Most of the major social media platforms are now focusing on video sharing. Earlier this year, Instagram increased the length of video that users could post from 15 to 60 seconds. Twitter allowed its users to tweet longer videos (the length was increased from 30 seconds to 140). And Facebook launched Facebook Live. Then Instagram introduced Instagram stories, a feature similar to SnapChat, which allows its users to post video and/or a series of photos. which will disappear in 24 hours.
Twitter and Instagram currently only allow videos to be a minute or so long, but Facebook users can now stream via Facebook Live for up to four hours at a time! If you are planning to do a Facebook Live video, there’s a lot more you can do in the time allotted, and there are five things you should consider in order to make sure that your Facebook Live video goes off without a hitch.
1. Plan and Don’t Plan
What do I mean by this?
If you have something specific to share or say, it’s best to announce it beforehand so that your friends and fans can tune in for it. That way you know that you won’t be completely alone during your broadcast. Tell people when you’ll be on Facebook Live, and why, or at the very least say something to peak their curiosity. This is especially important if your Facebook Live broadcast will be at an event or coincide with some news or announcement. However, don’t script what you are planning to say during your Facebook Live broadcast. It’s important to go with the flow during the broadcast; make sure that you interact with and acknowledge all of the people you see tuning in.
2. Get Back to Basics
Make sure you introduce yourself. Don’t underestimate the importance of doing that because you never know who will end up watching your video. Think elevator pitch. And make sure that you clearly tell people what you want to say, or explain what it is that you want to share.
3. Get Techie
Avoid running into any technical issues during your broadcast. Make sure that you have a selfie stick, a tripod or some sort of stable setup for your phone, unless you are trying to do something a la “Blair Witch Project.” Shaky video is not fun to watch. It might seem obvious to point this out but make sure that your phone is fully charged beforehand. It’s also a good idea to put your phone in “airplane mode” (that’s for iPhone users, for Android phone users, there should be an equivalent setting) because if you get any phone calls during your Facebook Live broadcast the phone call might supersede the broadcast and end it abruptly. And finally, turn off any notifications because it could be embarrassing if a text message notification flashes across your screen during the broadcast.
4. Location, Location, Location
This too may seem obvious, but make sure that you are recording in a place with sufficient lighting and that there is not too much background noise, unless your are doing a live broadcast of performance or event.
5. Prepare for the Aftermath
Now that you’ve recorded a Facebook Live video, you can share it directly with others on Facebook, onto a Facebook page, or onto a Facebook event page. But even more importantly, you can save the video onto your phone or download it. It’s a good idea to do this so that you can repurpose the video elsewhere- whether you upload it directly on YouTube, or decide to edit it for other purposes. Facebook doesn’t exactly make it easy to figure out how to download a Facebook Live video. When I finally figured it out I thought to myself, someone should make a “How To” YouTube video for this and so I did. You can watch my video “How to Download a Facebook Live Video" below.
Finally, you can get some insights into who’s watched your videos. Facebook provides users with two metrics: peak concurrent viewers, which is the highest number of viewers who were watching the video while it was live, and viewers during a live broadcast, which is a visual representation of the number of viewers during each moment of the live broadcast. Looking at the audience retention metrics could help you plan for future videos. Now you can practice and experiment with future Facebook Live videos to see what works or not.