Facebook is an ever-changing beast. What works one month may not work the next, making it super important to stay up with trends and experiment with auxiliary features like groups, marketplace, Live, and others.
One feature that’s fallen out of the limelight over the past year or two is Facebook Live. It took the social media marketing world by storm when released in 2016, quickly reviving the long-dead social media live streaming trend.
And despite the feature stirring up controversy in years past, things have largely settled, proving that Facebook Live is here to stay. Our guess why? Because people really, really like live streaming.
The numbers don’t lie: a joint study by Livestream and The New York Times shows 80% of social media users would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and a whopping 82% prefer live video to a brand’s standard social posts.
Even crazier, it’s reported that Facebook users spend 3 times as much time watching Facebook Live videos than standard pre-recorded videos. So, going on Facebook Live just once a month can give your viewership a serious boost.
In this article, we’ll run through how you can use Facebook Live to grow your Facebook audience. We’ll start with a Facebook Live tutorial, and then move on to some actionable ways you can put Facebook Live to work.
Sound good to you? Let’s get started!
How to start a branded Facebook Live video
If you’ve used the Facebook mobile app before, chances are you know how to start a personal Facebook Live video: simply tap the Live button at the top of your News Feed, and you’re good to go.
Thankfully, the process isn’t much different for starting a Facebook Live feed on your brand’s Facebook page or branded group. Here’s how to do it—note that the process is the same for groups and pages.
Open your Facebook mobile app and tap on the hamburger icon at the lower right-hand side of the screen.
Tap on the page or group you’d like to start a Facebook Live stream in. Note that if you’d like to stream in a group, you must be an admin (or have Live streaming privileges from an admin).
Look towards the center of the screen and click on the Live button beneath the status update box. When you do this, the standard Facebook Live screen will appear.
You’re all set! Tap the Start Live Video button at the bottom of the screen and you’re ready to go.
Make sure to keep these tips in mind when building Facebook Live content
Super simple, right? Yes, but before you start your Facebook Live stream, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Because, like with everything in social media marketing, you need a plan to get results.
These tips can be used for Facebook Live content in both branded groups and pages—let’s check them out!
Plan Facebook Live events ahead of time
If there’s only one piece of advice we could give any budding Facebook Live enthusiast, it’d be this: plan your Live events ahead of time.
Why? Simple: planning your events ahead of time gives you time to fully think through your strategy. This means that your Live stream will come across as high-quality and well put together, not thrown together at the last second.
This will give your brand a professional look and feel that will rub off on your audience’s perception of your (or your client’s) products. For example, say you’re a business software company—if you rush through a Facebook Live stream, you risk making your software look rushed too.
Alternatively, if you spend time pre-planning your content and writing an informal script, there’s a good chance your stream is going to be awesome. In turn, your audience will likely think the same of your company and its products.
Planning ahead lets you pre-promote too
One of the benefits of Facebook Live streams is that Facebook automatically promotes your stream. For instance, your stream will appear in the stories section above the News Feed on the Facebook mobile app, and some users may even get a notification.
However, pre-planning your Facebook Live stream lets you do some promoting on your own too. You can post about your Live stream on your social channels, promote through your special guest's social media, and even run ads about it.
Plus, when you promote beforehand, you create fear of missing out (FOMO). This will make people excited for your stream, and ensure a nice turnout. In the end, this could be the determining factor in your Facebook Live stream being successful... or a total flop.
Schedule your Facebook Live event ahead of time
Facebook recently added a feature that lets marketers schedule Facebook Live streams on a Facebook page. When you do this, you’ll get a link to your video feed that you can use in your promotional materials and email invites.
Here’s how to schedule a Facebook Live stream for your Facebook page. Do note that you must use a computer for this—the Facebook mobile app doesn’t support it (yet).
Navigate to your Facebook page and click the Publishing Tools button at the top of the screen.
Click on the Video Library button on the left-hand side of the screen.
Look towards the center of the screen and click on the +Live button. This will open a new Facebook Live session on your page (but don’t worry, you’re not streaming yet).
Add a title and description, then, look towards the lower right-hand corner of the screen and click Schedule.
- Now, you can schedule your event! Enter a date and time, add an event photo, and add a little text to the announcement post. Then, click the Schedule button to schedule your Live stream.
When you click the Schedule button, Facebook will publish an invite your Facebook page. Use this post to invite people to your upcoming live stream and get the FOMO started!
Make long-lasting content
One of the best parts of using Facebook Live is that it automatically records and reuploads your stream as a video after the fact. Viewers can even see comments and reactions load as they were posted to your Live video—pretty sweet, right?
The main reason that this is so great is that video is a super engaging media format on Facebook. Currently, over 8 billion Facebook videos are watched every single day, and a whopping 71% of people watch more video now than they did a year ago.
So with that in mind, make Facebook Live content that makes sense after the stream. This will essentially give you free video content that you can use for more reach and engagements after the fact.
How to use Facebook Live to grow and engage your audience
Sound good so far? Awesome—and you’re almost ready to go live and host your first Facebook Live stream. But before you do that, let’s look at a few unique ways you can use Facebook Live.
Live record a podcast
Does your brand have a podcast? If so, you should consider live recording it on Facebook Live!
Doing this will bring your existing podcast listeners to your Facebook page, letting them interact with you and ask questions in real-time. Just be sure to advertise your live stream on your podcast so that your audience knows where to go for the first stream.
Do Q&As with your c-suite
Speaking of Q&A’s, consider hosting a live Q&A with your CEO, CMO, or other c-suite executives on Facebook Live. This will not only get your brand’s name out but also show that your leadership is competent and brings real value to the table—something that will undoubtedly rub off on your brand image.
Remember though, Facebook Live shows all comments and reactions in real-time, so you can’t pre-write questions. With this in mind, ensure you plan and promote the Q&A well in advance in order to get a solid turnout.
Have your executive post about the Q&A on their professional social channels, too. This will bring their personal following to the Live feed, letting even more people know about your brand and what you do.
Interview influencers in your industry
Can’t get your CEO on board? No worries—try partnering with an influencer in your industry for a Facebook Live interview instead! In the interview, discuss industry topics, ask questions about their experiences, and otherwise ask them for insights on burning industry questions.
There are two benefits to doing this. The first is simple: it’s easy content. When you have a well-known influencer in front of you, there’s no doubt that you (and your audience) will have a set of awesome questions lined up and ready to ask.
Plus, the influencer you’re working with will likely share your Facebook Live feed with their audience too. This will put your Facebook page in front of new eyes, bringing more people to your feed and increasing your brand awareness.
Go behind the scenes at trade shows and industry events
Finally, consider hosting a Facebook Live stream at a trade show or other industry event. The buzz around the event will bring audience members unable to make the event to your stream, giving you the benefit of FOMO and increased reach.
Some ways you can do this include tours of the expo floor, broadcasts of your team’s keynote speeches, and interviews with conference organizers. Just make sure that you have permission to broadcast these, as to avoid any legal troubles.
Facebook Live is one of the best ways you can expand your Facebook audience in 2019. Keep these actionable tips in mind when creating your Facebook Live plan, and we’re confident you’ll see more engagement and a growing audience.
Now it’s your turn—does your brand use Facebook Live? If so, how? Let us know in the comments box below. We’re excited to hear your thoughts!