Make Your Facebook Lives Thrive

Five criteria for success

Jennifer Kirby, PentaVision Media
It makes sense for businesses to use Facebook Live as part of their marketing efforts. Not only does research show that live video creates a sense of immediacy and trust in consumers that heightens their purchase intent,* but Facebook itself remains the most popular social media network, at roughly 166 million U.S. users, according to Statista.

That said, marketers can’t expect to simply post a Facebook Live video and make a positive impression on consumers. According to Kerry Shearer, conference speaker, social media trainer and broadcaster (see, successful Facebook Live videos include the following: 

Using the forward-facing camera on your smartphone, sans mirrored image. Facebook Live’s functionality on the screen-side camera is set to provide a mirrored image. Therefore, unless you change it, all graphics, lettering and logos will appear backwards, which can be very distracting to the viewer, while also hurting the brand messaging, Mr. Shearer explains.

Promotion. “Once the business knows the specific time the video will be going live, it should put it on all their social media channels to capitalize on viewership,” he says. “They can publicize it in advance as much as they want, but I’d also consider building anticipation by say, posting something like, “Join us live at (Time/Time Zone) today. “Trust us, you won’t want to miss it!”

Immediate value. Make the live video worthwhile to its intended audience by using a title that creates viewer curiosity (e.g. “Do You Think You Know Everything About Dry Eye?”) and a lively interviewer who stands next to the interviewee, briefly introduces him- or herself, the topic, the interviewee and then what, specifically, is going to be discussed, Mr. Shearer says. An example: “Hi! I’m ____, president of ____, and I’m going to be talking with ____ about ____. Specifically, we’re going to be discussing ____.”

Viewer interaction. “It’s imperative the interviewer make a habit of glancing at the camera to monitor viewer comments and questions, so he makes viewers part of the conversation, which keeps them engaged and watching,” Mr. Shearer explains. “For example, ‘Hey, John, thanks for watching!’ ‘Viewers, please put a “1” in the chat, if you feel this way about _____.’ Or, ‘Hi, Kate, what a great question! Let’s ask our guest.’”

The “right” equipment. To retain viewers, Mr. Shearer suggests a plug-in smartphone microphone to ensure strong audio, a portable tripod that has a smartphone mount on top for a steady shot and some sort of extra lighting source, such as a clip-on ring light for the phone, which illuminates faces, cancelling out possible shadows and dark areas from overhead lights. (He recommends specific technology, in which he receives a small commission, on his website

“Livestreaming is an amazing opportunity for businesses to reach consumers and grow,” Mr. Shearer says, “so I always encourage businesses to do it, if they don’t already.” PV
* See

Image credit: anyaberkut/