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Best Practices for Executing a Successful Live Video

Publish Date: 09/28/2016

Facebook is known for their mission to connect. They strive to connect people, places, brands, and experiences from all over the world in one central location - online. We think Facebook has out done themselves with their newest feature, live video. Besides providing some competition to Snapchat, another up-and-coming social media platform, Facebook Live opens new doors in connecting with others.

Snapchat created a desire that quickly developed into a need among social media users to publicly share what they’re doing, when they’re doing it, and how they’re doing it. Snapchat allows users to film a maximum of ten seconds per “snap” and send it to friends or add it to users’ “story.” However, viewers don’t view snaps in real time, and snap stories are only available to be viewed for 24 hours. These are the limitations Facebook capitalized on, and we applaud them for it. (Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for Instagram…)

Facebook Live is revolutionizing social media by providing the opportunity to film and watch in real time. This feature allows a first generation college graduate to celebrate with her grandmother across the county or for citizens to experience history being made in their communities without having to be where the action is taking place.

For businesses, this is an opportunity to give your fans a taste of your brand. Going live with a groundbreaking ceremony, a VIP opening night, group class, or monthly bakeoff contributes to your overall image as a company while also making your viewers feel like they’re a part of the team. Facebook Live is redefining what it means to connect.

How do I know if something is live video material?



You don’t. You have a basic idea, like Donald Trump’s Wall, but what’s designated as good live video content can vary.

1. Be engaging.

The content should be entertaining and engaging. Examples of good live video content include a group class, a personal training session, a competition, an event, an exciting announcement, a grand opening, or showing off new updates.

2. Make sure you’re ready.



A lot of our live videos are pre-planned, which might be beneficial. If you’re a business, make sure you have the Facebook log in information for your page and have an idea of what you want to do. It’s also a good idea to go over talking points of what your viewers will be watching before starting the live video.

3. Be a good host.



You are the host of this live video. The goal is to keep your viewers’ attention by interacting with them and keeping them engaged. When the video begins, we suggest introducing yourself and taking a moment to brief your viewers on what they’re watching (cue those talking points). We recommend the host is knowledgeable and comfortable on camera.

Sometimes, fans will comment on your live video. This is great and means your audience is engaged with your video! Acknowledge the questions or comments that are coming in and try to answer the questions if you can.



4. Here are a few things not to do:

Respond to negative comments live. Type a reply to their comment after the live filming is over. One thing everyone is guaranteed to watch is confrontation. This is the reason reality TV even exists. Don’t let that happen on your page. While you may get more views by reacting to a negative comment while live, it will ultimately look bad for your brand.



Stop paying attention. You’re the expert on what you’re filming. While you’re live, pay attention to your surroundings and make sure you stay on track to keep viewers engaged. Getting distracted could come across as unprofessional. Take it from Ron Swanson on this one.



5. All roads lead to writing good content.



What might be engaging and exciting to you may not be as exciting or entertaining to others. We’re looking at you, guy who likes to make workout videos. We suggest avoiding live videos of everyday life or of things that are just happening around you with no form or reason. Ask yourself if your audience would care to watch what you’re filming.

6. Long term versus short term.

In our experience, longer videos tend to be better content for Facebook Live. Even though your viewers are notified when you go live, it takes a few minutes for an audience to build. You want the live video to be long enough to grab attention and keep it. We think at least hitting the five minute mark is perfect. Going longer than 8 to 10 minutes might bore your audience.



Congrats! You just filmed a live video.



The best part about live videos is the informality. While it’s good to practice all of the above, don’t sweat your first video. The more you go live, the more practice you’ll get. Soon you’ll be a live video pro. Make it fun!

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