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10 Facebook Live Tips to Follow Before, During & After Your Broadcast

What better way to display your brand’s human side to your customers than to showing the people behind your company? The arrival of Facebook Live changed the playing field for content development in the online world. More people than ever use live streaming, with Facebook video posts growing by around 94% a year in the US alone. If that wasn’t compelling enough, Facebook Live videos experience three times the engagement of typical videos shared on social media, with millions of users tuning in around the world.

If we look at the figures, Facebook Live currently generates more than 3,000 years of watch time every day. The question becomes how do you take advantage of that engagement for your brand?

Click the jump links below to get to each section!

Since Facebook Live is free and easy to use, any company can get involved. However, it’s critical to ensure your video strategy is in place before, during and after the broadcast. Here are 10 Facebook Live tips to follow:

1. Promote Before You Broadcast

While most of the content we post is followed up with consistent promotion, it’s important to remember live videos are more like an event than a blog post. In other words, you need to generate interest before the experience if you want to get that all-important viewership. The good news is Facebook lets you target certain events and groups with your promotions. This is perfect for a more focused advertising campaign.

Ultimately, you’ll want to push the upcoming announcement on your Facebook account as often as possible to start. This means sharing daily updates about your broadcast. Don’t just repeatedly tell your audience you’re going to stream. Every time you remind your audience, share something new of value. For instance, highlight a tip you’ll share, or what kind of information you’ll be covering.

Look at NASA Earth’s post for instance:

It’s full of value and even contains an image to spark additional visual interest. Keep in mind your Facebook efforts don’t exist in a silo either. Don’t be afraid to cross-promote across your blog, email campaigns and additional social networks too.

2. Prepare Yourself by Limiting Distractions

Though Facebook Live is a more laid-back and natural experience than a standard television advert or YouTube production, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead. Your activities on Live represent your brand, so you can’t afford to give a bad impression. This is particularly true since Live users watch videos three times longer than their counterparts.

Before you broadcast your video, take some time to prepare. Remember you can begin with a private broadcast for testing, and use that strategy to test your lighting, sound and other surrounding elements. Make sure you invest in a tripod to avoid the “shaky cam” experience. Also try to minimize any unwanted background noise and ambiance whether indoors or outside. When it comes to Facebook Live tips for preparation, a strong broadband connection can go a long way too.

In this video by Sephora, you’ll notice that the interview is held in front of a clean, non-distracting background, without any shaky cam in sight. All the while the colors and accessories present highlight the unique personality of the Sephora brand.

3. Make Formatting Decisions

While you’re prepping for your big debut, make sure you take the time to think about how you’ll shoot your video and when you’ll stream it. For instance, when using the Facebook Live app for iOS, you can choose between broadcasting horizontally or vertically–depending on what gives you the best view.

Try a little of both options in a test run to see how you look for your audience. Sometimes vertical shooting can make you seem too close to the camera, which might not be ideal for an interview-based video. On the other hand, if you want to have an intimate behind-the-scenes chat with your audience, that could be exactly the vibe you want. In the video below, Martha Stewart uses a horizontal portrait to show more of her surroundings, which are from her own Martha Stewart Home Depot collection.

4. Time It Just Right

Timing can be everything when it comes to making an impression on your audience. Just as there are tips for when to send out email campaigns for the best responses, there’s also guidelines for times to host your videos. During a live-streaming event, the last thing you want is to schedule your video to appear when everyone in your target audience is at work or asleep.

facebook pages report

Make sure you think carefully about your target audience. Luckily, you can use Sprout Social’s Facebook reports to learn more about when your customers interact with you the most. Our Facebook Audience Growth report provides you with the tools you need to measure fan growth and post interactions.

5. Offer Context Constantly

You might naturally assume it’s a good idea to introduce yourself and any other speakers in the beginning of your video broadcast. After all, just like a blog post, your initial aim is to convince people to stick around. However, Facebook Live allows visitors to join the stream at any moment. So as more people come in, reflect on your introduction and let your audience know what’s happening. For instance, you may want to use lines such as:

“Hey, if you’re just joining us, welcome to our broadcast. We’re currently talking about [topic] and we’ve just covered [previous topic].”

One great example of Facebook Live that keeps its viewers on track is the video from the ASPCA. They launched a #31DaysofRescueDogs campaign to encourage adoption for their lovable furry companions. The Facebook Live video that promoted the campaign followed volunteers around New York as they took Pitbull puppies for a walk.

Throughout the entire broadcast, the host of the stream constantly reminded the people watching why the walk was happening and how they could get involved with the campaign. This helped to generate a huge number of donations from the ASPCA audience.

6. Always be Responsive

The live comments and reactions are part of what makes the experience so engaging to customers. It feels more like a two-way conversation when you’re responding directly to their questions in person. That’s why Facebook Live drives comments at 10 times the rate of non-live videos.

One of the most powerful ways to increase engagement online is to address the comments that appear live on air. This invites more people to share their opinions and thoughts as you go along. If you’re concerned that you might have too many comments to respond to in one stream, you can always get some help from someone off-camera to direct the most important comments your way.

