Facebook first announced their Live feature about a year ago, initially only making it available for big brands and celebrities. Since then, the feature has been rolled out to all accounts and has added several new features (which we have yet to see).
Does Facebook Live Really Matter?
Worried this is just another thing you have to learn how to do and implement without seeing any results? In our fast-moving industry, it can feel like as soon as you tackle one new platform (Twitter), another one pops up (Snapchat). It can be seriously hard to keep up and stay relevant.
But this is a tool worth paying attention to.
The benefits start with video itself. According to a study by Insivia, one-third of all online activity involves watching videos. People are more likely to purchase an item after watching a video. People trust videos, and they are more likely to recall a video ad than an add in any other format.
In addition to the benefits of video, Live videos rank well on Facebook. Plus, stats show people will spend three times longer watching a video if it is live and users comment ten times more often on live videos.
Outside of the stats related to how we can market on Facebook Live, there are many ways it has changed the world we live in. We can now share current events and news without the help of media outlets. Regular citizens can share injustices and draw our attention to issues we may never have heard about otherwise.
It is an important feature—not just for marketers, but also for everyday citizens.
So, how can you make the most of this feature? At SEJ, we have been testing Facebook Live with our weekly SEJ News LIVE, hosted by Caitlin Rulien, our Social Producer. In doing so, we have done quite a bit of research and dug into what is working and what is not on Facebook Live.
Here are a few ways to get the most out of the platform.
1. Stretch Out Your Introduction
Longer is better when it comes to Facebook Live, but you can’t just sit there – you still need to be offering value. Stretching out your introduction gives people a chance to notice that little notification on their page and click over to your video. Here are a few ways to stretch your intro without irritating your viewers:
- Tell them what you are going to tell them: A short teaser will let your viewers know what to expect during the video and entice them to stay. As more people sign in to watch, you can repeat your intro for the new people as well.
- Ask a basic question: “Hey, how are you all doing? Comment with your name and where you are from!” Then, say hello to people, which will make them feel connected. “Hey Jane from Sarasota, thanks for joining us!”
- Ask for likes and shares: This will help increase your video’s reach as well. “I really love seeing those hearts fly by, keep them coming!”
2. Ask Questions
The beauty of live video is that it allows you to interact in real-time, so take advantage of that. Then, respond and read them out load during your live video.
A few ideas to help you ask more questions:
- Have an open Q&A session at the end of your video: (You can also mention this early on to entice people to stay for the entire video.)
- Ask for personal stories or experiences: People love to talk about themselves, so this is an easy way to get more people commenting.
- Ask for where they struggle the most: This might vary depending upon your industry. Let’s say you have an SEO tool and your video is about a new update to the Google Algo. You could, for example, ask who is considering using AMP, or what their biggest SEO struggle is.
- Ask for ideas for your next video: From the example above, it might sound like this: “This week we talked about thGoogle Algo update, what do you all want to talk about next week? I was considering talking about AMP, but I want to know what you want to hear about.”
These questions will help you not only interact with you viewers more, but it will also make your video longer, giving more viewers a chance to tune in.
3. Be Repetitive
When you are first learning how to write essays in elementary school, you were probably told “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them. This works well in live video for a few reasons – first, people are more likely to remember things when you repeat them, and second, because people tend to drop in and out of live video.
By repeating your main point, CTA, or the location of any resources you mention, you will make sure all the viewers know what your video is about and why they should keep watching.
4. Use Names
Did you ever call into a radio station to request a song? Do you remember that little thrill you felt when the DJ said your name on the air?
Calling viewers out by name offers your viewers that same little thrill. They are more likely to keep watching and like the video, which helps increase the number of people who see you are live.
5. Participate in the Comments Section
I already mentioned calling out the names of people who comment, but you should also respond in the comments section to keep the conversation going. You can do this yourself by sitting at your laptop or using your tablet while you stream from your phone. Or, you can ask another team member to chat with viewers. (This is how we do it for SEJ News LIVE.)
Have you tried using Facebook Live? What has helped you engage more? Share your thoughts in the comment section!