What is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live is a way to stream live video through your Facebook Page or personal Facebook profile.
As video becomes a more predominant way to connect and communicate on social media the move to live video streaming makes sense — social media works best when we’re in the moment. ~ Hubspot
Once a Facebook Live video is recorded it will then reside on your page or profile for viewers who missed the live event.
What’s In This Guide To Using Facebook Live?
This guide is an accumulation of the best advice, articles, answers, and examples of using Facebook Live we have found. We’ll keep adding to it or modifying it as we uncover new information or as Facebook Live changes.
Why (and How) You Should Use Facebook Live
Here is why you should get started:
- It’s easy to setup.
- Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm favors Live Events.
- Users like the human connection.
Have A Plan For Your Facebook Live
Even though it’s easy to host a live event, having a plan with goals is a good idea. According to RTDNA, your plan should include:
- Who is your audience
- What will it be about
- When will it happen
- Where will you be live
- Why are you doing it
- How will it look
Track Your Facebook Live Goals
As for tracking goals, Facebook’s video metrics allow you to benchmark against your own video performance and that of other brands on Facebook.
Some types of goals you could include:
- Video views
- Engagement, i.e., reactions or comments on the video
- Click throughs on your call to action (which you can append to a live video when it’s done)
- Actions taken based on your video and the call to action
What Equipment Is Needed For Facebook Live?
VIDEO: The most important piece of equipment is a camera, typically the one found in either your smartphone, tablet, or laptop/desktop.
AUDIO: Audio comes from the built in mike on your chosen hardware, however, you you could improve quality by buying a more professional mic.
That’s it for equipment. The quality of your video will be based on the the quality of your equipment, your surroundings and your connection.
Facebook Live recommended technical settings (advanced info)
For anyone wanting to get into the technicals (which is unnecessary for a beginner), the following are recommended settings from Facebook.
- Max bit rate is 4000 Kbps (4 mbps).
- Max: 720p (1280 x 720) resolution, at 30 frames per second.
- An I-frame (keyframe) must be sent at least every 2 seconds throughout the stream.
- Titles must have fewer than 255 characters or the stream will fail.
- H264 encoded video and AAC encoded audio only.
How To Start Your Facebook Live Video
- Select the “Live Video Button.”
- Using a mobile device or going live from your Facebook profile rather than a Facebook company page? A small button will appear when drafting a post that says “Live Video.”
- Going live from a Facebook page on your desktop? You’ll see a box that says “Live Video.”
- There is also an advanced option for broadcasting over a Facebook page using your Live Contributor Role.
- Update your status.
- Choose who sees your video by selecting your privacy settings.
- Write an interesting description.
- Tag friends, choose your location, or add an activity.
- Set up your camera view.
- Add lenses, filters, or writing and drawing to your video.
- GO LIVE
- Interact with viewers and commenters.
- When Done Click “Finish.”
- Post Your Live Video on Your Page & Make Any Desired Edits.
How To Promote Your Facebook Live Event
Before your broadcast:
- Promote it on Facebook, other Social Media, and other online marketing channels that connect with your audience.
During your broadcast:
- Your followers will see in their Newsfeeds that you’re conducting a Live video. They can also sign up to be notified of your future Live events.
- Followers’ friends will be able to see that their friends are watching your video (depending on their notification settings).
- Promote links to your video to drive traffic to your Facebook page.
After your broadcast:
- Edit your video from Facebook’s Biz Manager.
- Edit your title and description.
- Make it searchable – tags to & captions.
- Upload a thumbnail.
- Share your video.
- Pin your video to the top of your news feed.
- Repackage and release short clips.
- Link to it from relevant content.
- Distribute it via other channels.
Report On Results
Hubspot reminds us to not forget those important goals you set and the benchmarks you looked at when planning your Facebook Live. After your video is complete and your post-promotion is done, remember to check in with Facebook’s video metrics platform to see your stats.
A Roundup Of The Best Tips And Advice For FB Live
Now that we’ve looked at the important steps to getting started, here are some additional tips we found for hosting a successful Facebook Live event.
- Tell people ahead of time when you’re going to broadcast.
- Test out live video using the “Only Me” privacy setting and Create a Few Practice Videos on Your Profile Page.
- Go live only when you have a strong connection.
- Write a compelling description before going live.
- Ask your viewers to follow you and receive notifications when you go live.
- Get Personal Say hello to commenters by name and to respond to their comments.
- Ask viewers to interact.
- Broadcast for at least 10 minutes. Longer = reaching more people … but no longer than 4 hours – that’s the Facebook Live time limit.
- Be creative and go live often.
- Space out live videos with other Facebook posts.
- Keep reintroducing yourself during a live event.
- Make the video visually engaging.
- Make it spontaneous.
- Don’t worry about mistakes or stutters.
- Encourage viewers to Like and share the video.
- Have someone Monitor/Respond to Comments and Feed You Questions.
- Subtitle your broadcast in the comments section.
- Ask viewers to subscribe to live notifications.
- Give an actionable Sign-Off.
- Add a link to the description later.
- Face a window or light (to avoid back lighting).
- Film horizontally if on your mobile device.
Some Types Of Facebook Live Events
Like the idea of Facebook Live, but don’t have any ideas for hosting an event? Here’s an inspirational list of ways Facebook Live can be used.
- Breaking news
- Conference or event
- Feature stories
- AMAs/Q&As or interviews
- Product & Service Announcements
- Provide personal/company updates
- Show off your personality or company culture
Facebook Live Examples
For a look at some quality examples of Facebook Live events, we recommend watching the examples on Wordstream’s 7 of the Best Facebook Live Videos We’ve Ever Seen.
IMPACT also has a nice roundup of the 9 Facebook Live for Business Examples You’ve Got to See
Facebook also has instructions on How to I find live videos on Facebook.
Video Tutorials Of Facebook Live
Facebook LIVE Streaming Tutorial: 8 Facebook Live Tips – Think Media
Facebook Live Summary
We hope you found this guide/roundup of the best advice and guidance we’ve found on Facebook Live helpful and useful. As mentioned above, we’ll update this guide periodically when we come across new advice and/or Facebook Live changes.
Think we missed anything, or want to submit your article for consideration – feel free to contact us.
- NPR’s Facebook Live guide – NPR
- The Ridiculously Awesome Guide to Facebook Live – Wordstream
- How to Use Facebook Live: The Ultimate Guide – Hubspot
- 7 of the Best Facebook Live Videos We’ve Ever Seen – Hubspot
- The Marketer’s Guide to Facebook Live – Hubspot
- Live Contributor Role Tutorial – Facebook
- How do I find live videos on Facebook? – Facebook
- What are the video format guidelines for live streaming on Facebook? – Facebook
- Tips for using Facebook Live – Facebook
- Facebook Live Q&A – Facebook
- Here’s How to Use Facebook Live on a Page – AdWeek
- Mastering Facebook Live and avoiding amateur hour – RTDNA
- 8 Killer Content Ideas for Facebook Live Video – Tubular Insights
- 9 Facebook Live for Business Examples You’ve Got to See – IMPACT