Facebook Lives are a great way to showcase an event or destination, reach a lot of people quickly and interact with your audience. From doing lives on the our own Facebook, we always notice great results for video views and comments.
When an account goes ‘Live’ on Facebook everyone that follows that account will be notified (for free!) which is a great feature to take advantage of, however you must ensure your live content entices people to keep watching and engage. On this page you'll find, hints and tips that will help boost your Facebook Live content. This is general advice that can be applied to all types of events and settings.
We simply broadcast our 'lives' from a smartphone. Obviously, the quality of the live will depend on the device used, however, we’ve often found that it’s likely to be the signal strength that effects the livestream quality more than the device.
We always use a handheld gimble (support for your device) as oppose to a tripod. This allows us to hold the camera in a steady position whilst moving, whereas a tripod simply holds the camera in the same position. Although these are not essential, we have found it extremely useful. If you are planning on doing regular lives, it would be great to invest in a gimble or a tripod, whatever suits your ‘live style’ more.
If the event is outdoors, always be cautious of wind and background noise. Although it may not feel particularly windy, it will certainly sound windy during the live as the phone microphone is very sensitive. Although there’s little that can be done to combat this without fancy equipment, if it’s going to be an issue it might be worth getting a phone mic ‘muffler’. These can be purchased cheaply and help reduce wind noise.
Signal is key!
People are more likely going to watch and engage with your live stream if the broadcast is clear and the signal is strong. If doing a livestream from an event, it may be best to use WiFi if it’s available as this is likely to be stronger than mobile data.
Always do a test
When doing a 'live', we always do a test to check signal strength and video/audio clarity. This can easily be setup by modifying who can see the Live post prior to starting the main broadcast. It’s best to do this test with someone who is not at the event/live location so you can get a true representation of signal strength.
If no one is available for a test you can simply select the “Only me” view option - this will allow you to post-test lives to your profile for review without anyone else seeing. If using audio, bear in mind there will be roughly a 10-second delay to the test viewer. For example, during the live test if you ask whether the signal is good or if they can hear you, their reply within the comments will be delayed - this is normal.
Broadcast for longer than three minutes
The Facebook algorithm prioritises longer videos that inspire people to keep watching and retain viewers. So for live videos this is great! The longer you’re live, the more likely people are to tune in and watch. However, it’s important to keep individuals viewing for longer. If people simply click onto your live then after a few moments click off, this won’t be favoured in the algorithm.
Give your live a catchy title. We always go with something like:
- “ We’re LIVE from…”.
This lets the audience know exactly what they’re watching without any confusion.
Ask questions to keep the audience engaged
Depending on the event, it may not always be necessary for there to be commentary over the live. However, if you do choose to add this, make sure it’s engaging and try to interact with as many of the viewers as possible. For example, simply say “hello” to them by name if they have commented during the livestream.
Answer any questions if possible, during the live this human interaction is key to driving more engagement on the livestream. If one person gets their question answered, someone else is likely to ask another and so on. This is also essential in retaining viewers.
It can be difficult to try and read/reply to the comments and film at the same time. To combat this, we often have two people on the live. One person films adding commentary, while another person reads and replies to the comments.
Take it slow
Again, depending on the event this may not be necessary but it’s good to always be aware of.
Many of the lives we do involve walking round a location whilst adding commentary. During livestreams like these, it’s essential to walk and talk a lot slower than you would normally. The viewers need time to take in the sights around them before being rushed away to look at something else.
For us when doing such livestreams, we always pan the camera over a particular area for around 30sec/1 minute before moving onto the next view. This also gives you time to share a few facts about what the viewers are seeing and engage with any comments.
When starting any commentary, it’s important to wait for viewers to build up before launching right into it. For example, when you click ‘Go Live’ don’t immediately start talking, allow viewers time to receive the notification and click into the stream.
We usually wait around 45 secs before we start talking, however depending on follower numbers, this may be sooner for other channels.
Post to channel and review
Once you have signed off and ended the livestream, you can add it to your profile. This will mean that other people can watch the live even though it’s no longer ‘live’. By doing this, you can continue to gain views and also interact and reply to any comments you may have missed during the recording.
It’s essential to review your livestream performance. How did it perform in comparison to your previous posts/videos? You can do this within Facebook Insights. Important metrics to look into are peak live viewers, total viewers, people reached, and demographics of them, along with engagements (likes, comments, shares).
For us, we’re very keen to report on comments as we actively ask questions in our live videos and try to interact with the live audience as much as possible. For a live broadcast of an event where there is no commentary, this may not be such a priority. These metrics will help gain greater insights into your audience and help you tailor any future content.