Facebook has introduced this fun feature called Facebook Live and it’s a GREAT tool for bloggers and other business owners but it can be a bit daunting at first.
I’ve been playing around with FB live on my page (raegunwear) as well as a few pages I contribute to We Heart Books and The Daily Seam. And I have noticed a HUGE improvement in my FB. I’m just going to be honest I HATED FB before. I hated the game of it but I feel like we’ve been giving an opportunity with FB LIVE and like all things it will go away but for those of us who can hop on it we can really benefit.
Why Facebook Live
I’m going to focus on the HOW as opposed to the WHY but here are my top reasons why you should think about adding FB live to your social media plans.
- Engagement: I attended an online blogging summit recently and one of the speakers (I think Quirky Momma‘s Holly Homer) said that FB live gets 3-4 times the engagement of any other type of post. And I believe it. People like to comment and they comment often because at it’s root it’s a conversation.
- Growth: I have seen a boost in the reach of my other posts and my followers.
- Reach: You know how FB doesn’t show anyone your posts? Well they DO show them your live videos. Live videos have priority in your feed. You can get insane reach especially if you have a few people help you share your post. Like 20 times your normal reach insane.
- Realness: When people see you live they connect in a way that isn’t possible with your regular posts. People love to see behind the scenes and when they connect with you in this way it makes them interact with your page differently. They are no long visiting the Rae Gun page they are visiting Marissa’s page who they hung out with and chatted with the other day.
Disclaimer: I am not a pro video person, in fact I don’t know much about video…at all. I am not the best at FB Live but I’ve done a handful now and that has taught me a lot. I’ve had a bunch of blogger friends ask me to share my tips so here they are. If YOU have experience with FB Live and have suggestions to add I would love you to put them in the comments. These are just the things I’ve picked up through trial and error myself and from watching friends do live too! I will update this post as I learn new things so feel free to pin it for a handy reference!
Facebook Live Tips and Tricks
My biggest tip is to JUST DO IT. Just force yourself to do it. The first one is by far the hardest. For me I get too nervous if I plan too far ahead. I decide to do it and then get my supplies together, description typed, and go on! You will learn something and if you hate it you can just delete it.
People like the peek behind the scenes and to see that you are human. Like why do people like watching me do my nails? I get the first time seeing nails stamping, but over and over? Who knows but they do and you know what I love chatting and getting to know my audience more so it’s a win win.
BEFORE YOU GO LIVE
- Before you go live on your page go live for practice. In a small group of friends or just create a practice group anything. Just so know you the steps and how everything works.
- Type up a description and email it to yourself. That way you can copy it when you’re on your phone. Things to include
- What you will be doing, so people can share and people joining in the middle know
- Any relevant links or at least a link to your blog.
- Affiliate links to any products you might use (properly disclosed)
- Make sure you have a strong internet signal. You can test it in a private group if you’re not sure.
- If you’re not somewhere very quiet consider using a mic even just the iphone earbuds that have the built in mic can make a huge difference.
- Test out your camera angles, tripod, however you’ll be setting up your shot.
- Contact any friends and ask them to come chat and share to help. I have some blogger friends I notify when I’m going live and I text my sister and she helps me to do a couple shares too. It’s nice to have people to help get the conversation rolling.
- Most of us have not seen any benefit from doing a pre-live announcement but some like to do it. I find it helps get some friends on if I post on Instagram that I will be live.
WHEN YOU GO LIVE
- Set your phone to do not disturb. Make sure that your do not disturb settings prevent everyone from getting calls through and that it’s set for always not just for when the phone is locked. The default is to let your contacts through and that can interrupt your stream.
- From the Pages app click write post then click on the guy with circles/waves/halos coming out of his head. This will open a dark live screen.
- Copy and paste your prewritten description.
- When you click to go live it will count down FAST 3 2 1 and you will be live. No one will be there. Even if you told 100 people who are waiting by their phones and computers it takes time to load the page and get on.
