In April 2016, Facebook made live video available to all users. The upgrade was announced on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page.
BHM’s verified page on Facebook however had access to the feature much earlier and we, err, messed around a bit.
New to the feature, and want to learn more about it?
Here are 12 lessons we learnt from using Facebook Live:
Let The Audience Lead. There is no point in putting out live content if there’s no one available to watch. Monitor your followers. When are they more active? Reach them then. The kind of content you push out also depends on your audience. This involves monitoring them, once again, and finding out what they are drawn to and how you can include them in your live content.
Be Trendy. Give your audience information they’re looking for. Focus on relevant and trending topics. This attracts the attention of not just your followers but also other intrigued users. When our sister company TheNETng did a Live video on Tiwa Savage’s husband’s social media rant as it was happening, the video got 5,932 live views, reached 110,287 people and enjoyed 346 reactions, comments and shares. You can watch the video here.
Go Live Within Groups. When you go live within groups, you’re assured of an audience. Nothing hurts more than a live video that’s unwatched as it’s happening.
Don’t Be Swayed By High Views. High views can be sexy, but don’t let that distract you from substance: actual engagement with your audience. Going live anywhere (FB, Periscope or Youtube) is a means to an end for us and the brands we work for. We want to involve audiences, add value to them, and possibly pitch a brand idea or news or sentiment. Only those who stay and comment and engage are available for this. So a Live cast with 50 views and 500 comments may be more impactful than one with 500 views and 10 comments. You get?
Facebook Live Is Not A One-Way Street. Engaging with viewers while broadcasting is important. Everyone loves to be heard and acknowledged. Always acknowledge your viewers and especially your commenters. They are right there with you, in the room, part of your conversation!
Managing Audience Engagement Is Tough. Once you’ve gotten the content, reach and time right, you have to master how to manage audience engagement swiftly and smoothly so as not to interfere with your content and get carried away.
Be Spontaneous. If you decide to make your Facebook live recurrent, you have to be able to switch up on your content so you don’t bore us. Remember to keep your content in line with your audience’s preferences. Feel free to ask them what they love to see. You can even do a Facebook Live on that topic. I think we’ll try that next week.
Internet connection is key. For those of us in countries like Nigeria where the Internet has a mind of its own, you have to have a back up connection and good reception to successfully do a live video. Bad internet equals unplanned breaks and poor video quality. Sucks.
Don’t leave your audience in the dark. Invest in good lighting and a good microphone for your smartphone or camera. You don’t want your viewers complaining about the quality of your audio or lightning. They might lose interest and switch off. And they may never come back.
A Stable Video Goes A Long Way. Avoiding any form of video distortion is very important as disruption from sound; audio and instability are huge turn offs for your audience. Stable hands are recommended but a good tripod will save you from holding your phone the whole time. We bought one in the US for less than a hundred quid.
Promote It. Always let your followers know in advance of any live video you intend to do. Letting your audience know, about a day or two prior to going live, gives them something to look forward to and allows for a larger number of people to tune in. When our founder, Ayeni Adekunle taught at Chris Ihidero’s creative master class in Lagos, we informed our followers ahead of time. Over 3k views. When he gave a lecture to Project Fame contestants last year, he asked his followers to suggest tips for the contestants. His entire session was ‘crowd sourced’ – although that was Twitter, a platform we will discuss in the coming weeks.
A catchy headline always helps. The headline for a live video is very important because this is the only part people see in their notifications to decide whether to view or not. The headline our sister company TheNETng used “Exclusive Live Chat With Darey” on its Facebook Live video with Darey attracted 5520 viewers with over 300 reactions, comments and shares. Of course that discussion coincided with the release of his amazing Video ‘Pray for me.’ You can watch the video here.
In case you haven’t heard, Facebook’s algorithms are apparently partial to native content, especially photos and videos. It’s a low hanging fruit all PR people should be plucking.
Did we leave out any points? Hit on reply and let’s have a chat.