How to Go Live on Facebook

Facebook launched Facebook Live back in April of 2016 and it has since been one of the most useful and popular features that the social media platform has to offer. Facebook Live is as good as any of the top video streaming platforms out there today. Through Facebook Live, Facebook users can now broadcast video content directly from their mobile device or computer for the world to see in the Facebook News Feed.

What is Facebook Live?

In a nutshell, Facebook Live allows users to stream video broadcasts of anything from important events in their lives to live events, business meetings, to marketing promotions to an audience of their choosing – all for free!

How Does Facebook Live Work?

To use Facebook Live, you only need to have a device like a mobile phone or PC with a camera and Facebook access to get going. You also have the option to use third-party software like streaming software to use as a paired encoder in a live stream. There is no separate Facebook Go Live app and having the Facebook app is enough.

Facebook Live and Facebook Marketing

With Facebook Live, streaming possibilities are endless. Facebook Live has to be one of the most powerful social media marketing strategies out there. Marketers are only limited by their imagination as Facebook Live is a free marketing tool that makes everyone on Facebook their potential target audience.

The reach of your marketing campaign can be as vast and as wide as you let it. Whatever specific goals your brand wants to achieve, Facebook Live gets a lot of things done for you; musicians can put on a live interactive concert for their fans, Product brands can host product demos with live interactive Q&A’s, Businesses can stream raffle draws, gift giveaways and the sort. Truly, possibilities for marketing on Facebook Live are only limited by your imagination. There is no good reason why you can’t go live on Facebook.

The Reach of Facebook Live

To give you a clearer picture of how effective Facebook Live is, let’s discuss its reach. Live videos streaming on Facebook Live receive 3 times higher engagement on Facebook than non-live video content on Facebook. Facebook Live streaming also garners 5 times more interactivity than standard pic posts on Facebook. We imagine these statistics are going to be better than when you somehow find a way to pay for Facebook likes!

There is something about live videos that appeal well to Facebook users. Pre-recorded video content on social media is fine, but the sense of a ‘limited time only’ availability of Facebook Live videos evokes in us the need to not be left out. Watching a live video is the next best thing to being there in person is why Facebook Live works so well.

Use this knowledge to raise people’s awareness of your brand. 

How to Go Live on Facebook

You now have all the right reasons to try this feature and go live on Facebook. So here is the definitive step-by-step guide on how to go live on Facebook and be on your way to streaming video content. Included here in these instructions are how to use Facebook Live on your smartphone or mobile device and how to use Facebook Live on your computer. Get ready to take the world by storm – Facebook Live style.

A. How to Go Live on Facebook on a Mobile Device

TRIVIA: Early in 2016, Facebook Live was rolled out as a feature available on Facebook mobile only.

Here are the steps to set you on to broadcasting from mobile devices using Facebook Live on Mobile:

1.  Open the Facebook app on your mobile device.

Visit your Facebook news feed and then tap on the What’s on your mind text bar. This will bring you to the next screen, which is the Create Post screen. Here, you should be able to see the multiple options you have for a new post like Photos/Videos, Tag Friends, Feeling/Activity, Ask for Recommendations, and Go Live. Click on Go Live.

When you click on Go Live, which looks like a video icon, a text box will prompt you about how only your selected audience will see what you are broadcasting. Tweak your audience restrictions according to your personal preferences.

2.  Allow Facebook access to record video and audio.

You will be shown a text box from Facebook that asks permission to record audio and video from your phone. You have the option to be never asked these questions again. Allowing Facebook to record audio and video will enable you to stream videos through your main camera or front-facing camera on your mobile device.

3.  Activate Live at the bottom of your screen.

The default mode is Normal which is the non-live camera mode for testing out your shot before going live. Once you are ready and about to go live, tap on the Live mode at the bottom of your current Facebook Camera screen. There will be a grace period before you go live to make sure you are ready.

4.  Choose your Privacy Settings

By default, Facebook Live’s privacy setting is set to Only me. In this setting, only you can see your Facebook Live streaming and you will need to tap on the Only me to set it to Public if you want no restrictions to whoever can see your Facebook Live video, or to Friends only if you want your Facebook Live video only visible to your Facebook Friends only.