- I have watched many live videos where I knew they were going on. I was ready for them and I still felt like I missed a bunch because they started so fast. Say hello and introduce yourself. Chit chat about your day or the project it doesn’t have to be related to the project and during this time share your post. Feel free to tell them you’re going to share this so that other people can join and know you’re live. Ask them to answer a question while you’re doing that (ex. where are you watching from) To share yourself you will need a 2nd device, I like to have my laptop sitting by me. If you dive on in people will think they missed too much when they realize you are live or just be totally confused.
- Share the post to any relevant groups that you have permission to share starting with the largest. It’s helpful to have friends/VA’s/sisters do this for you. If you are doing something crafty or creative feel free to share into my Craft and DIY group!
- This will sound weird but share it to your page wall yes the very same place you are live. SO for me I go live, I share to 2-3 groups, I share to Rae Gun Ramblings (and if it fits the We Heart Books and/or The Daily Seam) and I share to my own personal timeline. I also try to throw links in share groups that have FB live threads or ask friends to do that.
- Introduce yourself again, explain what you will be doing.
- As you see people come in (there’s a running number of viewers) ask them to introduce themselves and ask them a question (ex. Where are you from? Have you ever made X? Have you ever used this technique? What did you have for lunch? What is your favorite book? ANYTHING it doesn’t even have to be related to your topic. You can be doing a craft but mention that you’re in the middle of potty training and ask for any tips.) Just something to get people talking.
- ENGAGE!!!! This is one of the most important parts and what makes FB live special. Thank people for showing up, comment on answers, ask follow up question.
- You will feel like it’s taking a long time and that you must be boring. YOU ARE NOT BORING and if you are people can click away, if they are watching you are doing fine. Also it’s normal for people to pop in and out so it’s new to many viewers all the time. It is much more frustrating when people hurry through and you can’t keep up than for it to be a little on the slow side especially at the very beginning.
- Every once in awhile stop your program/tutorial/recipe/etc. to welcome new people and reintroduce yourself. Give a brief overview of what has happened and check in and respond to comments.
- Tell people if they missed the beginning or can’t stay until the end they can save this by “sharing this post to their timelines” and liking your page. That way it will be easy for them to find later. Do this every once in awhile especially if you see a spike in the viewers.
- Try and reshare (or have someone reshare for you). If you can manage it reshare every 15-20 minutes to your own page. Or aim for once in the ⅓ or ½ through. Really anytime you reshare will help. After you are off you will hide the shares from your timeline.
- Shoot to be on as long as you can. The longer you are on the more chance people will see it. Typically the reach of FB lives don’t grow significantly after you are off. So stay on as long as you can. I try to make the shortest 30 minutes. But even 15 works. FB will kick you off at the 90 minute mark. It will give you a red warning in the upper left hand corner and at some point start a countdown and flash. (UPDATE: the time limit has been extended to 24 hours but I haven’t tested that but I have been live for almost 4 hours)
- When you’re finishing up remind people to subscribe since we know the button shows up when you sign off. Try and ask them to like your page and subscribe through out the video but I personally have only seen the subscribe button pop up at the end of a video other’s swear they’ve seen it while I was on so who knows.
- When you are done (either the 90 minutes is close or you’re done with what you want to do) say good bye ask if there are any more questions and wait because there is a delay. Don’t end the live stream while you’re saying good bye I see this all the time. Say good bye pause look at the camera push the button unless you’re maxing it out ;) Before you actually sign off remind people to subscribe.
AFTER YOU ARE LIVE
- You should get the option to save the video. It only works 60% of the time for me. But you can download it from FB later.
- Edit your video. Click on videos then video library then the edit pen.
- Select a thumbnail or upload a thumbnail.
- Add a title
- Edit your description with things that came up during your live show
- Click on “no button” to add a call to action button. It will give you the option at the bottom and then you will be asked for a URL and a description.
- Go hide the video shares on your own page so only the original is showing
- Download if you want by going to the permalink. To get to the permalink click on the timestamp of your video if that just gives you a black pop up page click on the timestamp again. From that page it should give you the option to download.
- Feel free to reply to and like comments. I don’t know what’s best. I find I’ve replied to most verbally while I’m live but at the same time it feels weird to have a long list of comments with no reply. Sometimes I’ll thank them for tuning in or if they asked a question a future viewer asked I might answer it again as a comment.
