Facebook Live is the hip new marketing tool on everyone’s tongue. It’s trendy, it’s cool, and it presents exciting opportunities for realtors.
We’ve discussed ways to use live-streaming apps before, but now it’s time to talk best practices and tips for using Facebook Live to boost engagement, gain ‘likes’, and build your audience.
1. Be prepared
Live streaming works best if you seem authentic and unscripted, but well-prepared.
Once you’ve chosen the topic for your Facebook Live video, start building your talk. Outline your themes, how it will flow, your key talking points, questions to ask and ways to wrap up.
Rehearse by filming yourself just with your phone’s camera for a couple dry runs and playing the video back. Practice enunciating, smiling, hand gestures, and voice and tone.
What’s the point of using Facebook Live if you’ve only got a couple people tuning in? You need to advertise, at least a few days in advance, to make sure you’ve got a sufficient audience.
Tweet it, Instagram it, share it on your Facebook page and include it in your newsletter. But make sure the value proposition is strong: tell your audience what they’ll gain by watching you next Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
3. Time it right
But maybe next Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. isn’t the best time to livestream over Facebook? There is no single, fail-proof time for all live videos; it depends on your particular audience.
To figure out when might be the best time to get the most possible viewers, check out the Insights section on your Facebook page to see when the majority of your page followers are online.
Or, simply ask them. Creating a poll in a private Facebook group is a great way for your audience to tell you when they’d most likely tune in.
4. Make it catchy
Your Facebook Live video and description need to be captivating, and capable of convincing your audience that watching is worth their time.
Make the video’s focus clear, provide a couple of examples of what you’ll be speaking about, and tell your viewers what their takeaway will be.
5. Use the right equipment, and setting
The smartphone you use to broadcast from should be capable of recording relatively high-definition video. Anything grainy or too pixelated is difficult to watch for more than a minute, and makes you look like an amateur.
If the sound quality is low, consider using a microphone accessory. A tripod or similar method of creating an elevated, stable platform will help.
For best possible lighting, sit near a window and have the natural light face you. If you’re having trouble finding good natural light, then complement it by angling an adjustable lamp towards your face. Avoid a background with lots of visual and audio distractions; don’t film in messy rooms or busy spaces.
6. Include calls-to-action
Don’t just talk at your viewers — ask them to do something!
As part of your preparation, think about the calls-to-action you want to include during your Facebook Live stream. These could include liking your Facebook page for more relevant content updates, subscribing to your newsletter, visiting links to your content that you want them to check out (say the link aloud, and paste it in the comments), and posing questions you want them to answer.
Even a simple, “Where is everyone tuning in from?” is a great way to get your audience engaged.
7. Make it longer than five minutes, but less than …
Any live video shorter than five minutes likely doesn’t offer a lot of value to viewers. We recommend streaming for more than five minutes, but not longer than an hour. Exactly how long your stream for should vary from video to video, depending on your topic. A Q&A session, for example, where you’re answering queries submitted by your audience, could run for close to an hour without feeling dull. But a 60-minute session about your new listings might be tedious, and appear overly self-serving.
8. Be authentic
Cliche as it may sound, it’s key to be as natural as possible in live videos. Your personality is part of your personal brand, and it needs to shine through. Don’t read from your notes, but instead look directly into the camera, smile, gesture with your hands and make the odd joke. Avoid an overly salesy or formal approach.
Will you be using Facebook Live to connect with your audience this year?