Engaging Your Audience with Facebook Live

source: forbes.comFacebook Live debuted in April of 2016, and the company has been rolling out its feature for users and pages ever since. In a nutshell, “going live” on Facebook allows you to share a video feed in real time to your Facebook account or page. After the broadcast is finished, the video will be saved onto the account, making it easily accessible for future viewing.

If you’ve ever used Periscope, Facebook Live is a very similar feature, except it has a few distinct advantages: 1- it is built within the Facebook app, so you don’t need a separate app on your device to use the feature, and 2- the videos save automatically, so you have access to the footage on your account for rewatching, sharing, and repurposing for any additional marketing needs.

Why It Works

On the institution-level, we have used Facebook Live for a few different events. During M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan convocation, we were able to go live during President Ransdell’s convocation address, and we took a fantastic video of the Class of 2020 in formation on the football field, waving their red towels.

The 2020 video was massively successful, with more 48,000 views and 1,144 likes.

M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan week turned out to be great time for us to experiment with Facebook Live. During our social media coverage of Big Red’s Blitz, we caught a video of Big Red dancing. It received more than 55,000 views!

What this success shows us it that videos are a great way to engage your audience… especially if you’re giving them access to content they otherwise wouldn’t be able to experience. With Facebook Live, you’re literally allowing your audience to experience an event with you.

Tips for Success

If you think Facebook Live could work for you, here are some things you’ll need before you get going:

  • Good Internet Connection: Make sure you have a strong internet connection at the location you’ll be streaming. Users are reporting that data connection is actually more reliable than wifi for Facebook live videos. A bad connection can cause the video to cut in and out or lock up during streaming.
  • Fully-Charged Battery: The last thing you want is your device to die in the middle of a broadcast!
  • Solid Logistics: Be sure you understand the event logistics or schedule in advance so that you don’t have a lot of dead time at any point in the video. It’s also helpful to have a second person on another device who is able to answer any questions or comments that users make on your video.
  • Keen Vantage Point: Get as close to the video subject as you can, and try to avoid places with a lot of background noise.

The possibilities are endless for how you can take advantage of Facebook Live. We recommend having a clear subject for your video, rather than filming a large group. For example, if you’re going live during a career fair, you might want to have a “host” to ask questions to different employers or students. The feature would also be great for Q&A sessions with faculty or staff in your department, showcasing students’ hands-on experiences in the classroom, or capturing performances in real-time.

Do you have an idea that you’d love to see come to life? Want to collaborate on ways your department can utilize Facebook Live to grow and engage with your audience? Let us know! Send an email to webservices@wku.edu, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips on making the most of your social web presences.

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