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What you need to know before you dive into your first Facebook Live

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Facebook Live. Gosh, those two words fill a lot of small business owners with dread. I know they did for me! I bet you’re thinking: “What? But you’re a marketer by profession!” Yes, I am, but I still get nervous about trying new things. So, now I’ve let you into my little secret, I’m going to tell you how you should go about setting up your first Facebook Live.

Before we get to that, there’s a good reason why you should be live streaming on Facebook. Here are some very compelling statistics from 2017.

  • 1 out of every 5 videos on Facebook is live. That’s only going to get bigger.
  • 78% of online audiences are already watching video on Facebook Live. That’s some of your target audience.
  • The average time spent on a desktop computer on live videos is 34.5 minutes vs. 2.6 minutes for pre-recorded videos.

(Statistics from

What’s your Facebook Live plan?

Before you jump into your first livestream on Facebook, you should think about a few things. Planning up front will make your live broadcast more interesting to watch, and help you achieve your key objectives. But first, you need to know what they are! So, here’s the rundown of what you need to think about:

  • Objectives – what do you want to achieve by live streaming on Facebook? Is it awareness? Or perhaps you want people to take a specific action, such as joining your email list. Once you know what you want to achieve, planning your content will become easier. Now, you might have several objectives you want to achieve, so think carefully about whether they are achievable through one Facebook Live or a series of them. People generally tend to take action if they are given fewer options.
  • Date and time – think about the best time and day to host your live stream on Facebook. When would be best for your followers? A good way to gauge this is to look at Facebook Insights to see which day of the week and the time of day most of your fans are on Facebook. This will give you a good idea of what will work for most people.
  • Duration – the next thing to decide is how long will you stream for? Facebook recommends going live for longer periods of time to give people the chance to discover you. But, at the beginning, they recommend you go live for at least 10 minutes. Incidentally, you can be live on Facebook for up to four hours!
  • Topic and your talking points – now you have your objectives, you can decide on your topic. Make sure you have a great headline for your Facebook Live and write a compelling description that will grab your followers’ attention. Once you have this, you can then start to create your talking points. As this is your first Facebook Live, I’ll assume you’ll be streaming for 10 minutes. Whilst this seems like a long time, it actually goes pretty quickly. So, write down bullet points of what you want to cover to keep you on track and make sure you talk about everything you need to.
  • Promotional plan – tell people you’re going to be live in advance of your broadcast. This gives them the opportunity to plan to tune in. So, think about where you can promote – social media and your email list are two obvious places. Create some interesting and impactful images that you can share on social media. Make sure you include a link to your scheduled video (which is the step below) so people can click to get a reminder on the day.

Setting up your Facebook Live

Did you know you can now schedule a live broadcast from within Facebook? This is great news, as previously, you could only pre-schedule using third-party software. I’m going to take you through how to do it below. Follow these steps when you’re ready to schedule your live stream.

Step 1

From your Facebook Page, navigate to ‘Publishing Tools’. On the left-hand side, you’ll see a menu. Choose ‘Video library.’

Facebook Live

Step 2

Once you’re in your video library, choose the button with + Live on it.

Facebook Live

Step 3

Add the description you’ve created in the ‘Say something about this live video…’section. Then fill in the title and add some tags to help people discover your live. These should be relevant to your industry.

Facebook Live

Step 4

Now select the grey ‘Schedule’ option at the bottom of your screen. The next screen that pops up is where you schedule your broadcast for the time and date you have selected. At this point, you can use the image Facebook has inserted, or you can upload your own image. Once, you’re ready, hit the blue ‘Schedule’ button.

Facebook Live

When it’s scheduled, you’ll see this in your timeline, as will your followers:

Facebook Live

On the day of your planned broadcast, you’ll get a reminder 20 minutes before you’re scheduled to go live.

Getting ready to go live on the day

On the day, you should make sure you’re ready for your broadcast. Here’s what I do:

  • I use sticky notes with the call to action I want my viewers to take on them and stick these down the side of my laptop screen to make sure I don’t forget to tell them what they should do next.
  • I go through my talking point bullet points to make sure I’ve remembered to include everything. Reviewing them after a break helps me to make sure I’ve got the right information in there and that it makes sense.
  • I do a sound and picture test from my personal Facebook profile. If any of my friends start to view, I ask them to comment if they can hear me. This helps me make sure that all systems are go for the real thing.
  • I schedule social media posts to go out five minutes before I go live to remind people to join me.
  • Once the broadcast has finished, you’re given the option to keep it. Always choose yes!

What do to once your Facebook Live is done

Remember the last point I made above about keeping a recording of your broadcast? There’s a very good reason to do this. It means you can share your video to ensure even more people see it. Here are some places you can share your video:

  • Facebook Groups – only share in groups that have your target audience in them. Also, don’t just randomly start sharing your content. Make sure you engage in conversations with other group members, answer their questions and ask some of your own. Once people know more about you, they will trust your content.
  • Your social networks – remember to share on your own social networks. You may have followers who weren’t able to attend and would love to know what you talked about.
  • Tell your email list – emails with videos receive great engagement, so don’t forget to tell your readers that the video is available to watch.
  • YouTube – if you have a YouTube channel, you can download the video from Facebook and upload it to your YouTube channel for your subscribers to view.

With a little bit of planning, and I’m really only talking about an hour, you can be ready to do your first Facebook Live. Remember, the more you do it, the planning and the live streaming, the easier it will get. So, start today – what’s your idea?

If you liked the tips in this post, why not sign up to receive The Marketing Morsel? You’ll get bite-sized marketing tips straight to your inbox to help you find your inner marketer.

5 thoughts on “What you need to know before you dive into your first Facebook Live

  1. This is great Minal. Still apprehensive about doing one and filling at least 10 minutes but I now have a starting point and some great tips!
    1 suggestion – how about a downloadable planning sheet with all the steps you described above?
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, Hannah! You’d be surprised at how fast 10 minutes goes. I plan mine to be 10 minutes but always end up going over. You’ll never know until you take the plunge!

    2. Hannah, I only just saw the last comment about a downloadable planning sheet. Thanks for the idea! I will create one.

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