you will probably need a sidekick to help you if you are running the broadcast)

See also our Quick Start guide to using Facebook Live and 8 great content ideas to get you broadcasting.

Marie Page

About Marie Page

Marie Page is one of the UK’s leading Facebook marketing experts. She is a founding partner of digital marketing consultancy The Digiterati and the Digiterati Academy e-learning portal for marketers and entrepreneurs. Her award-winning Master's Dissertation was the culmination of three years' academic research into Facebook that resulted in a book (and companion online course) 'Winning at Facebook Marketing with Zero Budget' that became an Amazon bestseller. Marie's work on the Facebook News Feed algorithm was featured in The Huffington Post. A recognised thought leader on social media, Marie is often approached by journalists for comment in articles such as this Telegraph article. She was also interviewed for ITV's Tonight show on Facebook privacy issues in relation to advertising. Marie is a regular guest on digital marketing blogs and podcasts including Social Media Examiner and Smart Insights. In 2018 she is speaking at Brighton SEO, Europe's biggest search and marketing conference. Marie is also author of two Smart Insights books: 'Smarter Guide to Facebook Marketing', now in its fourth edition, and 'Facebook Ads Guide', both edited by Dr Dave Chaffey. Marie is also a part time yoga teacher.