How to master Facebook Live

As the trend of video content grows, livestreaming can be a great way to capture consumers’ attention and boost your brand’s influence. Consider these tips.

Live broadcasting, which was once expensive and out of reach for many brand managers, is now free with Facebook Live.

From your smartphone or computer, you can instantly put your organization in front of thousands of viewers. You have the option to broadcast live from your home, office or even your favorite restaurant. Livestreaming options are now endless thanks to social media.

Although anyone can now broadcast to a large audience, at any time, PR pros should follow livestreaming best practices. It is essential to plan your live broadcast as you would traditional video or commercial creation.

To help you get started, here are four tips to master Facebook Live:

1. Promote your video before you go live.

Livestreaming via Facebook is a great way to engage your audience. Broadcasting enables you to target your personal network, fans on your business page, an event or a group. Ensure you have an audience by building anticipation.

A few things you can do to promote your video before going live include:

  • Inviting your e-mail contacts with a link to your Facebook page.
  • Publishing a Facebook post telling your followers when you’ll be livestreaming and what you plan to talk about.
  • Cross posting to other platforms your Facebook link and a message promoting your livestream.
  • Inviting your blog readers to tune in with a post and link.

2. Plan and practice.

After you promote your Facebook Live broadcast, it is essential to plan and practice for it.

Just as you would for a commercial or video, create an outline for what you plan to say once you go live. I suggest creating a bulleted list of the points you want to cover. Keeping a bulleted list can remind you of your talking points, in case you draw a blank while you are in front of your viewers.

Additionally, practice is also very important. You can practice by setting your privacy settings to “only me” when you broadcast on your Facebook profile or page. Once you update these settings, go through your broadcast and watch it once it’s posted. Don’t forget to change the settings back once you are ready to livestream publicly to your audience.

3. Interact with your viewers.

Facebook Live videos can potentially enable you to interact with all of your followers. Viewers are able to ask you questions, and you can respond instantly.

Make your broadcast engaging, rather than just talking at your audience. Interaction can help your viewers become more interested and invested in your brand.

Remember these tips when creating Facebook Live videos:

  • Always greet your commenters by their first names.
  • Begin by asking where your audience is tuning in from.
  • Ask your viewers questions throughout the broadcast.
  • Ask your audience to comment with tips, ideas or examples related to your livestream.

Livestreaming should be an important part of your Facebook strategy, because viewer engagement on your Facebook Live videos will increase your overall reach. Engagement can include comments, likes and shares. The larger reach you have, the more Live viewers you will gain. Interacting with your viewers is a win for your brand—and your analytics.

4. Don’t forget replay viewers

After you finish your Live broadcast, Facebook saves the video to the feed of your profile, page, group or event. Your livestream is then transformed into a native Facebook video and can now be replayed from start to finish.

As a result, aim to create a video that is useful viewers who tune in after you complete your live broadcast.

What Facebook Live advice do you have for newcomers looking for success with livestreaming?

Melinda Lathrop is a social media consultant and is the president of Melinda Lathrop Creative. A version of this article originally appeared on her blog.

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