By: Christina Welty, MA
Facebook Live has been around for a couple years, but it’s definitely gaining popularity. Whether you have a personal business selling makeup or clothes or you are a leader of an association or company, it’s a great way to encourage new followers and gain excitement for your product or service. When the Southeastern Conference of Dental Laboratories (SCDL) suggested we do a Facebook Live video, I had to do some research!
Before getting started, what is Facebook Live? Simply put, it’s a way to stream a live video through your personal or business page on Facebook. It’s a great way to connect instantly with your audience, build your network and tell your story – your way. Another perk, especially for organizations on a budget, is that it’s free!
I have a lot to learn, but here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way.
Make sure your followers know when you are going “live”. In our case, we posted on our page the date and time we would go live. We also announced it in an e-blast to our members and prospect members. Remember to give them a reason why they should join you – are you announcing the dates and location for your next meeting, keynote speakers or perhaps a new member benefit? SCDL’s main purpose was to recap the changes they went through last year and get people interested in being involved for the coming year.
TEST, TEST, TEST.
No one wants to have a video that buffers every few seconds, so make sure your connection is strong!
You can use your desktop with a camera or your smart phone. Facebook recommends Wi-Fi, but a 4G connection will work in a pinch.
For a personal page, you can test a video with a friend or just yourself. As far as I can tell, there is not the same option if you have a business page. For SCDL, the president and I tested it quickly (used a piece of paper with “testing” on it) and then deleted it. Here is how it looks:
Map out what you are going to say.
Take some time thinking about what you want to cover and what you want to accomplish. It’s important to be scripted, but remember that it’s not a movie or a TV show – it doesn’t have to be perfect. You’re live and people don’t generally speak in sound bites!
DURING THE VIDEO.
Introduce yourself and wait a few moments to make sure you have a few people watching. Be personable. As people sign on, say hi and thank them for taking time out of their day to watch. People have the ability to make comments during your video, so you can either answer them yourself (verbally or type them in the comments section) or have someone else answer. If you have another board member who is an admin of the page, you can have him/her respond to the questions. It helps keep the speaker focused and still engages the listeners. Remember to keep your video quick – 5 or 10 minutes is typically enough time to get your point across without losing people. When you close, thank everyone and leave them with an interesting tidbit of information.
When you end, Facebook should prompt you to save your video to your page. What’s great about Facebook Live is that even if people are unable to watch live, they can watch it later. I would also recommend having your board members (or friends on a personal page) share it on their page. It’s amazing how much traction it can get! You can also pin your video to the top of your page about a week later.
Here is a screen shot of SCDL’s first Facebook Live video. To watch the full talk, go to the association’s Facebook page here.
Have you, either personally or with your company done a Facebook Live video before? Do you have any tips to add?