Facebook Live kind of exploded in recent weeks, with a huge amount of usage around the Christmas and New Years period. It isn’t a new platform, but people seemingly ‘discovered’ it and it’s now the place to be if you want to live stream anything. We know there are other options, but the service does offer incredible ease of use and an immediate feel that brands are totally comfortable with.
The channel is also rather tricky if you don’t go in with a gameplan and a way of working that suits you. If you are a digital agency, you’re probably all over the tips below and are enjoying massive success for your clients. But it could well be the case that you’ve missed a trick or two.
Changes in the following areas could effectively supercharge what you are doing.
Let’s be honest about this, Facebook Live is so easy it kind of lulls brands into a false sense of security. All you have to do is press a button and there you go, you’re streaming live. It can happen in seconds. And when you look at other brands who do it a lot, it does look incredibly simple. But if you are a brand, or an agency with a brand as a client, treading a little more carefully is very recommended.
Quantity counts more than you might think
Okay, big brands may produce a live stream every financial quarter and then reap the benefits in millions worth of engagement.
They can do that, they are big brands.
Your client may not be in the same position, and you’ll have to focus instead on creating a number of streams. But these will need to be very carefully planned.
The best way to look at this is to imagine that your streams are a TV series.
They need to fall into place and enhance each other. And if you can string together something like a plot you’re looking at a lot more ‘buy in’ from your audience.
Plan some more
When you have your next few live streams all planned out, stick them on an editorial calendar that you know will be followed. This allows you to track the growth of the concepts and ideas you have put together, and also ensure that you are able to see the growth of the ‘product’. The best brands on Facebook Live will have clear branding and messaging. The importance of planning cannot be overstated. One great Live session is good fun, but you need to show that the brand is there for the long run.
Plump for quality as well as quantity
As an agency, you may already have the resources for this part of the equation. Essentially, it is one step removed from having a full blown production company in your office. As a brand, this should form a considerable chunk of your budget.
You need to know, explicitly, what it takes to record your Live stuff. Then you need to ensure that this is fully resourced. Have you got the equipment required? Is it the best quality? Do you have a team that works on preparing each broadcast so that it has maximum impact. Taking on Facebook Live as a real part of your marketing strategy involves you becoming strategic. Give yourselves the best opportunity to have impact, and make sure you have the best equipment, best staff and the best processes and routines to create content easily and efficiently.
There is nothing wrong with an agency relying on a smartphone, because that is how the majority of people ‘do’ Facebook Live. But professionalism is the only thing that works with brands. So take the time to source a high-quality external microphone for example, that will allow your message to appear professional and ‘branded’.
What makes perfect?
Practice does. Dry runs should be happening. The work involved in a Facebook Live broadcast should be rehearsed as much as it can be. Of course, plenty of live streams look spontaneous and ‘in the moment’ but most of them aren’t. The people producing them will have run through what they need to say. And if you’re looking at using content to spread the brand’s message, it would be silly not to rehearse beforehand.
But take it to the next level, and focus on ensuring that your broadcast and its message is clear. After all, engagement is what is required here. People will only engage if they feel you are delivering a compelling, high-quality message. Fluffing words and ignoring the order of messages is not compelling.
At the same time, a too polished broadcast looks cynical and full of sales elements, You have to get the balance right, which is why practice is important.
Ramp up the compelling reasons
You want people to be there and attentive when the stream happens, and there are a number of ways to do this. Perhaps the very best way is to offer the audience a giveaway if they do show up.
And that is pretty easy to organise. An incentive, even if it is just a discount on a product or service, brings that compelling reason for people to attend the event.
Recently, brands have discovered the ‘Ask Me Anything’ stream potential. This is where your audience can ask questions about the product or service you offer. This too is compelling because it allows audiences to feel that the brand is genuine, open and trustworthy. And that alone makes for a compelling reason to show up.
Do what professionals do. Monitor it
The last piece of the Facebook Live puzzle is all about metrics. While you may have prepared a campaign that works well in a sequence of streams, the whole thing will be a waste of time unless you track the metrics. Use these metrics to identify the levels of engagement the streams are getting. This allows you to report back the success of the campaign. Also, knowing just which aspects of the campaign gained the most engagement sets you up to create better campaigns in the future.
The average company will stream and think that is it, there’s nothing more to do but rake in the engagement. The professionals will track, question and tweak the streams so that the maximum in ROI is possible.
While we may have called the above ‘quick wins’, you can see how a little work needs to go in first. But the principles here will help any brand or agency get on top of Facebook Live and rock it like true professionals. Authority is key on social media, and ensuring that you ‘professionalise’ Facebook Live content reinforces that authority.
To wrap things up, here’s a great example, a couple of years old now, of a brand creating well-prepared, well-produced Facebook Live content.
Prepare work of the highest quality, and track it. That’s how to win on Facebook Live, quickly or otherwise.