Facebook Live creates more opportunities for you to engage with your audience, while growing your platform and your business.
While Facebook’s audience has declined, it saw an uptick in Facebook Live viewers. In March 2020, Facebook Live viewers grew by 50%. Similarly in 2021, live streams increased by the same amount.
Now in 2023, people seem to love going live on social media. More viewers are looking for opportunities to join in on the fun.
What is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live allows users to host live videos on their platform. It gives brands and creators alike more chances to interact directly with their audiences. Launched in 2016, Facebook Live gives communities quick access to live streaming from mobile videos to full-scale productions.
Within the live stream, there are interactive tools that can help you better engage your audience. These are:
- Live Polls: You can poll your audience before a live stream and share the results once you’re live. This gives companies the option to get feedback from their most loyal followers.
- Featured Links: These allow you to share links to outside websites (such as your business website).
- Live Comment Moderation: Designate a viewer to moderate comments to ensure only comments that align with your brand values are visible to viewers.
- Front Row: Use this feature to highlight your top fans during your broadcast.
- Badges: These are a fun way to keep viewers coming back. Badges are earned through various types of engagements by viewers.
With Facebook Live, you can also invite guests to live stream with you, opening the doors to stronger partnerships and more engaging conversations.
Going live can be stressful. Here are some tips to ensure that your first experience goes smoothly:
- Plan Ahead: Make sure your audience knows about your live stream. You don’t want to go live and have nobody show up! Advertise your live stream in advance and encourage people to join. You can also create an event reminder for interested viewers to ensure they don’t forget.
- Incentivize: Give people a reason to attend your live stream. Consider doing a giveaway, Q&A, or covering an interesting topic that convinces viewers to join.
- Be Confident: Going live takes confidence. Whoever is leading the conversation needs to be able to keep the conversation moving while making sure that people who join late are not out of the loop.
- Outline, Don’t Script: If it’s your first live stream, consider creating a loose outline of topics you want to cover. Don’t go overboard. Nobody wants to watch a live stream where the host reads off a script. Try to have content prepared in case there’s not much engagement, but be willing to go off-script if the conversation is steering in a different direction.
- Engage: People join live streams to have direct engagement with the host. Don’t ignore the viewers. Be sure to regularly scroll through comments and try to talk to specific viewers who ask questions.
Make Custom Graphics To Promote Live Events
You’ll need to create marketing materials, such as thumbnails and social graphics, to promote your live stream. Shutterstock Create makes it easy to design and export custom thumbnails for your events. You can resize your graphic to use in marketing efforts to keep a consistent style across your posts. In this example, we’ll build a thumbnail in Shutterstock Create and add it to your Facebook Live video in-platform.
Get Started in Shutterstock Create
- From the Shutterstock Create dashboard, click “Custom Size” and type in 1920px x 1080px.
- Using the search bar, find a template that matches the aesthetic of the content you’ve prepared for your live stream. Or, if you’re feeling creative, start from scratch!
- Once you’ve selected a template, click any part to begin editing.
- Double-click text to edit.
- Update images using Shutterstock’s stock photography collection, or upload images of your own.
- Update placeholders by selecting the shape and choosing “Replace cell” from the top menu.
- Once you are happy with your graphic, click the “Download” button and choose either .JPEG or .PNG to export your image.
Next, let’s look at how to add your new images to your brand’s Facebook Creator Studio.
- In Facebook Creator Studio, select “Schedule Live Video Event.”
- Update your event details, privacy, and title. Select “Next” when done.
- Under “Additional Details” select “Upload Cover Photo.”
- Add the photo just created to your event. When finalized, select “Create Event”.
Once you’ve gone live, you can update the thumbnail for the published video:
- On your video post, select the “…” icon.
- Click “Edit Video.”
- Select “Custom Thumbnail.”
- Choose your thumbnail and click “Save.”
That’s all you need to get started with Facebook Live events! If you’d like to learn more about how to make a great first impression for your brand–on Facebook Live or elsewhere–continue reading.
License the cover image via Vozduh, art.em.po, and ViDI Studio.