Tracy Johnson

How to Make A Great Impression on Facebook Live

As a personality brand, you know how important it is to create a connection with your audience. It’s what we do on the air every day, and what we strive to do online and via social media.

It’s essential for slashing through barriers that compete with us for audience attention and for establishing a unique identity while increasing trust and a personal one-to-one connection.

If you’ve created video online, there have probably been times you’ve been successful, but at other times,  fallen flat.

It’s getting easier than ever to create online content because we have the technological tools to do it. They’re affordable and effective.

One of the best tools enabling you to do this is Facebook Live, which, according to Facebook:

“…lets people, public figures and Pages share live video with their followers and friends on Facebook.”

Most personalities have tried it out, and many use it regularly.

What Is Facebook Live?

The concept is simple. You share a live video your audience can watch in real time and respond to by commenting. And, it’s recorded, and stored for on-demand viewing.

Facebook Live provides the perfect tool for connecting, and its personable nature is ideal for facilitating interaction.

In fact, initial data has found that people comment over 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than regular videos.

But how can you ensure your videos are on target? Are they effective in promoting your brand and positioning your personality?

How To Best Use Facebook Live

Here are some tips that should point you in the right direction.

1. Get Better Equipment

As soon as you compete for attention online, you’re up against every other video creator. The bar is raised, so you really want to strive for quality with your videos. It isn’t expensive, but you should look like a professional.

Any sign of amateurism can disappoint your audience. You’re in show business, and they expect you to be professional and look great.

That’s why I recommend investing in some basic equipment to enhance your quality.

It doesn’t need to be anything over the top, but a simple tripod can help stabilize your videos so they don’t look shaky.

You can usually find a decent tripod for as little as $10, so this shouldn’t break the bank. This little tripod works with your smartphone and can sit right on your desktop or the studio console, and you can get it for about $10.

FLFLK Flexible Octopus Phone Tripod iphone Tripod Stand Holder with Remote For iphone Samsung Smart Phone Digital Camera (Small Black)

If you’re recording from a location where a tripod just won’t work, get a selfie stick to serve as a stabilizer. Fugetek FT-568 Professional Selfie Stick with Bluetooth Remote for Apple, Android, Gopro & Digital Cameras (49-Inch, Black)

 

 

 

2. Get Proper Lighting

Lighting is perhaps the most important thing you can do to producing a good video because it can impact its overall quality in a big way.

If you’re filming outdoors, this shouldn’t be a problem as long as it’s reasonably bright and you shoot the video using the sun to your advantage.

But for most personalities, Facebook Live videos will be indoors, usually in the studio or your office, and studios are notoriously dark. So you’ll want to try out different lighting options to see what looks the best for you.

Generally speaking, the more lighting, the better. If you’re in a room with dim lighting, it may work just to bring in an extra lamp or two. Place them strategically and experiment to get the best angles.

For better results, get a couple of professional photography lights. I know, it sounds expensive, right? But it’s not at all. For less than $50 (yes, seriously. Less than $50), you can get a couple of lights to get rid of those shadows and light up your face.

Photography Photo Portrait Studio 600W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit by LimoStudio, LMS103

If you’re shooting the video against a backdrop, and are having trouble with those pesky shadows (it drives me crazy), this ring light can solve your problems. It’s designed to cast a light from behind your camera directly on your face, which can fix a lot of the challenges of inconsistent light distribution. Neewer Dimmable 18″ Diameter 75W(600W equivalent )Camera Photo Studio 5500K Ring Fluorescent Flash Light Lighting Kit for Portrait,Fashion Photography and Youtube Vine Self-Portrait Video Shooting

 

3. Prepare Before Going Live

Let’s be honest. You’ll probably run into a few glitches. And trust me, it’s not endearing to experiment live. Your audience will think of it as a waste of their time.
It can  be a little nerve-racking when you start sending live video to a large number of followers. So prepare your video just as you would a segment on the air. Know your hook, set up, dress up and payoff. And stay focused.

It’s best to have a basic game plan when going live. Just as on-air, you don’t want to jump in without knowing what you’ll be talking about. Have a purpose for the broadcast. Know our topic, and promote it online and on the air.

For example, maybe you are an animal lover, but realize that the “pet of the week” segment just isn’t very entertaining. This is perfect for Facebook Live. You can show off the pets, interact with them and turn it into a great video segment that shows off a part of your character.

Of course, you’ll want to ad lib, but it’s best to have at least three or four main bullet-points to keep you focused and on-track.

You’ll also want to organize each point in a logical order so that your audience doesn’t get confused. After all, confusion is one of the #1 reasons listeners tune out on the air…and the same happens online!

