Livestreaming is huge right now, and for the foreseeable future, it's here to stay.
For marketers, it's a brand new opportunity to connect with your audience — that is, if you do it right.
Figuring out how to use this feature can be a little challenging, especially for certain businesses and industries.
This is a pretty new medium, and it's something you'll need to use differently than standard Youtube and Facebook videos.
It's essentially a live broadcast, meaning it's structured differently than something that's pre-planned and fully scripted.
It should also have a different focus than a regular Facebook video.
Audiences are really into live video right now. So if you use it right, it's a great way to connect with your customers.
But as with any medium, your efforts can also fall flat if you're not sure how to use it.
In a recent post from the Hubspot blog, contributing writer Sarah Bernazzi covers all the bases concerning how you should approach this relatively novel marketing tool.
1) Test out live video using the “Only Me” privacy setting.
If you want to play around with live broadcasting without actually sharing it with anyone else, you can change the privacy setting so you're the only one who can see it — just like with any other Facebook post.
2) Space out live videos with other Facebook posts.
Here's a tip from HubSpot's Social Video Manager Chelsea Hunersen. Because Facebook ranks Live videos higher than other videos and other types of posts, Hunersen recommends spacing out your Facebook Live videos with other Facebook content you post.
“Wait at least two hours before or after you post a Facebook live video,” she says. “Otherwise, your Facebook Live video may cannibalize additional traffic.”
3) Keep reintroducing yourself.
When you first start the video, take a minute to introduce yourself and what the video's about. But keep in mind that when you first start live streaming, you may have zero people watching. Even a few seconds in, you could only have a handful of viewers. As people find your video on their News Feeds, they'll join in — but that means you'll want to reintroduce yourself a second, third, and even a fourth time to catch people up.
4) Make the video visually engaging.
Although all videos on Facebook auto-play in people's News Feeds, they're on mute until the viewer manually turns the volume on. That means you have to be visually engaging — not just at the very beginning of your broadcast (although that'll be important for when folks view the video later), but throughout the video as more and more people join in.
The more visually engaging you can be, the more you can entice people to stick around. That means keeping the camera moving and not just sitting in one place.
Not only will you get more viewers this way, but you'll also get your broadcast ranked higher in other people's News Feeds.
5) Make it spontaneous.
What makes a live video special? The spontaneous, interactive nature of it.
“People love the ability to interact,” says Hunersen. “They love the novelty of viewing someone in a live moment when anything could happen. It's the new reality TV.”
These moments are what make live video special, and they're exactly what differentiates it from scripted, edited, or otherwise pre-recorded videos. Embrace the platform. Banter is always, always good.
6) Don't worry about mistakes or stutters.
Spontaneity works — even if your Facebook Live doesn't go according to plan.
Let's face it, we're all human. And when humans and technology mix, there can sometimes be technical difficulties.
If you're recording a live video, things might go wrong — your equipment could malfunction, you could lose your train of thought, or you could get photobombed by a random passerby. You can't call “cut” if things happen — you have to roll with them and keep filming and talking.
The good news? These things help keep your broadcast human and real. If you wobble your phone while filming, laugh and call it out. If you forget what you were saying, make a joke. The key is to keep the broadcast like a fun conversation, so if mistakes happen, keep it light and keep the lines of communication open with your viewers.
For example, if you make a mistake during your Facebook Live, ask viewers to write in the comments if they've made the same mistake, too.
Want to learn more about Facebook Live? You can check out the in-depth guide over at HubSpot.