By Sue Pinky Benson
Did you know Facebook Live videos have five times more engagement on the platform than photos? They also have three times more engagement than a recorded video! Facebook wants you to go live—but maybe you've tried it and it didn't go so well. Maybe nobody tuned in. Or maybe you're like me and you've been doing it a while and you need to change it up a bit. Enter Lou Mongello, host of WDW Radio and the speaker at Social Media Marketing World Conference 2019 on "How to Get Better Engagement on Your Facebook Live Videos."
Going into this class, I was skeptical I would get many big takeaways for myself. Like I said, I've been doing Facebook Live since Facebook rolled them out in 2016. But I never go to a presentation and assume I know everything. There's always something to be learned, and I was pleasantly surprised at all the tips, tricks and takeaways I learned from Lou. So let's dive in and get to the point (which is actually one of Lou's tips that we will get to it in just a few moments).
1. Schedule, plan, and schedule again. Humans, as a race, are creatures of habit. (Gasp!) Seriously. We love to know when something is going to happen so we can plan for it. It only makes sense to plan out when you are going to do your live show and keep it consistent so your audience will know when to tune in. There's not a set answer to how often you should go live. Whether it's once a day or once a month, it's just being consistent with your schedule that matters.
2. Promote, promote, promote—but not just on Facebook. Cross-pollinate your promotions on other social media channels. Put your video link in your Instagram bio. Put the graphic in your Stories. Snapchat it up. LinkedIn? Why not. Twitter too. Lou even suggests making an event for the Facebook Live, and when your audience comments on your post, go back and engage with them—especially an hour or so beforehand to help remind them when your show is about to go live. Another little trick he shared: Go back to your old live videos and comment on those posts telling people what the next episode will be about and what time to tune in!
3. What's your why? I firmly believe too many people go live for the sake of going live. Stop it! Use it for the power of good—in this case, your why. Lou says to understand your why, ask yourself, "What's in this for my audience?" A video (live or otherwise) should always provide your viewers with value. What will they take away from this conversation? Facebook is about meaningful conversations.
4. Get to it already! Don't waste anyone's time when going live. Have your topic ready and dive in. Tell your audience right away what they are going to take away from watching this video. Start with the description in your post. Tease them so they want to click on the live video. I once did a Facebook Live and the description read, "A mermaid, a captain, and a pink haired woman walked into a bar. Tune in to find out what happens next." You have less than two seconds to grab someone's attention when they are scrolling by, so think about what would make them click on your video.
Once you are rolling, get right into your show. None of that "Let's wait for everyone to show up" stuff. Tell your audience why they are there. You might say something like this: "In this Pinky Knows Naples, I'm going to tell you the three best places to watch the sunset when you are in town, and I may even throw in a gift card for the best place to get a cocktail while you are watching them. Stay tuned." (Little tip there: Always give them bonus content for sticking around.) The point is to get right into the content. Have some icebreaker questions for your friends watching. Great examples: "Thanks for tuning in; please comment and tell everyone where you are from," or you might be more specific to your content and say something like, "Where's the best sunset you've ever seen? Comment below."
5. This is live Facebook, not live TV. You are not a TV news show; this is interactive. That's what's so cool about Facebook Live. You can see your audience commenting in real-time. So don't worry about going off script. Engage with them. Answer their questions and ask them questions. Be sure to say their names! Build a community. The community isn't just for you; it's for the audience as well—for them to meet one another and create new friendships and relationships. Communities, online or otherwise, always support those in the community, which is key in growing your Facebook Live engagements.
6. Tell them what to do. It seems obvious, but sometimes your audience just doesn't know what you want from them. So direct them: "Please feel free to invite or tag a friend. Share to a group that might be interested in this topic." If you have a call to action, tell them what it is. "Click the link in the post above after the show for more information." During a live video it's OK to repeat the information, too.
7. Post live tips. Even after the live video is over, your work on building your engagement and viewership is not done. You should have a call to action in every video you do, so make sure you go back and put that CTA into your description and comments so your audience knows what to do now. Reply to those questions you might not have been able to answer on air. Ask them questions back and create conversations. Be sure to go in and create a title for your live video and add it to your playlist. (Playlists are on Facebook Business/Community pages.) Be sure to check back and see if any new comments have popped up post-video. Lou says two-thirds of live videos are watched on replay, so make sure you are engaging with those viewers as well.
Finally, here are some extra goodies/websites that Lou suggests for those Facebook Live creators looking to really up their video game. Just a heads up they aren't free, but they look pretty awesome!
- Repurpose.io: This website will repurpose your Facebook Live video and put it on YouTube for you.
- SimpleSocialPress, for a monthly fee, will make blog posts from Facebook Live. Make sure you go in and edit it before you hit publish, though.
- LiveLeap will share your live videos to groups during your show to help get the word out.
To see more from Sue Pinky Benson, visit her Facebook Group. Need more help building your social media sites? Let Homes.com help! Our team of social media experts can help you find and engage with your audience. Learn more about Homes.com Social Fuel at Marketing.Homes.com.
For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.