Facebook Live introduces an audience to the people behind a brand—an experience that builds real human connections.
To discover other ways Facebook Live can benefit a business, we spoke to Hootsuite’s social media marketing specialist, Amanda Wood, and social media marketing coordinator, Christine Colling.
Emphasizing the importance of authenticity, Wood shares, “Facebook Live is a way for marketing to be less polished, and more raw and authentic. With so much competing noise on social, content can often come across as an advertisement. Facebook Live gives insight into the brand personality and culture.”
Continue reading to find out what Hootsuite’s social media team learned from doing Facebook Live video.
Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.
13 tips for Facebook Live success
1. Test your equipment
“You can make your Facebook Live broadcast private at first for testing,” Wood explains. “This lets you see what it will look like and how it will sound.”
Many issues can easily be avoided with a brief run-through and test.
Before every one of Hootsuite’s Facebook Live broadcasts, we test out our tech equipment, check our lighting, ensure all microphones are working properly, and monitor external sound levels. As far as equipment goes, our team recommends using an external microphone (especially for interviews) to ensure optimal audio performance. A tripod is also important to ensure you capture a steady shot.
2. Don’t focus on perfection
A big part of Facebook Live’s appeal is the authentic content. Maker Studios’ chief content officer Erin McPherson declares, “The new authority is authenticity.” This is especially true if you’re targeting millennials, as only six percent of this age group trust traditional online advertising.
Colling says, “Don’t be stressed out if it’s not perfect! The appeal of Facebook Live is its unedited and raw nature, and your audience is much more forgiving here.”
3. Prepare talking points
Appearing authentic is not the same as being unprepared. To avoid any uncomfortable moments in your Facebook Live broadcast, think about what you’re going to say in advance. If you hit a lull in the discussion, you can easily turn to your talking points to spark interesting conversation.
4. Schedule a ‘Go Live’ notification
A “Go Live” notification is a great way of to ensure your audience knows when to tune in. In your video settings, simply toggle the switch from off to on.
Once you’ve done this, your followers can subscribe to your channel and will receive a push notification when your broadcast begins streaming.
5. Promote your broadcast
In addition to scheduling a notification for our audience, we make sure to promote our broadcasts through our other social channels.
We schedule regular Facebook and Twitter posts letting people know when to tune-in. Wood shares, “We also create Snapchat and Instagram Stories with a sneak preview of the content we’ll be covering in our Facebook Live broadcast to spark our audience’s interest, as well as a clear call-to-action inviting viewers 30 minutes before we go live.”
6. Reintroduce what you’re talking about often
If you’ve ever walked into a meeting late, you know how frustrating it is to not know what’s going on. To avoid making your audience feel this way, Wood recommends reintroducing your topic often.
“Give yourself a buffer time at the beginning so that people have time to join the video, and then get others up to speed by repeating the topic and current discussion at least once again,” she advises.
7. Have a dedicated engagement person if possible
A Facebook Live broadcast is a fast-paced event where many things are happening at once. When we run our Facebook Live broadcasts, we have a person dedicated to monitoring and responding to comments.
Colling recommends streamlining this process by having a list of resources and key messaging ready.
“You’re likely to get the same questions or comments more than once, so this is a great way to save time and maintain consistency,” she explains.
8. Boost your content right away
If you have the budget, there’s no better way to promote your Facebook Live event than by giving it a boost. As Wood explains, “Make a bigger impact and reach more people with your Live video by boosting it after you’ve ended the broadcast. You can set your spend and choose the audience you want to target. Using a tool like AdEspresso can help a lot with this!”
It’s important to stay on top of your efforts, and keep an eye on the post to make sure you’re reaching your target audience. Wood recommends checking your boosted post for responses every day and adjusting if needed.
9. Repurpose content for your other channels
When you’re planning your Facebook Live event, consider how you will be able to repurpose the content.
Our social team will shorten the video for regular Facebook and Instagram video, and share any tips to the appropriate social channels as posts.
Colling shares, “It’s also a great idea to think about how you can turn the content of your Facebook Live broadcast into a permanent piece of evergreen content, like a blog post or guide.”
One of the best ways to repurpose your broadcast is to highlight key tips and the most valuable information, and create a piece of content your audience can refer to and use as a trusted resource.
10. Make sure you have visible branding
While you might find it hard to forget your brand, others who are tuning into your Facebook Live broadcast might need a reminder. Ensure you have visible and easily recognizable branding representing your company throughout the entire broadcast.
At Hootsuite, we add a watermark of our logo to the corner of the video and shoot on a set that contains branded merchandise, like Hootsuite t-shirts and Owly plush toys.
11. Keep your intro short
“Our first broadcast had an intro that was almost five minutes long,” Colling shares. “We realize we should have limited the intro to one minute, at the maximum.”
While it’s important to have an intro in order to acquaint your audience with the topic, you don’t want it to be so long that your audience drops off.
12. Track the right metrics
Facebook counts a video view at three3 seconds, but at Hootsuite we focus on viewers who reach the 10 second mark of our Facebook Live stream. This means that the viewer has not only surpassed the autoplay mark, but stayed an extra seven seconds.
In addition to counting the number of viewers who stayed for 10 seconds or more, we measure the average watch time, and the percentage of viewers who watch with sound on and off.
To measure engagement, we look at the number of comments we received as well as shares. As Wood declares, “If you’re getting shares, you’re getting views.”
13. Know how to drive traffic
Facebook Live can bring big attention to your brand and help drive traffic in many ways. Colling explains, “When you publish your video, you can edit the copy to include clear CTAs encouraging your audience to visit your other channels.”
Provide links to resources such as your blog, guides, website, and webinars, and encourage your viewers to check them out.
There’s no one size fits all key to success for Facebook Live, but the above tips can guide you in the right direction. Test and adjust your approach as necessary, and find the best fit for your brand.