Without a doubt, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform. People are on Facebook one in every six minutes online, and one in every five minutes on mobile. Users have access to an average of 1,500 posts per day. That is a massive audience.
There are many tips and tricks to maximize Facebook when running a business page, but one of the newest (and most exciting) features is Facebook LIVE. Right from your phone you can live stream video content for up to 90 minutes. Rich media like video is guaranteed to get more engagement from your audience, and the commenting and reaction features create an unprecedented amount of interaction.
But how is Live different than posting a normal video?
There are a few reasons why Facebook Live is a more powerful way for you to connect with your audience than a typical status update, photo or link.
First of all, Live is a unique content form so it gets peoples attention. It is a new form of content that is privy to experimentation and in-the-moment comedy. People are likely to spend up to three times more time watching a live video than a normal video. The rawness and lack of editing creates a new form that creates an air of authenticity and is just simply exiting to watch.
The Livestream is an opportunity to show a variety of sides of your company. Whether you do a behind the scenes stream, a demo, interview with an expert or a question and answer, customers can get a peak into the details of what you do. You can tell your story, your way!
Facebook Live provides an immediate and direct avenue to connect with your audience. In real time you can see and respond to comments and questions. Viewers can react to your stream, letting you know what kind of content they like or dislike. You are able to see how your viewers are enjoying your stream as they either like, dislike, love, hate, are wowed or humored by your stream!
Live creates a bond with your viewers that is much stronger than anything possible in a status or photo. You can respond to questions from commenters and shift your focus if needed as the stream unfolds. By hearing what is on the mind of your viewers and responding to that, you create a relationship that is informative for both sides. This immediate and direct interaction with your audience is rare and should be cherished.
Another great thing about Live, is that it gives your audience a chance to know your company on a more personal level. Seeing a face to the brand they interact with online humanizes the interaction and creates a personal connection. Viewers are able to get a better feeling of who you are!
Beyond the buzz around Live at a user level, Facebook itself also rewards pages for going live. Live videos are most likely to appear high in newsfeeds and unlike any other type of post on Facebook, Live sends a notification to all followers that the stream is starting. Followers of your page will be notified of the title of your Livestream and be called to watch it! This is a great way to engage more passive followers as there is a sense of urgency in the need to watch what is happening live.
Live is a great place to generate ideas for new content. When you get to talk to your followers you get a chance to hear their needs and desires, shaping your creative content moving forward. The more you know about your audience, the better you are able to create material that appeals and adds value to them, increasing engagement in return.
Finally, Livestream also lasts beyond when it is streaming. The video will be saved to your page and is a great form of quality content that can be re-shared and repurposed on blogs or other platforms.
Here are a few best practices to keep in mind to optimize your FB live stream.
- Announce your upcoming Livestream on your social networks so viewers can be prepared to watch. They will get a notification when it begins, but if they know the stream is coming they will be more likely to make time to watch.
- Go live when you have a strong internet connection. It is best to go live with Wi-Fi, but if not have at least a 4G connection. If the video is of poor quality, people are not likely to continue watching.
- Write a captivating description of your video. The title of the video is what will show up on the notification that people receive on Facebook when when you go live. The more interesting the title, the more likely people will come and check it out.
- Broadcast for a longer time. The longer the stream, the more likely you are to gather an audience and be discovered. We recommend streaming for a minimum of 10 minutes and a stream can last up to 90.
- Go live often to keep your audience engaged and excited to see your content. Be creative and try out different types of streams and see how your audience reacts.
- Thank your viewers for watching. They put their time into watching your stream, so thanking them make them feel seen and a part of the experience.
- Have a focus to your stream. Though the point of the live stream is to be in the moment, it is important be organized with what you want to talk about.
- If you can, have a few people involved in the stream. Comments and reactions come quickly and it can be overwhelming to the person talking. If you have someone monitoring questions and another filming it makes for a smoother stream.
The goal of a live stream is to provide value for your followers. It is as close as you can get to a real time conversation besides being in a room with them. Call out the viewers by name and truly engage with their reactions. Fans will keep up and new followers will discover you too as your post is boosted to the top of their feed. Facebook Live is a great feature that should be utilized by any company looking to create a faithful audience.
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