I recently tried out Facebook Live Video. There are lots of potentially good opportunities for using live video in marketing. In my particular case, I was attending a client event and wanted to generate interest and excitement. As most first-time ventures go, it was a learning experience.
Here are my eight quick tips for novice users, so that you may be better prepared for your first broadcast.
Figure out where you will video.
- Be sure you are in a location with a good data signal. Facebook won’t allow you to begin Live video if your signal is weak. You also don’t want to get started and then lose signal mid-stream.
- Pick a location without a lot of background noise. You want to be sure your audience can hear you.
- Position yourself to where you have your target subject in clear sight and without blockages.
Decide if you are going to speak or not.
If you plan to speak to your viewers, introduce yourself and what the video broadcast is about. Speak slowly and clearly, and engage with your audience. During my experience, I started the live broadcast and then realized I hadn’t thought about speaking. At that point, it was too far gone and I realized it would be awkward to start rambling about what was going on, so I remained quiet.
Give thought to how long you will be live.
Facebook recommends at least 5 minutes for live video to give people time to join and share it with their friends.
Determine which camera you want to use.
You have the option of using the rear or front camera of your phone. During my first attempt, I was outside on a bright, sunny day. I didn’t have my brightness turned all the way up, so I didn’t notice that I started my live video in selfie mode. Yikes! My intent was to show the activities going on at the event, not myself squinting at the screen. As soon as I realized my issue, I stopped the video and deleted it. Thankfully I was able to act quickly. In some cases, a selfie broadcast might be appropriate.
Decide on camera orientation.
It doesn’t matter which way you hold your phone – vertically or horizontally. Facebook Live videos are square and holding your camera one way or the other will not impact how it appears. Your display will show the square video capture and the rest of your screen will show comments made by viewers.
Get help if needed.
I admit I don’t have a steady hand. If you have the same issue, you may consider using a mount or enlisting a friend (with a steady hand) to hold the phone while shooting the video. I want my followers to watch future live videos, but if they get motion sickness from watching, that isn’t likely to happen.
Write a compelling description.
Just before you go live, you have the opportunity to provide a brief description of the video. This will appear as the post text for all of your followers to see. Make it interesting so that viewers will watch.
Do a practice video.
After I did my first Facebook Live video, I learned there is actually a way you can practice this exercise. When you go to post a status on your Facebook profile the privacy setting usually defaults to “Friends.” Simply tap that to change it to “Only Me.” Once you’ve done that, tap the live video icon to begin setting up your broadcast. Beneath the video description area, your privacy setting is indicated so you know who will be able to see your live video.
From a business perspective, we see fabulous uses to promote items such as:
- All-day events where you hope to encourage participants to come out and join in the fun. Our work with Terrell Airport comes to mind.
- New product arrivals such as summer inventory for The Maddox Shop
- Company anniversary, product or milestone announcements such as celebrating a Best Places to Work or Dallas 100 award announcement, debuting a new product offering, showcasing company culture with teambuilding events or cook-offs, showing off your new office space, etc.
- Sharing part of a speaker keynote address or attendee comments and input from trade shows.
Overall, have fun and leverage this newer tool from Facebook.