Facebook & Instagram LIVE: Our Guide to Killer Videos

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Those doing it well know that GREAT social media requires authenticity, creativity and real emotional connections; but on a mass scale! Not a small feat. Social media has and always will be about people - so it makes sense that businesses and marketers strive to create people-to-people connections rather then business-to-people commercial content streams.   

Facebook and Instagram LIVE video is a fantastic way of fostering these connections - you're putting human faces to the brand and engaging on an emotional level with fans and followers.

Facebook and Instagram reward you for filming LIVE, with a percentage of your fans and followers receiving a notification that you are LIVE. This is a huge advantage over traditional posts to the feed and can receive between 6-10 x times the engagement of other posts. It makes sense to get good at them! 

But I know what you're thinking; I didn't sign up for this - I don't want my face on camera, I HATE hearing my own voice or I'm not a confident public speaker. We totally get it; the number of people in this world that are 100% confident in front of the lens is pretty small. All the more reason for you to get out of your comfort zone and start dominating this delightfully uncrowded space!  


Here's our tips to dominating LIVE video in your industry; connecting with more of your customers and selling more products and services. 

1. Prepare

When you're planning to do a LIVE video, consider who will appear in your video. Think about a person in your organisation who would have the greatest appeal amongst your target market. This might be the CEO or it might be someone from the mailroom. It really depends on the industry, the topic and the audience. The owner isn't always the right choice! Regardless of who's in front of the camera, here are some ways to improve their delivery:  

  • Do a media training, public speaking or drama course
  • Practice, practice, practice - start with short videos and extend from there
  • Draft an outline of what you want to cover, but don't write a script. You will come across as staged and stilted
  • Choose a room or location where there won't be too much background noise
  • Ensure the room is well-lit, neat and tidy
  • Do a test run if you're really nervous - film and watch it back, noting where you could improve. Or start with some Instagram stories to build your confidence
  • Invest in a mobile phone tripod - ebay has plenty of good, low-cost options. No one wants to watch shaky, jerky footage as it's distracting and irritating   
  • If possible - use a strong wifi connection instead of your phone data
  • To avoid receiving calls and messages while you're filming, turn your phone onto airplane mode, then turn the wifi on manually. If that's not possible and you need to use phone data, temporarily forward your calls to voicemail or someone else's phone

2. Plan

We often get asked what we would recommend filming LIVE and what should be kept for stories or the feed. When planning your content, it helps to ask yourself these things:

  1. Is the topic something that customers often have questions about?
  2. Are you introducing a new concept, product or service that requires information and education?
  3. Are you or one of your staff an expert in that field? Customers enjoy having access to industry experts or influencers they admire
  4. Do you have an event coming up that your customers would find interesting or useful to watch along with you?
  5. Would you like to increase engagement with the topic up to six times more than posts to the feed?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a live video could be the answer.

What to film? These content ideas are similar to what you might normally consider for stories, but they will be delivered in a longer, more in-depth format. 

  • Special events
  • Q&A's - answer questions about your customer's burning topics
  • Product/Service launches
  • How To's
  • Show off product detail; talk them through the care and thought that's gone into creating your product or service
  • Highlighting your brand values - if you are all about sustainability, then show them some of the steps you take to make your office waste free OR if you're in the health and wellness industry for example, then share some tips on how you eat healthy when you're on the run (shots of the food you're ordered, your fav places to eat etc)
  • Introduce/profile staff - ask them what their fav product/service is and why
  • Go behind the scenes on your buying trips, charity events, photshoots
  • Create a series - breaking down a topic into multiple LIVE videos 
  • Consider an interview format where two people from your company appear together, one asking the questions and the other answering - this can make people feel more comfortable on camera as it's more like having a conversation with a colleague

3. Pre-Promote

  • To ensure as many people as possible are viewing your LIVE, make sure you pre-promote in advance; create some hype - post to the feed, include the details in your eDM's and also post to stories the day before.
  • Post to the feed an hour before reminding your fans and followers you're going live
  • Consider a regular weekly or monthly timeslot to build and engage with an audience over time

4. Present

Here's where you might start to get the sweats. Take some deep breathes, calm down and remember that we're all human. You'll probably make some mistakes and that's ok. You'll get better with practice.

  • Let fans and followers know how long the LIVE will go for and what you will be covering. Introduce yourself, but don't waffle
  • Don't wait too long to start. Some people make the mistake of waiting for 100+ people to join before they go ahead. That doesn't respect other people's time and you may end up annoying your customers instead! Allow people time to join for a maximum of a minute or so during the intro 
  • Film your FB and Insta LIVE at the same time - If you're short on time - use your iPad for one and your phone for the other - or use a colleague's phone. Otherwise, just choose the platform where you have the most engaged audience and the platform where most of your customers hang out. 
  • Encourage people to comment and use reactions - Like/Love/Sad/Wow etc during the broadcast. Decide in advance how and when you will acknowledge your audience. When you do, address commenters by name and tell them how much you love their involvement.
  • Don't feel you have to be watching the comments the entire time - that can be really distracting. Instead, suggest that you'll check on the comments every few minutes so people know you aren't ignoring them
  • Allow them to be part of the agenda - ask questions and watch people's reactions for the majority vote
  • If you need to block a user that is commenting inappropriately, click on the profile picture next to their comment and select Block.
  • Sit close to your phone to avoid poor sound quality/eco - don't film someone from across the room unless you have given them an external microphone
  • If you use the selfie (front facing camera) - be conscious that anything you hold up with copy/words will appear backward
  • Last but not least, try to relax and be yourself!

As we are super passionate about all things social media, this post could have gone on for days!

If you have any questions or if you would like us to cover something that we might not have mentioned, feel free to shoot us an email hello@socialmediacreative.com.au or please drop us a comment below. 

We hope that you picked up something in the post that you can implement today.

For more tips, tricks and inspiration, be sure to follow us on Instagram here.