3 dos and 3 don’ts for Facebook Live

We can do an awful lot with live streaming, which has come along way since my experience streaming the entire Aurora shooting trial to YouTube. Now, most importantly, Facebook is in the game and the required technology is essentially free.

The hard part is planning to create content that will make people comment, click “share,” or react with one of these feelings.

Because if people don’t interact, Facebook’s algorithm will not show it to a larger potential audience.

Keeping in mind these three “dos” and “don’ts” will help guarantee the content you create is successful on Facebook live.

Do…

  1. …explain what makes your video interesting. Use the title, captions and/or text on the screen (like a lower third) to explain to people why your video is worth watching.
  2. …make your live look and sound as professional as possible. Bad lighting or video quality will dissuade people from watching, and bad audio quality (if you’re using audio) will stop them from staying on the video. Graphics (if you use them) do not need to be constrained by the requirements of TV design, but they should look professional to inspire confidence in your work.
  3. …reply to the comments. If using on-camera talent, have that person answer questions using the names of the commenters. If using there is no talent, use the producer to keep an eye on the comments and post replies or pin related links to the top.

Don’t…

  1. …use Facebook Live purely as a polling platform. It deceives the algorithm (a bit) for now but the Facebook goons are telling media companies they will begin to penalize the pages that use the emojis to represent options other than their corresponding reactions or who use static images on the live videos simply to get the advantage of the favoritism paid to live videos right now. More importantly, it is simply a bad experience.
  2. …stay on less than 5 minutes. If you’re looking to get the boost given to live videos, you need to stay on long enough to attract those viewers. You’ll also want to make sure the content is sticky enough to keep people around for more than a few seconds.
  3. …give the whole story away for free. Facebook wants you to do that but, despite a lot of lip service, they’re doing nothing to make that be in our best interest at this point. Make sure you include links to drive traffic back to the full story on your website, or on-screen language teasing to where the full coverage can be found.

Lastly, one huge point: Facebook live cannot be your only strategy for event coverage. It needs to be paired with videos, graphics or photos of the moments that resonate with your audience, because they’ll never be likely to find them again inside of a long live video.