- Congratulate yourself for doing it. Come comment and let me know so I can go watch it!
- Let real life happen. If you’re kids pop in let them say hi, roll with it people like seeing real life. Holly Homer is the queen of live and she’s had a dog throw up on live video. She just told the audience that she had to deal with real mom stuff for a second. Let the video roll went and cleaned up the dog and kid and jumped back on. On one of my first videos I bought the wrong pieces for a how to video people still loved watching and it was fun and good practice.
- Just try and laugh at any bumps and hiccups. Crafting (and really all of life) has fails. Even if your project doesn’t turn out it’s nice to bond over that.
- Be honest that you are nervous or it’s your first time or you’re not sure how it will turn out. FB live isn’t a perfect type of thing.
- Don’t focus on trolls if you get any them and hopefully your audience will help get rid of them. If you have another admin on your page they can help too.
- If FB says you’ve lost the signal tap your screen and usually it’ll come back.
- If your comments aren’t refreshing try scrolling up and down or try to look at them on a second device. Refresh the page on the second device often to make sure you can see the comments but keep in mind there is a delay. Usually my comments will start up again on my phone even if they stall.
- If you get kicked off or you time out just start another feed right away and add the permalink into the description and comments of the first one. I have been shocked at how willing people are to jump to another video when this happens (I had a friend restart at least 4 times and people kept jumping back on).
- If you want more than 90 minutes pick a spot to finish so you don’t get abruptly kicked off, warn your audience and encourage them to go to your page for part 2. Tell them there will be a short delay but you’ll start part 2 in a minute or so. Then start a second video. Add the link to the second video as fast as you can to the description and comments of the first one so people can find you quickly
- Things will start to go wrong as soon as you plan to go live. Here are just a few that I’ve witness: Kid refusing to nap, Router dying, blog being down (okay I do recommend if you want clicks to the site to make sure it’s up BUT I kept prepping like I was going to go live and it did get up in time). Try and push through and don’t give yourself the excuse not to do it. If something weird happens know you’re not alone.
TIPS FOR SLOWING DOWN (BOTH FOR EASIER VIEWING AND STALLING)
- Have your supplies close but not prepped. This gives people more time to see what you’re using and will force you to slow down.
- Show them all the supplies/ingredients. Give them time to see them. Give the person that is listening to you in the background time to click out of another tab and look to see what you’re talking about about.
- Interact and engage. This is good for so many things but can help your pacing.
GOOD LIVE TOPICS
- Anything you would blog about.
- Anything that is behind the scenes.
- Wandering around a cool location your town might be boring but it’s fun to peer into other people’s lives!
- Give a tour of your workspace. People loved my craft room tour!
- Really basic how-tos. Even 10 minute sewing projects or recipes take a long time to explain and repeat and show people the steps.
- Holly Homer feeds turtles and people swarm to watch. See I told you anything!
- You first and foremost need a device that is able to go live. In most cases this will be a phone or tablet with the Facebook Pages app (if you’re going live to a page) and a strong internet signal.
- I haven’t used a mic yet but sound is probably the MOST important thing. Iphone earbuds that have a mic work well. Also people have mentioned blue tooth mics.
- Tripod(s) that can hold your device. I have a traditional tripod that I add a phone adapter to. This is my favorite phone tripod adapter because it fits my huge iphone 6plus and can be turned depending on orientation. For an overhead view I made a table top tripod from PVC pipe the link to the tutorial is here.
- Consider your lighting you might want something depending on your setting.
I’ll add when I think of more or get more input. If you have ideas of tips for different types of posts let me know
- Go slow and repeat often. Even easy projects are hard for people to follow
- Take time to hold up the supplies and give people a good look.
- Link to the supplies on amazon. People will ask where you got everything
- I’ve seen good success with people repeating crafts. Like make one completely and then make another.
- Don’t touch your face
- Wash hands
- Consider having your hair up
- Link any related posts or products that you might talk about.
- You might be asked where you got whatever you’re wearing or stuff that might be within view, might be another affiliate link option
- Consider your clothing, camera angle and movement. Ask me how I learned this one ;).
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