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Tips and Best Practices for Using Facebook Live

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Featured image: Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash

For the uninitiated, Facebook Live is a live streaming service built directly into Facebook. More and more nonprofits are using Facebook Live to reach out to their audiences and give them immediate access to events or actions that are taking place around the world.

The beauty of using Facebook Live in this way is that you already have a built in audience of fans and followers! When you go live, the video goes out in the notifications and the news feed and gets great organic reach. It gives you the ability to create an intimate, authentic connection with your audience, wherever you are. And since it lives within Facebook, you can choose your audience— broadcasting to public, friends, a specific friend list, etc. You can even boost your post to reach a wider audience.

But before you jump directly into live streaming, we thought it would be useful to give some tips on how to engage with this feature.

First things first …

  • You want to be ready to add a way in for folks to stay connected with you after the event/action. Such as–
    • A number to text into your mobile program
    • A petition to sign
    • An upcoming action to attend
    • A call they can make
    • Don’t forget: Use pre-written captions to remind folks of this option.
  • Tell a compelling story (people have short attention spans)
  • Make use of your partnerships
    • Reach out to people with larger Facebook pages because they can help expand your reach and increase the viewership of your livestream
    • Talk to your friends and allies in advance of your livestream and ask them to share it
    • Choose partners  based on the audience you want to reach
  • Develop pre-recorded content
    • This content can be overlaid on a livestream in dull moments to keep things interesting for your viewers

Now that we know what we are going to Livestream, how we’re going to ask our audience to engage with us, and who we are going to partner with to make sure it’s a success, it’s time to get started.

Best Practices — Before

One Week Before:

  • Communicate with your partners about the upcoming event/action
  • Tell fans that you’ll be broadcasting ahead of time so they’re tuned in to watch
  • Draft an email to send out right when the stream starts as a reminder
  • Create an action to bring people into your work/organization/movement
  • Write out the caption that will direct people to take action
  • Make sure you have enough batteries
  • Use two different phones to record video on two different carrier networks just in case you run into trouble, particularly for live events/direct actions

Best Practices — During

  • Use the Facebook Page Manager App to help control your Facebook Live broadcast remotely
  • Use horizontal / landscape orientation (not in vertical / portrait mode) so that your video looks great
  • Narrate the action – don’t leave people wondering what is going on
  • Give frequent recaps for folks just tuning in
  • Repeat your call to action regularly both as a reminder and for folks who are just tuning in
  • Ask viewers to subscribe to live notifications
  • Say hello to commenters by name, greeting people as they comment or as they enter the stream is both friendly and effective for increased engagement
  • Respond to comments live
  • Have someone off-site to give feedback to the streamer by texting them (particularly good for direct actions)
  • Have off-site person add call to action into the comments
  • If a direct action, interview people during lulls in the action
  • Have one person on-site to act as liaison between the live streamer and the audience
  • Remember: Narrate the action, give frequent recaps for folks just tuning in, repeat your call to action regularly

Best Practices — After

  • Create a Facebook ad for your livestream so that you can boost it to a wider audience
  • Edit and post shorter Facebook native video and boost file to send via email to increase shares
  • Follow up with people who took action during the livestream and have a call or follow up set up for immediately after the event to bring them in and build momentum with them.
  • Email a recap of the action to supporters
    • Link to edited Facebook native video
    • Ask to sign up for the call to action
  • Review video metrics and make a plan for the next broadcast
    • What worked?
    • What didn’t?
    • What would you do differently and why?

Good luck taking this new feature for a spin and boosting your engagement with your community!

  If you want to know more about Facebook Live or how to boost your organization’s current digital strategy, reach out to us. We love talking about strategy and figuring out how to help folks achieve their goals!    ]]>


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