Since the supposed death of Facebook organic reach, business owners and marketers have scrambled to find new ways to drum up views for their Facebook pages.
The result has been more brands investing in paid Facebook Ads to gain visibility on Facebook.
But one Facebook feature that has great reach potential is perhaps one of the most underutilized:
Facebook Live videos.
If you’re able to overcome stage fright (and use the best practices outlined in this guide), you’ll find Facebook Live to be a powerful tool when it comes to boosting engagement and generating leads.
Consider how most of my Facebook Live videos rack up 300+ views while my business Facebook page is lucky to get over 50 impressions on a single post.
What does it take to maximize your views and engagement on Facebook Live?
Follow these tips to start seeing higher numbers for yourself.
1. Choose Your Topic
Now, I’m a fan of impromptu Facebook Lives but I see the best results when I plan out my topic in advance.
This is usually based on a topic that’s of interest to my target audience.
Often, I will ask my followers directly what they would like to hear me talk about on Facebook Live.
In the past, the topics have ranged from “How to Come Up with Engaging Blog Post Ideas” to “How to Use Pinterest to Get More Traffic”.
In choosing a topic, consider your end goal.
- Do you want your followers to see you as an authority on a particular topic?
- Do you want them to sign up for your offer?
Make sure you hit “play” with a purpose!
One pro tip is to follow up with your followers again to ask them what questions they have about your chosen topic.
This will help you come up with your main talking points and get your followers interested in hearing your answers during your Facebook Live.
2. Build Some Hype
Facebook Live is like a house party.
Some people will show up unannounced, but most will need to be invited.
You don’t want to host your “party” and not have any guests (i.e., viewers).
That’s why you should build up some hype before you actually go live.
I recommend doing this about a week before you plan on going live and then once again a few days before the event.
Give your followers some time to get excited and add it to their schedule.
I recommend posting on your personal profile and your business page announcing the fact that you will be going Live, what topic you will be covering, and the date and time.
You can also give followers another chance to ask questions that you will address during your Live.
3. Gauge Interest with Comment Ladders
One way to build some hype is to use a method called “comment ladders.”
This is where you post something (in this case, your announcement about going Live) and ask followers to comment if they are interested.
It might seem a little corny at first, but it is effective in drumming up engagement and getting your post picked up by Facebook’s algorithm.
That way, more people will see your post and be inclined to tune in.
Simply post something like:
“Going Live on [day] at [time] to talk about [topic]! Who wants to tune-in? Comment “I’m in!” below.”
Then, wait for people to comment on your post and then add them to a list so you’re sure to follow up with them before you go Live.
4. Send Reminders
If your comment ladder was successful, you should have a list of people who are interested in watching your Live.
About an hour before you’re due to go Live, private message the people on your list to remind them that you’re going Live.
You might also tag them in your video so they’re notified right away.
This may seem like overkill but I assure you that I have had more people say “Thank you” for the reminder than cuss me out (actually, no one has done that).
If people are interested in what you have to say, they’ll appreciate the nudge.
5. Organize Your Content
Whether it’s a webinar, a YouTube video, or a Facebook Live, no one likes a video that rambles on and on.
To avoid boring your audience to tears – or losing them after just a few seconds – make sure you have some organization to your content.
I try to stick to 3-5 main talking points and not go over 45 minutes on camera.
I’m clear from the get-go what I am going to be talking about so viewers are inclined to stick through until the end.
You’ll also want to plan for when you are going to make your “pitch”, if you have one.
This doesn’t have to be a hard sell, it could simply be a lead magnet, but you want to give viewers a teaser so they keep watching until you make your offer.
For example, I might say, “Today I am talking about the three biggest mistakes SEOs make with their content. You’ll want to avoid these so your content doesn’t bomb. At the end of this video, I’ll be sharing a free resource for how to create your best SEO content ever!”
6. Prepare Your ‘Studio’
If you are using Facebook Live for your business, you’ll want to look professional (assuming that’s “on brand” for you).
That doesn’t necessarily mean fancy equipment, but you should dress for the occasion, have a sturdy setup, and opt for great lighting.
Aim for a background with few visual distractions.
I like to film my videos while facing a window (natural lighting) with a simple backdrop.
This keeps viewers focused on you rather than on any chaos that might be going on in the background.
7. Write an Eye-Catching Title
If you have built some hype around your video, your followers will be waiting to be notified once you go Live.
You’ll also want to draw in viewers who might not have known about the event. This is where having an eye-catching title comes in.
Facebook often cuts off the tail end of your title depending on whether users are scrolling on desktop or mobile.
