Before Facebook Live, bloggers would just make a pre-recorded video and post it on their Facebook page. I remember the first time a blogger who I followed and admired posted a video of herself. She was sitting on her couch, looking down at her feet and I forget what she was talking about. It wasn’t very memorable. It was awful. But you know what? I LOVED IT! I DIDN’T CARE that it was awful. Why? Because I felt such a connection to her as a person, just because I saw her talk on video. And I was SOLD on the power of video and knew that I had to do it.
So… I did a few short videos and then Facebook Live came along and I haven’t turned back! I usually do a Facebook Live every week or two.
Facebook Live Made Easy For Bloggers
We hear all the time that LIVE video is the way to go. And at this season of Blogging and online marketing, it is.
Facebook Live: Your Reach
The My Side of 50 Facebook Page has 554 followers.
In the last couple of weeks, my blog posts have been shown to anywhere from 9 (yes that’s NINE) to 483 people. That 483 was rare. Most of the time Facebook shows my posts to under 100.
In the last 3 months, when I post a Facebook LIVE video, it is shown to a minimum of 300 people with the largest reach being 553.
So since Facebook likes their live video so much, they are eager to show it to more people and that means a larger reach for you!
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But I find that many bloggers are afraid to get in front of the camera, don’t know what in the world they would have to say or both.
Facebook Live: How to Get Started
- Keep in short. A Facebook Live does not to be lengthy unless at some point you branch out into teaching something or doing a demonstration that is longer.
- Jot down few points that you want to make. Notice I said jot down a few points – not write a whole script. Facebook Live is not meant to be SCRIPTED. It is a conversation between you and your readers.
- And speaking of your readers…if they have liked your FB page, they already like you and want to hear what you have to say. That’s why they liked your page.
- I think of Facebook Live as a conversation and in turn a relationship builder with my readers. Not a performance. So whatever you do…it doesn’t have to be perfect. When you are having a conversation with a friend, you don’t do it with a script and you don’t worry about it being perfect.
- And unless you are a super popular blogger with a million followers, you probably won’t have that many people watching you live at first anyway. They’ll watch it later when it comes up in your feed. So you don’t have to feel like you are on the network news when you are actually LIVE.
- Do a practice run through with the video app on your camera. This will help you see where you get hung up or if you need to add/delete anything. Just do ONE. Don’t spend an hour practicing this. As effective as Facebook Live is, it can be a huge time suck if you get hung up on doing the perfect performance. And who needs one more time-consuming blogging task? Are you with me?
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Facebook Live: What To Talk About
- What you have coming up on the blog this week.
- A little background about those posts or a story. For example, I wrote a post with a yummy cheeseball recipe. It’s close to Superbowl time so I talk about the Superbowl being in Houston this year, the Texans being in the playoffs and how great this would be to serve at a Superbowl Party. (Update: The Texans bit it in the playoffs. The big game is between the Patriots & Falcons.)
- Or I could have told a story about how we devoured this same cheeseball at our house on Christmas Day and that I make it every year. The point is to give them a little something that helps them get to know you.
- Talk about a giveaway you are doing. For those signing up for the My Side of 50 e-mail list, I have a giveaway that is a printable of 3 New Ways To Tie A Scarf. In my Live video, talked about how I only know 2 ways to tie a scarf and how handy this guide was to print out and tape to the back of their closet.
- Give them a short tease on a couple of upcoming blog posts.
- Tell them why they should subscribe to your newsletter and what subscribers get.
- Show them something. If you have a DIY project, or a craft project or a dish you have made that will be on the blog, show it to them.
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Facebook Live: The Technical Part
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Facebook Live is not very technical. You can record from your Personal Page, Blog Page or Blog Group Page. I usually do it from my Blog Page and then share on my Personal Page and in my blog group afterward.
Start here. You can see that I went to the My Side of 50 Facebook Page and hit “Publish”.
- Click on the button that says Live Video.
- Fill in the topic of your Facebook Live. Use keywords.
- You can hold your phone, turn the camera to face you and then hit the red button, it will give you a 3-2-1 countdown and you’re live.
- Be sure to actually look into the camera on your phone so that your viewers will see you looking at them!
- You can use a selfie stick. Holding your phone and using a selfie stick can get a little tiring if you are going long.
- Set up using a desktop tripod. That’s what I do. I use an inexpensive one like this one. I just set it up, attach the phone and I’m good to go. If I was making this tripod purchase again, I would buy this one. It’s flexible and you can position your phone at different angles, like over a bowl or pot if you are doing a cooking demonstration.
- If you want to improve your lighting, you can get an inexpensive ring light here. This one just attaches to your phone.
- When you’re finished, hit the red button. At this point, you can edit your description.
- Share in other places like your personal page.
- Download to YouTube.
Facebook Live: Final Tips
- Should you give your followers notice that you will be going live at a certain time? If you don’t want to the first time because you are just getting your feet wet, then give yourself a pass on the first one. Otherwise, I would announce it ahead of time – maybe the day before (if you are organized enough to know you are doing a Facebook Live the next day) and an hour or two before. If you know you will be doing your LIVE on a topic, then say so. “I’m doing a Facebook Live tomorrow at 1:00 on 5 entertaining hacks.”
- When you start you LIVE, ask your visitors to let you know they are there. Ask them to say “Hi” in the comments or put in the comments where they are listening from.
- Include a Call to Action in all your Facebook Lives – Subscribe, Read the Blog Post, Download the Opt-in or share this video.
- Share. Share it to your personal or other Facebook pages you have. Download it to your YouTube channel.
Facebook Live is a great tool for reaching your audience. Don’t sweat it. Just do it. Remember…the point is CONNECTION and RELATIONSHIP. Not perfection.
You can see all of my perfectly “imperfect”Facebook Live videos here.