In an attempt to compete with YouTube, Facebook has spent the past ramping up its video infrastructure enough to give the former video sharing platform a run for its money. In many ways, Facebook's live video service is much more friendly to artists. Here we look at how it can be utilized for engaging with fans.
Facebook has been leveling up its video tools to compete with YouTube since 2015, and from the looks of it, their counterpunch is landing pretty hard. Shareability and a deeper sense of community are just two of the advantages of working with Facebook video. Still, Facebook Live is new enough that a lot of established creators haven’t used it yet. This article will help you get started!
We’ll go over a few useful tips to get off the ground with Facebook Live, focusing on how to apply it to your audience. Each artist is going to have different needs depending on their content and their audience, but we’ll explore some of the fundamental ideas about how to make Facebook Live work for you.
#1 Know Your Audience
Every creator gets excited when they get their first hit and see a lot of likes on a Live video, but in order to build that following, you need to know who your audience is and why they care. If you haven’t yet, check your Facebook Insights and talk to some of the fans who commented on something you did to get to know them a bit.
How old are they? Where are they from? Are they male/female? What other pages do they like and follow? What is it about what you did that was more compelling than reruns on Netflix, or whatever else they could have been doing? Getting a basic understanding of your audience will help you make smarter moves when planning out your strategy.
If you haven’t built an audience on Facebook yet, no problem! You have all the more freedom to try whatever you want on Facebook Live. Just be sure to budget some time and energy to seek feedback after your first broadcast, no matter what!
#2 Deciding What & When to Broadcast
If you keep a notebook of ideas that you’ve always wanted to try, now is the time to whip it out. If you’re starting from scratch, have a brainstorming session and ask yourself, “What can I do to attract, connect with, or delight my audience?” Another way to get inspired is to look at the pages and artists that you like on Facebook, and how they are using Facebook Live.
Once you have a long list of ideas, rank the top three or five that you feel good about and start planning your next live event. If the spontaneity of Facebook Live is a bit intimidating for you, create a mini-script to help you stay on track.
Lastly, if you have the budget, use a tool like True Social Metrics that shows you the days and times your fans are most active on social media. Plan a posting schedule around these times to get the most engagement, and let your fans know ahead of time when you’ll be going live so they can be sure to tune in.
#3 Do a Test Broadcast
This is one tip that really shouldn’t be overlooked. You want to create a quality experience for your audience, and technical glitches in your broadcast are guaranteed to screw that up. With that in mind, here are a few points to cover in your test broadcast.
- Simulate real conditions as much as possible – use the same camera, settings, lighting, backdrop, etc. as you will in the real thing
- Run your test at the same time of the week as your actual broadcast, if possible, to simulate traffic conditions
- Make sure the test is private and/or don’t tell a lot of people about it so they’re not paying attention
- Check the recorded video afterward to make sure the audio and video recorded correctly, then make any adjustments to your equipment or script as needed
In summary: use Facebook’s analytics and talk to your users to learn about their experience, then adjust your strategy to meet their needs. Always ensure that you’re delivering a quality broadcast to keep your fans coming back for more. This is the best way you can grow your audience, even from the humblest beginnings, using Facebook Live.