We are well into the acceptance stage of Facebook Live as an outlet to help brands tell their story. However, there should remain a distinction between how public relations professionals employ the tool and how the every day social media user is marketed how to use it. Facebook has stressed how easy it is to use its live feature. And to their credit, it is. Or is it?
Sure, you can point and shoot your smart phone at someone or something, hit “Go Live,” and voila! But don’t fall into the trap that downplays how easy it is to do or, worse, dismiss proper planning.
If your team deems a Facebook Live broadcast is appropriate, here are several tips to make sure the stream meets a level of professionalism and polish your client expects.
Plan to Go Longer
We hear all the time how social content needs to get shorter. Sound bites, videos, GIFs and the Twitter-verse are all indications that people have short attention spans. Facebook Live bucks the trend. They urge its users to broadcast a minimum of 20 minutes. It's better for engagement. This is because the average discoverer of a live broadcast in a newsfeed is found at the seven-minute mark.
Stream with Professional Video Equipment
Your clients expect professional quality. To do it right, brands should consider using producers, editors and utilize high-grade equipment like lighting, microphones and top of the line editing software. This is much more difficult to achieve outdoors, onsite, but see what equipment upgrades you can improve to avoid technical difficulties or poorer quality.
Tune-In, Tune-Out Content is Entertaining
Twenty minutes can seem like a long time, but if planned accordingly you can keep your audience’s attention and draw them back later. Over the duration of an entire segment, people will drop in and drop out of the broadcast. The onus is on you to provide an entertaining experience. Try and create a segment that, no matter what point someone begins watching, he or she is instantly curious. Sometimes a chronological story arc will discourage viewership, so repetition is ok.
Consider Amplifying the video with Paid
If you’re looking for more views, consider setting aside a budget to amplify the stream and then use the video to promote afterward. Professional editors and producers help in this area a lot because the video can get repurposed for other social content uses.
Like the early stages of YouTube, when everyone believed they were professional videographers and editors, going live on Facebook opens up the same can of worms of a bevy of mediocre to poor content. Technology exists today where a shaky smartphone camera is no longer acceptable. As always, decide what success means for you and plan accordingly. Going live is not hard, but executing a professional broadcast piece for your client necessitates hard work.