Should you be broadcasting on Facebook Live?

Our Social Media Manager recently guest hosted #AtomicChat, discussing Facebook Live for brands. Here are some tips and takeaways from that chat. Find #AtomicChat on Twitter Monday nights at 8pm CT, and find our Social Media Manager on Twitter @SparkerWorks.

We know that video is having A Moment in content marketing, and now live-streaming video is quickly becoming an important part of many a social media practitioner’s arsenal. But how do you know which kind of live-streaming is right for your brand? Should you be on Facebook Live, or Periscope, or Snapchat, or something else? Here’s who should be using Facebook Live and why, from my perspective.

Who should be using Facebook Live?

There are two answers to this question, and they are both valid: 1. Anyone who is interested in it and has the resources to try it out, and 2. Definitely anyone who’s target audience is most active on Facebook. It doesn’t even matter if you haven’t tried video with your audience before; with Facebook making it clear that they’re prioritizing video in the News Feed and now especially Live video, any brand who wants an organic boost on Facebook (which is everyone) would be wise to design content for their specific audience and test Live.

What should Facebook Live be used for?

Obviously there are some things that will work better in a live-streaming format than a pre-recorded, edited piece of video. Live-streaming is more informal, and allows brands to put faces and personalities to themselves. It’s a great way to bond with your existing community and potentially draw in new community members who could become fans and followers. (Facebook is especially great for this because it shows users what their friends Like or are engaged with, and those friends are likely to fit into your target audience as well.)

You have to figure out what approach makes sense for your brand, based on what your goals are on Facebook. If you want to show off your brand values, consider taking fans and followers along on an hour of office volunteer work. If you want to increase your share of voice in your industry, consider hosting a Q&A around a hot topic in your industry. The big advantage of Live is the audience interaction during the broadcast, so try to capitalize off of that and have your host be as responsive as possible during the broadcast, whether they’re giving a tour, a product demo, or interviewing different team members about their expertise and what their day-to-day is like in their role.

How will Live fit into existing content marketing plans?

Once a Live broadcast ends, Facebook uploads it as a regular video to your Page, which you can then repurpose like any other video. Live also doesn’t have to be completely live, enabling you to remix and draw from any existing video content you have available. You can also draw on other types of content- such as existing blog posts- to plan what you’ll broadcast on Live. Look over your existing content plan and figure out how to best fit Live in. Would it work better to express some of the content you have planned as a Live broadcast than another format? Can you expand some existing content with it? Think about what would fit best with your brand voice and brand values.

What else should be considered?

Be sure you choose who will represent your brand on Live carefully. It should be someone associated with your brand who can speak knowledgeably about any brand-related subject that comes up (within reason), who is comfortable in front of the camera, and who has an engaging personality. Be sure you trust this person to represent your brand.

If your chosen brand representative isn’t incredibly comfortable on camera or you have a guest who isn’t, write down talking points and discuss them before the camera starts rolling. This helps with fluidity. Keeping a bulleted list of talking points on hand during the broadcast also helps with nerves.

But most of all? Just remember to have fun with it. Live-streaming is fairly new to all of us, so experiment! Then measure your results, plan new content based on that, rinse and repeat.

Featured image via Unsplash