The world of social media marketing is constantly evolving as new tools and ways to reach our audience are introduced almost daily. One of the most exciting new tools we’ve seen this year in social media has been the introduction of Facebook Live, which allows users to engage with their followers in real-time via live video.

Broadcasting to your audience through live video isn’t necessarily a new concept. Apps like Periscope and Streamup already allow users to easily create an account and “go live” almost instantly. So what makes Facebook Live different from the rest? Chances are, your brand has been active on Facebook for some time and has an engaged audience already built in, so there’s no need to start from scratch building a following on a new platform. Not only is your audience already following you, they can sign up to receive a notification when you go live, allowing them to tune in and interact with your brand.

Notably, according to Facebook, users of the social platform spend triple the amount of time watching Facebook Live video as they spend watching other video content. Thus, Facebook has decided to prioritize this rich, engaging new content type by giving it preference in their news feed algorithm. This means your live videos will have excellent organic reach, which could potentially have a positive impact on the reach of your other posts.

While there are multiple benefits of using Facebook Live, testing out new tools as a brand can be intimidating. Here are a few tips to using it effectively:

  1. Have a plan and test it out. First, jot down talking points and plan out what you want to say. Then, start by changing the privacy settings and record a live video that only you can see. Check the sound quality and lighting. If you plan to set the camera on a stand or tripod, make sure you know where to stand to stay in frame. Iron out the kinks before broadcasting live to your followers.
  2. Promote your video. Let your fans know when you’re going to be live so they can plan to tune in. Make sure your announcement posts are exciting enough to build anticipation.
  3. Make sure you have a good connection. This seems pretty basic, but the last thing you want is for your live stream to cut out in the middle of a great broadcast. A Wi-Fi connection works best, but if you don’t have access, make sure you at least have a 4G connection.
  4. Write a compelling description. Your video description will often be the deciding factor in whether someone tunes in or keeps scrolling. Make sure your description is compelling enough to peak their interest.
  5. Broadcast for longer periods of time. The longer you’re live, the more time fans will have to tune in, watch your video, and invite their friends. A good rule of thumb is to broadcast for at least 10 minutes.

It’s clear that Facebook Live is here to stay and will undoubtedly increase in popularity. Getting familiar with the feature now will prove extremely beneficial for brands in reaching their target audience.