Well, not only has the consumption of video become increasingly more popular, particularly due to the ease of production with smartphones, but Facebook has recently made livestreaming possible.
Whilst live content is nothing new – it has been available on the network to a select few for some time – it is certainly a revelation for the masses.
What is Facebook Live Streaming?
Similar to that available on the likes of Periscope, the team at Facebook are now capitalising on the increasing power of video and “in-the-moment” updates.
Nothing particularly complex, live streaming is simply video content displayed to the viewer in real time. Broadcasting live footage is particularly beneficial for real-time news, event updates, and even more modern forms of webinars where you can reach a vast, global audience.
In addition, live streaming gives users the increased opportunity of engagement, where they can communicate and interact with an audience via live comment chats.
How does it Work?
Facebook have made live streaming extremely accessible in comparison to what is currently available on dedicated streaming sites; and using the feature couldn’t be easier either. In fact, you can stream from any device, even drones.
Available to shoot from Apple or Android mobile devices, simply open up Facebook and navigate as if you were to write a status update (whether from a personal account or business page). In the bottom left hand corner you’ll see an icon of a human figure with WiFi signals; this is your LIVE button. Just click it to get started.
After requesting access to your camera and microphone (make sure you accept!) the feature will give you the chance to prepare your livestream. You can begin targeting your audience with various options including the ability to define who will be able to access your content. Options include public (every individual on Facebook; that’s more than 1.5 billion people!), just your friends, or even a select group of contacts. At this stage you can also write a description for your livestream to depict the upcoming content.
Once you select the ‘Go Live’ button, viewers are able to interact directly with you by reacting with the relevant emoji’s or posting comments. When you’ve finished streaming, tap the ‘finish’ button to complete the video, at which point the content will be posted as a permanently available feature on your timeline.
It is important to note that the current limit set by Facebook allows 90 minutes of streaming.
How do I Watch Videos?
If you are friends with another Facebook user or follow their page, any live content that they produce will simply appear as an update in your newsfeed.
But, the easiest way to view content from across the globe is via the Facebook Map. You’ll find this on the left hand side of your Newsfeed under the ‘App’ category. Currently only available to view on desktop you’ll be given access to hundreds of livestreams as they’re happening across the globe; simply click on a blue location dot or a video example from the left sidebar and start watching.
Alternatively live videos will shortly be attached to trending topics as well as within a live portal that will collate live content from friends and personalised topics of interest. Note: this option isn’t available just yet. In addition, Facebook will also be incorporating live streaming into groups and events, alllowing you to share content with those who couldn’t attend.
Successful Live Streaming
At present celebrities seem to dominate live content, with companies and big brands beginning to make use of it too. Whilst anyone can harness these capabilities, it is important to make the most out of streaming for your intended purpose. So why not have a look at a handful of our top tips:
- Gather Interest – Tell people ahead of time that you will be producing live content. Ensure that you detail the time you’ll be streaming and, in brief, what it will be about. Doing so will build a certain level of anticipation and ensure that a reasonable number of people tune in.
- WiFi – Only ever go live with a strong conntection. Having drummed up interest what could be worse than cutting off halfway through live-streaming content that was important to its viewers?
- Information – Write a compelling description that will capture you audiences’ attention, particularly those who come across your content with no previous knowledge of who you are.
- Encourage Followers – Whether in updates or the video content itself, encourage viewers to follow you or your page. This way they’ll receive notifications when you go live ensuring that they return to your content on a regular basis.
- Interact – Ensure that you actively engage with your audience. If possible respond to live comments as they come in, answer questions, and refer to people by name.
How Can We Help?
Following these updates from Facebook we can already expect live streaming to be available direct on the likes of Twitter and YouTube. You should therefore carefully consider the benefits it may have for your business and begin implementing.
Whilst the basics of using Facebook live content is realtively straightforward, getting your head around Social Media can be tough. Our team of experts can help with social media training, consultancy, and outsourcing. Just give us a call on 01793 766040 for more information and advice.