Is your small business ready to go live on Facebook? You should be! Especially given the current state of the world. So many eyes are on social media and in some cases, it’s the only way you can reach your audience. I know a lot of small businesses feel like live streams are too intimidating but I’m here to break it down for you.
The types of Facebook live streams
First, it’s important to decide how you want to go live on Facebook. Here are a few options that you have to think about.
Facebook Group or Business Page
You can do this on your Facebook business page or through a Facebook group. That’s your first decision. If you don’t have a group, then no need to worry about it. However, if you do have a thriving group, you might want to consider going live there first. Oftentimes these audiences are more engaged and would be more likely to watch your live stream.
Scheduled (via Facebook) or Not
The easiest way to go live is with a non-scheduled event. You just need to go to your page and click Live above where you’d normally write a post.
Once you click this, you’ll end up on Facebook’s Live Producer. You can select that you want to use the camera connected to your computer and then click Go Live. Facebook will have some information that you can fill in like a title for your live stream or a caption to go with it. Be sure you fill in these sections so your audience knows what to expect from your live stream.
As I said, this is the easiest way to go live. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the best way.
You might have noticed that some pages will share what looks like a Facebook event that tells their audience when they are planning to go live.
This is helpful if you’re going live on your business page. It lets people express their interest so you can see how many people might attend. You can also let people ask you questions in advance of the live stream so that you know what people want to talk about.
The scheduled live stream will look a bit like this.
The image shown here is your business page’s cover photo. You can decide to change your cover photo if you want to really drive people to this live stream or make this preview look a little bit clearer.
Another benefit of this scheduled live stream is that people can select to get a reminder. Facebook will automatically let them know when it’s an hour out for your live stream and then notify them when you go live.
The biggest difficulty with live streaming is getting people to watch at the time when you’re going live so doing a scheduled live stream helps make sure you’ll have an audience that tunes in.
Now, the reason why this is more difficult is that for this scheduled system to work, you need to make sure that when you do decide to go live, you use the associated Steam Key instead of selecting that you want to use your camera. You can still use your camera, but you have to access it through the Stream Key first.
As for why that’s important, if someone had said they were interested in attending your live stream, they’ll get those notices that you’ll be going live and will wait on the “event” for you to go live. If you don’t go live with the stream key, you’ll end up losing those people who are waiting for you in a different area of Facebook.
All that to say, make sure you save the Stream Key and use it when you are going live.
General Facebook Live Stream Tips
I already wrote an article on going live on Instagram which does cover some of these general tips. However, I wanted to include those here as well.
- Make sure your internet connection is strong. – Since Facebook lets you live stream from your computer, consider connecting it via an Ethernet cable instead of just WiFi
- Know what you’re going to talk about. – Make a plan for what you’re going to cover. Don’t just go live for the sake of going live. Have some notes prepared.
- Be aware of your surroundings. – Make sure you’re in a quiet place or that the people around you know you’re going live. Check your lighting and your background as well.
- Go live for at least 10 minutes. – Make sure you give people enough time to tune in and find some value from your live stream
If you’re able, it might also be nice to have someone helping you during a live stream. Sometimes questions will come through. When you’re already talking about something else, it’s hard to switch gears to make sure you answer a question. A teammate can help you address questions that come through. When you have a break in the conversation or can respond directly in the comments.
What happens after a Facebook live stream
If you’ve never gone live on Facebook before, you wonder what happens to your video after a live stream. That live stream will stay on your page like any other video post.
You can also find all your live streams together in the Live tab on your page. If you aren’t sure where to find that or you don’t have it activated in the back-end settings, here’s a sample of what my Facebook URL looks like for finding the live stream collection: https://www.facebook.com/fiorimarketing/live/. Just change out my business username for your own or visit your Facebook page and add /live to the end.
You can also download the live stream from Facebook. Unlike Instagram, you don’t need to do this right as the live stream ends. If you decide to download your live stream, it might be nice to cut up parts into short Instagram videos. You could also upload it back into IGTV, or share it on YouTube.
Find me going live
I’m going to be going live periodically on my Instagram and Facebook page. I’ll be there to answer your burning social media or digital marketing questions. I’ll usually pick a certain theme for my live streams. Feel free to DM me something you want to be covered or show up with questions that you might have.
To learn more about what types of posts you can do on Instagram (other than photos) click below to download my freebie.