Check out the video from Stephen Amell in his “Let’s Talk Arrow” post. He responds perfectly to the comments that come his way while keeping his audience engaged.

Remember, Facebook live is a window into your brand experience in real-time. Your responses to comments keep your audience in the moment. And with Sprout, you can manage Facebook messages all in one single-stream Smart Inbox.

facebook integrations collaborate manage

Our tools help brands keep their messages in order across all platforms. However, with Facebook Live comments, it’s easy to track questions or respond to comments you might have missed–all within the same platform.

Try us free for a 30-day trial or request a demo to get started!

7. Make Sure You’re Likable

One of the most important Facebook Live tips to remember is this is your chance to really connect with your audience. In other words, you’re not trying to market yourself obnoxiously or sell a product. You’re trying to build relationships that lead to longer-lasting impressions. When you’re ready to broadcast, make sure you’re relaxed, smiling and feeling confident.

Of course, keep in mind that it can be useful to draw attention to your products or services from time to time, as long as you do it subtly. You can always end your video with a call to action or reference your services throughout the content. For instance, in a Trey Ratcliff video on Facebook Live, he talked his audience through choosing the perfect camera setup.

The idea was to allow Trey to build relationships, trust and thought leadership with his audience, while also pointing out his own incredible photography skills. The marketing was almost done on a subconscious level, which is what made it so effective.

8. Give Your Viewers a Shout Out

Facebook Live videos are instantly archived after they’re finished. This means you can always call attention back to them if you want to share additional value with your audience. To help boost your viewership among people who didn’t join you for the live show, try sharing a quick post thanking people for watching.

You can also ask for new questions and comments to generate additional engagement. The people who view your videos like to feel appreciated, so show them some love wherever you can.

target facebook live comments

9. Use Other Channels to Promote

Who said your Facebook Live video only had to be promoted on Facebook? You can easily promote across your other social channels to get users to tune into your video on Facebook. You’re not always going to get everyone from Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn to watch, but providing a link to the video will make it easier.

Again, NASA does a great job cross promoting content for Facebook Live on Twitter. Feel free to post countdowns to your video or simply share afterward for more awareness.

10.Analyze Your Results

Finally, as with anything in the world of marketing, you should always learn from what you accomplish. Facebook has several metrics that you can measure with your live videos. For instance, you can check out how many people you’ve reached, how many unique viewers you have and so on.

Social media analytics report

The more you learn about your viewer preferences from your social media analytics, the likelier you are to design and publish stronger videos in the future. You can even go through your results to find out how many people were watching at specific times. This is a great way to figure out which moments had the most impact on your audience.

Once you’ve learned as much as you can, use the data gathered to experiment and optimize your next video. Then A/B test your results just as you would with any other content.

Living It up With Facebook Live

It’s hard to argue with the potential of live streaming in a world where customers constantly crave stronger, more human connections with their favorite brands. Since its launch in 2016, Facebook Live has seen its daily watch time grow by more than 400%.

Facebook Live broadcast makes it inherently compelling to users who check out social media for the latest updates and trends. We’ve even seen other social media platforms begin to adopt the same solution to take advantage of the growing popularity of live streaming.

Fortunately, with the Facebook Live tips above in mind, you should have everything you need to start your broadcast on the right track. Good luck and happy streaming!

This post 10 Facebook Live Tips to Follow Before, During & After Your Broadcast originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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The Community Imperative: Engaging in Conversations Rather Than Disseminating Information

Building Online Communities in B2B

Building Online Communities in B2B

What does effective marketing engagement look like?

In the common model we see today, it’s something like this: Brands push out relevant messaging, hoping to compel a response or interaction that leads to a conversation (and maybe ultimately a conversion). This can be anything from a comment on a social media post to a chat window initiation.

Nothing wrong with that. These back-and-forths between brands and individuals are important ingredients toward building trust and loyalty. The problem is that, as a sole method for driving engagement, the cast-and-wait approach is too dependent on explicit triggers to spark these interactions.  

Devising and creating content that drives targeted engagement is hard work. It’s worthwhile, but hard, and sometimes even well conceived plans miss the mark. What if you were able to develop a self-driven engagement engine, which fostered strategic conversations built awareness among your most valuable customers and prospects?

Enter: Communities.

Why Communities Matter to Digital Marketers

In his seminal book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, Seth Godin writes about turning scattered groups of followers into a unified “tribe,” which he defines as “a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.”

Human beings have long gravitated toward these communal experiences, elevating the collective power of their interests, beliefs, or passions. According to Godin, a group needs two things to become a tribe:

  1. A shared idea
  2. A way to communicate

The internet has taken care of No. 2, making it easy for strangers around the globe to come together via message boards, social media, subreddits, etc. So really it’s about identifying that mutual idea, or focal point, and taking the lead in rallying people around it.

Coordinating Communities for B2B Marketing

It’s not uncommon for tribes to form around a B2C product or service. For example, my fiancée follows several social media groups dedicated to Oreo cookies. People in these communities share updates about new flavors, and where they can be found. Other examples of strong brand communities include Sephora, LEGO, and Starbucks.

