Before you go live, read this!

Facebook Live: have you tried it yet? If not, you should! At the moment, it’s one of the most effective tools on Facebook, getting great engagement, interaction and promotion.

One of the main criticisms directed at big brands and organisations is that their social media is one-sided. That is, people feel like they’re being spoke to, without contributing to the conversation. From the audiences’ point of view, they’re not involved or engaged – they’re not a part of a community.

There’s that buzz word: community! Creating a community is especially important to cause-based organisations and not-for-profits. You want people on your team!

That’s why we love Facebook Live – it’s a great opportunity to open up the lines of communication, get to know your audience, and be part of a two-way conversation. Plus, it’s almost guaranteed to get awesome engagement on your page, even after the event. Facebook says that 10 minutes is the optimum length for a live video, but you can film for as long as 90!

Wait! Before you hit ‘live’ on your smartphone, we have a few top tips for you:

  1. Hype it up: Don’t just jump straight in! Think carefully about the event you’re going to broadcast, and promote it well beforehand. Think about WHY you want people to watch live – will it provide an exclusive, behind-the-scenes sneak peak, or are you breaking new ground? Make it newsworthy, then tell the world!
  2. Write a compelling description: Think of this like a movie review – you want to hook people in from the very beginning! Be compelling and engaging, and don’t forget to use your own voice. You can edit this description after the live broadcast is over, too, which is well worth doing.
  3. Practice makes perfect: It really pays to do a little run-through of your Facebook live video to make sure that you’re holding the phone at the right angle (horizontal or vertical!), that the wi-fi connection is good at the location you’re using, that the lighting is suitable, and that there isn’t too much background noise.
  4. Have a plan: you don’t necessarily need a script, but you do need to have a rough idea of the direction the broadcast will take. You don’t want to be stuck for words! That might mean someone holding up a “cheat sheet” of notes in the background. Also think about how you’re going to respond to comments as they appear. It’s a great idea to recognise contributors by name, and give them a little shout out as you go.
  5. Relax! Remember that you’re talking to your community, so just be yourself. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and have fun!

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