At the same time, you don’t want to be so scripted that there’s no for spontaneity. An interesting thought may pop into your head, or you may get a question that steers your video in a different direction.
Just be sure to keep a balance between structured and spontaneous to keep the video on track.

One way to do that is to use a video monitor or an iPad as a teleprompter. Feed a script or bullet-points in and set it up so you can see the screen while still looking into the camera.

There are several teleprompter apps that make it easy.

Then, test everything before going live. Facebook makes this easy by switching the privacy setting to “Only Me,” which can be found by clicking on “More” and scrolling to the bottom.

This allows you to record a couple of test shoots until you’re familiar with managing the controls and the process of launching your video.

4. Double-Check Your Internet Connection

The worst thing that can happen is a tech failure when you go live. Make sure you have a strong connection. You may also want to reboot your device before going live. It may seem like overkill, but why risk a device failure because you have too much junk stuck in the system memory?

According to Facebook,

“WiFi tends to work best, but if you can’t find a nearby network, you’ll want a 4G connection.”

This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re indoors, as WiFi connections are common. Just be sure you’re on the network and have a strong signal. If you’re outside, it can be a bigger issue. Be sure you have a strong connection to your carrier.

If you see that the “Go Live” button is grayed out, you have a weak signal.

5. Introduce Yourself and Explain!

Before you jump into your Facebook Live content, it’s important to explain to viewers what’s going on.
No matter how well known you think you are, you still need to introduce yourself, identify where you are, and provide a basic context of what this episode is about. In other words, provide some context for why your video is important or interesting. This is the hook!

6. Re-Set The Segment Regularly

Just as being on the air, viewers will tune in at different times. At the beginning of a video, you may have only 10 viewers. But at five minutes in, you may have 50.

At 10 minutes in, you may have 100 and so on. Some tune in, some tune out.

Be sure to regularly re-set the topic, re-introducing who you are and what’s happening.

And, it makes sense to recap the details from time to time. If you update the viewers after the first 2-3 minutes, then again 7-8 minutes in, you should be good to go. But keep the reset short, or it can be annoying to viewers who have been watching from the start.

7. Perform Within Your Personality Brand Profile

This may seem obvious, but many personalities seem to think Facebook Live gives them the license to really “be themselves”, usually in a more edgy way. This can really damage your brand.

Keep your tone and personality authentic to match your brand identity, as established in your personality brand profile.

Most people can spot phoniness a mile away, so I don’t try to be something you’re not. And if who you really are off the air is dramatically different than how you perform on-air, we need to talk about getting your personality profile in order!

If your on-air presence is friendly and upbeat, keep your video content in line with this. If you’re sarcastic and edgy, that’s fine. Just stay consistent with your brand and let your personality shine through.

The bottom line is that you should make your videos match your brand. If you aren’t, the audience will have reason to not trust you.

8. React to Comments

One of the easiest and most effective ways to turn up the volume on engagement is to simply respond to  your viewers. This is true in all forms of contact, but especially in a Facebook Live event.

During a video, viewers can leave comments and ask questions. Be sure to invest part of the time reacting. This is key to making the process as intimate and organic as possible.

I even recommend addressing some of your viewers by name because acknowledgement is so important in engagement. Mentioning them by name makes them feel a connection with you, and can sound charming and personal to all of the viewers.

If you know you won’t have the time to respond to comments (this can be really difficult when comments come in fast), it helps to work with a partner who is also logged into to the primary account and can respond to comments and help facilitate the overall process.

9. Stay On Longer

What? A consultant recommending the break to go longer, not shorter? Keeping your content brief may be great advice on the radio, but it’s the opposite on Facebook Live.

Think about how Facebook Live works. If you want to reach as many viewers as possible and maximize the engagement level, you need to be live for longer.

Facebook recommends you stay live for at least 10 minutes per video, but you can go for as long as 90 minutes.

The longer you stay live, the better your chances of reaching a larger audience will be.

While 90 minutes may be overkill if you can keep the video interesting and fun, and the storyline moving forward for 10-20 minutes, you’ll get a lot more engagement.

Once you’re more familiar and comfortable with the process, you can go live for longer and longer.

Facebook Live: Conclusion

Facebook Live is a powerful medium for extending your personality brand to your audience in a new way.

If you use it correctly, you can create content that extends your character, and potentially drives more listening to your show.

This form of two-way communication can be just the ticket for tightening your relationship with your audience and for taking your brand to the next level.

How have you used Facebook Live? What ideas, tactics and topics work best for your brand?

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