In the B2B space, this is more challenging. People aren’t generally drawn to, say, cybersecurity software in the same way they are to their favorite coffee or cosmetics brand. But that’s not to say there isn’t a deep level of passion for cybersecurity — it’s a prevalent issue throughout our society, and one that many professionals spend their entire days thinking about. The key lies in hitting the right resonant note and facilitating connections.

In the case of cybersecurity specialists, we have to ask: What questions burn in their minds? Which elements of the subject excite or agitate them? Where do discussions among hardcore followers tend to center? This type of empathetic mindset should be at the core of our DNA as modern marketers.

Building B2B communities doesn’t always mean trying to create a “brand community” where your company and its offerings are the primary focus; this can be tough to accomplish, and even when you do, you’re unlikely to pull in many members outside of your existing customer base. The more effective approach, from my view, is building communities around interests and commonalities that align directly with what you do.

Pinpointing the ideal focal point for your community requires an acute understanding of the people you serve, derived through copious research. We can apply many of the same tactics for identifying best answer opportunities to arrive at data-driven conclusions about the most avid areas of curiosity for our audiences. If your customers are repeatedly asking the same questions to Google, they probably want to discuss them amongst one another as well.

Where Can You Build Online Communities?

Let’s say you’re interested in starting a community around a certain topic relevant to your brand. Where might go about doing so? Here are some popular options:

  • Facebook Groups: It’s the world’s most popular social media platform and a prevalent hub for connecting around common interests. We wrote recently about the value of Facebook groups for B2B brands. And Facebook’s recently announced redesign will put groups at the center of the experience.
  • LinkedIn Groups: Often a better contextual fit than Facebook for B2B social media groups, as LinkedIn is (of course) structured around professional topics. Last year LinkedIn made its Groups feature more accessible by integrating it into the mobile app.
  • Forum/Message Board: The online message board traces its origins back nearly to the dawn of the internet, when it was called a bulletin board system (BBS). Today, these platforms for organized digital discourse remain prevalent and — when well populated — highly active and engaging. This post from HubSpot offers some step-by-step guidance for launching your community in such a fashion.
  • Microsite: A special section of your website dedicated entirely to allowing your customers and audience members to interact with one another. It might be a message board built within your site, or a more customized setup. Whatever the case, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy to navigate and follow conversation threads.

Benefits of B2B Community-Building

“Community is important because it brings people together. Community keeps people loyal, makes them feel like they matter. It also lets the company show how much they appreciate their customers,” according to Mary Green, a community-building specialist who shared her insights with B2B News Network.

Beyond the overarching loyalty imperative, here are a few other practical advantages to creating an online community:

  • Firsthand audience research. Marketers are always endeavoring to understand what matters most to their audiences. In many cases, this requires considerable guesswork. But by monitoring a community, you can watch conversations play out organically, seeing what impassioned followers talk about and how they talk about it. This can serve as a crucial springboard for your content planning. It might even help inspire new product features or service offerings.
  • User-generated content. “Brands and influencers can make great content, but the phenomenal stuff comes from the discussion. User-generated content is gold,” says Green. I’ve written here in the past about the power of UGC for authenticity, and online communities can be an excellent resource for uncovering it.
  • Finding and cultivating influencers. Within these communities, you’ll frequently see particular experts emerging with strong voices or magnetic insights. These might be candidates to incorporate more deeply into your influencer marketing strategy.

B2B Brands Running Strong Communities

Looking for inspiration? Here are a few companies that set the right example with B2B community-building:

Bank of America

They major national bank created a small business online community, which they describe as “a forum for small business ideas, insider tips, and the industry knowledge you need to help your small business grow.”

As you scroll through the links and discussions within, you’ll find that much of it is unrelated to banking or even financial matters, and that’s just fine. The point is that numerous customers and prospects are coming to BoA’s website to talk shop.

Bank of America Online Community


The QuickBooks Community is basically a public knowledge bank where users can help each other solve problems and learn new things. There are product-centric areas for QB troubleshooting, as well as general business discussions. Intuit company reps are also active participants in the community.

QuickBooks Online Community


Jamf Nation describes itself as “the largest Apple IT management community in the world.” It’s a perfect example of owning a niche, and mobilizing a community while keeping product promotion on the backburner. Members are welcomed to “Dialog with your fellow IT professionals, gain insight about Apple device deployments, share best practices and bounce ideas off each other.”

Jamf Nation Online Community

Find Your Tribe

As marketing emphasis shifts more and more toward delivering holistic experiences, community-building should be a key consideration for practitioners everywhere, especially in B2B where the opportunity is especially ripe. Herein lies the next frontier of digital engagement.

Want to learn more about B2B brands that are finding more authentic ways to engage? Check out our post: Flipping the B2B Marketing Script: 7 Brands That Talk to Consumers, Not Companies

The post The Community Imperative: Engaging in Conversations Rather Than Disseminating Information appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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