As a marketer, I’m sure that you know how important it is to create a connection with your audience.
It’s essential for slashing through the barriers that divide us, for establishing a unique brand identity and for building trust.
There have been times I’ve been successful in doing so. And then other times, I’ve totally fallen flat.
It’s getting easier than ever to create an unique connection, because we now have the technological tools to do so.
One of the best tools that enable you to do this is Facebook Live, which “lets people, public figures and Pages share live video with their followers and friends on Facebook.”
The concept is simple. You record a live video that your audience can watch in real time and respond to by commenting.
Facebook Live provides the perfect framework for connecting, and its personable nature is ideal for facilitating interaction.
In fact, initial data has found that “people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos.”
But how can you ensure that your videos are engaging?
Here are some tips that should point you in the right direction.
1. Consider investing in some equipment.
First things first. You really want to strive for quality with your videos.
You want to look like a professional.
Any sign of amateurism can drive a wedge between you and your audience.
That’s why I recommend buying some basic equipment to enhance your quality.
This doesn’t need to be anything over the top, but a simple tripod can really help stabilize your videos so that they don’t look all shaky.
You can usually find a decent tripod for as little as $10, so this shouldn’t break the bank.
Or if you’re going to be recording from a location where a tripod isn’t viable, you can always use a selfie stick to serve as a stabilizer.
2. Experiment with lighting.
Lighting is a big deal when making a video and can really impact its overall quality.
If you’re filming outdoors, this shouldn’t be a problem as long as it’s reasonably sunny.
But if you’re filming indoors, you’ll want to try out different lighting options to see what looks the best.
Generally speaking, the more lighting, the better.
So if you’re in a room with dim lighting, you may want to bring in an extra lamp so that you’re more visible.
Here’s an example of good lighting.
3. Test the process before going live.
Let’s be honest. You’re probably going to run into a few glitches along the way when first starting out.
It can also be a little nerve racking when you’re suddenly broadcasting yourself to a large number of your followers.
That’s why I recommend testing everything out beforehand and getting comfortable with the idea of being in front of the camera.
You can do this by switching the privacy setting to “Only Me,” which can be found by clicking on “More” and scrolling to the bottom.
Go ahead and record a couple of test videos until you’re familiar with the nuts and bolts of how everything works.
This way things should go relatively smoothly, and you’re less likely to freeze up once you’re actually live in front of an audience.
4. Make sure you’ve got a solid connection.
You definitely don’t want a weak connection when recording a video.
According to Facebook, “WiFi tends to work best, but if you can’t find a nearby network, you’ll want a 4G connection.”
This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re indoors. But if you’re in a fairly remote outdoor location, it most definitely can be.
If you’ve got anything less than 4G, you’re probably better off choosing a different location.
If you see that the “Go Live” button is grayed out, then you have a weak signal.
5. Create an outline.
From my experience, I’ve found that it’s best to have a basic game plan when using Facebook Live.
You don’t want to jump right in without knowing what you’re going to talk about.
Of course, you’ll want to ad lib to some extent, but I recommend having at least three or four main points to cover.
You’ll also want to address each point in a logical, sequential order so that your audience doesn’t get confused.
6. Leave some room for spontaneity.
At the same time, you don’t want your outline to be so rigid that there’s no wiggle room.
Because your video is in real time, you never fully know what’s going to come your way.
An interesting idea may pop into your head all of a sudden, or a viewer might ask a question that steers your video in a slightly different direction.
This is why I suggest trying to achieve a nice balance between an outline and spontaneity to ensure that things stay on track but don’t become boring.
7. Provide context.
Before you jump into all of the gory details of your broadcast, it’s important that you briefly explain what’s going on to your viewers.
You’ll want to introduce yourself, identify where you’re at if you’re out in the field and provide a basic rundown of what you’ll be talking about.
This will fill your viewers in on what’s happening and will provide some essential context.
8. Recap what’s going on.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that viewers will tune in at different times.
Here’s what I mean.
At the beginning of a video, you may only have 10 viewers. But at five minutes in, you may have 100.
At 10 minutes in, you may have 250 and so on.
In order to keep everyone in the loop, you’ll want to periodically restate who you are and what’s happening.
This is why it’s smart to recap the details from time to time. I’ve found that the following intervals tend to work well.
- Two to three minutes in
- 10 minutes in
- 25 minutes in
Just make sure to keep your recap brief and that you’re not being overly redundant because this can be annoying to viewers who have been watching from the start.
9. Be yourself.
This little snippet of advice is quite possibly the most cliché thing ever.
But nonetheless, you’ll want your tone and verbal delivery to be hyper-authentic and match your brand identity.
Most people can spot phoniness from a mile away, so I discourage trying to be something you’re not.
If you’re polite, courteous and friendly by nature, keep your video content in line with this.
Or if you’re a little cynical and snarky, that’s fine too. Just keep it real, and let your personality shine through.
The bottom line is that you should make your videos match your brand.
10. Be relaxed.
Okay, this is easier said than done.
It’s common to get a case of the jitters and be a little unnerved by the whole prospect of being broadcast live to potentially hundreds or even thousands of viewers.
But it’s important to get yourself in the right headspace when recording.
Although it’s normal to be a little nervous, especially if you’re new to Facebook Live, you’ll want to remain as calm as possible.
This should help you be more fluid with your delivery and make your content more interesting.
11. React to viewer comments.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to crank up the engagement level is to simply respond to what your viewers are saying.
During a video, viewers can leave their comments and ask questions.Be sure that you spend part of the time reacting. This is your key to making the process as intimate and organic as possible.
I even recommend addressing some of your viewers by name because this really gets them in on the action.
And because people have a natural affinity for hearing their own name, it’s going to give you some brownie points that can really pay off in the long run.
If you know that you’re going to so wrapped up with recording a video that you won’t have the time to respond to comments (this can be really difficult when comments come in fast), then I suggest having a partner who is also logged into to the primary account.
They can be responsible for answering comments and can help facilitate the overall process.
12. Stay live for longer to extend your reach.
Want to reach as many viewers as possible and maximize the engagement level?
Then stay live for longer.
Facebook recommends that you stay live for at least 10 minutes per video, but you can go for as long as 90 minutes.
Think about it. The longer you stay live, the better your chances become of reaching a larger audience.
While 90 minutes may be overkill when you’re first getting the hang of Facebook Live, somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes can be the right formula.
Once you’re more familiar and comfortable with the process, you can go live for longer and longer.
Facebook Live is no doubt a powerful medium for bridging the gap between you and your audience.
When used correctly, you can create incredibly engaging content that “pops” and allows you to connect in a personal, intimate way.
This form of two-way communication can be just the ticket for tightening your relationship with your audience and for taking your brand to the next level.
What has your experience been like with Facebook Live?