For that reason, I try to keep the title as concise as possible and make the topic obvious in the first 2-4 words.
So, a title like “Let’s Go Live to Talk About the Best SEO Strategies” is less eye-catching than “3 Best SEO Strategies: Get More Traffic!”
Similarly, a Live title like “Why Black Hat SEO Sucks – Let’s Discuss!” is more click-worthy than “What SEO Professionals Get Wrong About Black Hat SEO Tactics.”
8. Optimize the Description
Like your title, your video should be concise and to the point.
The main reason being that it is difficult for viewers to scroll through and read your video description on a small screen.
Your goal is to drum up as much engagement as possible, so you should include some obvious calls-to-actions “above the fold” (in this case, before the viewer has to scroll).
Some good CTAs include, “Say ‘Hi’ in the comments”, “Post a question below”, and/or “Download my free ebook”.
Underneath your description, you can include a simple outline of what you are going to cover in your video.
This will give viewers a bit of a preview so they’re more inclined to stick around until the end.
Finally, drop links to any additional resources you plan on mentioning in your video.
This is where I like to include a link to a recent blog post (that’s related to the video), my Calendly link to book a call with me, or whatever my offer/lead magnet is.
9. Encourage Comments & Questions
Improve engagement on your videos by encouraging viewers to ask questions and drop comments on your Facebook Live.
This will also bump your Facebook Live to the top of other peoples’ timeline.
Answering questions during your Live video also just makes for a more enjoyable experience for your viewers.
With that, it’s more of a conversation than you talking at them for 10-50 minutes.
10. Experiment with Interviews
Interviews are great because then you can share your content with two (or more) audiences.
You can also earn a bit of clout by interviewing an industry professional, positioning your brand as a great source of information in your niche.
I use the BeLive Chrome extension to invite people on to my Facebook Lives and broadcast it to my personal profile and Facebook groups.
Then, viewers have an opportunity to ask the interviewee questions, again drumming up more visibility.
11. Broadcast to Your Facebook Pages
You can share your Facebook Live to your Facebook pages and Facebook groups to get more eyes on your video.
Some tools, like BeLive, allow you to do this automatically but you can share it manually as well.
Over time, you’ll get into a routine of where you want to stream your Facebook Live from and where you want to share it to.
Experiment with this to see which groups/pages result in the greatest reach.
12. Keep the Conversation Going
Make a point of saying “Hi, [name]” every time someone hops on to view your Facebook Live.
That little acknowledgment alone can be enough to encourage someone to comment, which boosts your video algorithmically.
Keep the conversation going by asking your viewers questions and asking for their opinions on the given topic.
Again, you want this to be a two-way conversation so viewers engage with you until the very end.
And remember: Don’t forget to have fun with it from time to time!
13. Stay on Subject
This is where organizing your content will help you.
By having a mini-outline, you’ll be more likely to stay on topic and keep viewers from dropping off out of boredom.
I recommend keeping a set of notes on your computer or in a notebook so you’re sure to cover all your important points.
It’s easy to ramble and stutter on Facebook Live, especially if you’re not 100% comfortable on camera.
Having notes will make things easier for you and keep your viewers interested in your content.
14. Promote a Lead Magnet
Views are great but leads are even better.
If you’re going to take the time to host a Facebook Live, it’s best to make it count.
The best way to do this is to have a free lead magnet to promote during your Live video.
For me, I have one or two ebooks that I routinely promote; both related to SEO and content.
If I speak on either one of those topics, I direct viewers to one of those ebooks, which then grows my email list.
If you don’t have a lead magnet to promote and you simply want to promote a paid offer, that’s also OK.
Just make sure it’s enticing so you can hook viewers in and get them to convert.
The more related your offer is to your Live topic, the better.
15. Repurpose Your Video
Your Live video doesn’t have to live and die on Facebook.
Squeeze every bit of juice out of your video by repurposing your video for multiple platforms.
You can go to your Albums > Videos on Facebook and then download the video file after you go Live.
Then, you can upload your video to YouTube (or other video hosting platform), and post the video on your blog, share it with your email list, use it in a Facebook Ad, etc.
With Facebook Live, you can generate organic views and generate traffic from other sources.
Consider the many different ways you can repurpose your content for maximum exposure.
You don’t have to have a news anchor personality to do well with Facebook Live.
Anyone can start generating views and leads with Live video if they start with the best practices above.
Feel free to experiment so see what works best for your unique audience.
- How to Successfully Promote Your Facebook Page Everywhere
- How to Completely Optimize Your Facebook Page
- Facebook Group vs. Facebook Page: What’s Better for Your Brand?
All screenshots taken by author, July 2020