If you are promoting for social media marketing, then you will want to make your Facebook Live video’s privacy settings to Public. This way, anyone can share your Facebook Live video to their Facebook feed.

Other privacy settings include ‘Friends except…’ which will exclude the friends you choose not to show your Facebook Live videos to. There is also the ‘Specific friends’ privacy setting if you want only select friends to be able to see your Facebook Live videos.

5.  Add a compelling description for your Facebook Live video.

Making a compelling description for your Facebook Live video will be your chance to hook an audience with your video description.  Your live video description will be visible in your audiences’ news feeds and this can make or break your live video. Make your description interesting to attract viewers to watch your Facebook Live video.

6.  Choose your location and tag friends and groups in your Facebook Live video.

Adding a location and tagging some friends and any Facebook group you are part of will lend discoverability to your Facebook Live video. Your tagged friends will be notified as soon as you stream your Facebook Live video and the more tagged friends you have, the more discoverable and visible your Facebook Live video will be on Facebook.

Choosing a location on your Facebook Live video will prompt the Facebook algorithm to make your Facebook Live video discoverable to people in the region of your location.

7.  Jazz up your Facebook Live video with filters, stickers, and text.

Jazz up your Facebook Live video depending on the mood and disposition of your broadcast. Use a playful filter and some wacky stickers for a fun and entertaining Facebook Live video broadcast. Tone it down a little if you are streaming a live musical performance to avoid distracting your audience. Using no filters or stickers is also acceptable for more serious streaming like live streaming of meetings and the like.

8.  Tap the blue ‘Start Live Video’ button for action!

Tap Start Live Video and Facebook will count you down. You will be broadcasting live after a 3-second countdown and will be visible on your homepage and your friends’ Facebook feed.

Remember, the longer you keep broadcasting, the more visible it will be to your Facebook contacts.

9.  It’s showtime!

Get the show on because it’s showtime! Be sure to have rehearsed your act or at least have an idea of what your Facebook Live video will be about. Always interact with your viewers to keep them engaged and watching your Facebook Live video. Speak directly with them or reply to their comments.

10.  “See you on the next Facebook Live video!”

Once you’ve said your goodbyes and thank yous to your viewers on your Facebook Live video, it’s time to tap ‘Finish’. Your Facebook Live video broadcast will appear on your Facebook home page for your friends to see like any other post you may have on your Facebook account.

B.  How to Go Live on Facebook on a Desktop computer

If you are a game streamer or any streamer who needs screen sharing for your Facebook Live video, then you will need to learn how to go live on a desktop. The following are steps to do just that:

1.  Access your personal profile on Facebook through your computer.

At your news feed page, click on the Live Video icon just underneath the “What’s on your mind?” text box.

2.  Create a Live Video

When you create a Live Video, you will be given the option to ‘Go live’ or to ‘Create a live video event’. Go live makes you stream a Facebook Live video here and now while creating a live video event gives you the ability to schedule a live event for the future that you can promote to make your Facebook Live video available in more places on Facebook.

3.  Produce your Facebook Live video.

Learn to produce your Facebook Live video with the onboard production options Facebook offers. Setting up your video and audio sources will open up possibilities for your Facebook Live video.

4.  Have a catchy title and a compelling description

Having these will go a long way in building your audience and reach. People who like what they read will most likely stick around and watch your Facebook Live video.

5.  Use the Facebook Interactivity features for your Facebook Live video.

Use the Polls, Questions, and Graphics interactivity options that Facebook has for Facebook Live videos. Audience interaction retains viewership and viewership will always be good for your Facebook Live objectives.

6.  Tweak your stream settings.

Take the time to study how the stream settings work and you will have a Facebook Live video that you will be proud of. Tweak your stream latency depending on the level of interactivity you want for your Facebook Live video.

8 Useful Facebook Live Tips and tricks

Here are 8 of the most useful tips for doing Facebook Live videos:

1.  Write a script.

Write a rough draft of what you want to happen during your streams to avoid being lost in the middle of your broadcast.

2.  Relax and have a spontaneous personality on camera.

Let your natural personality shine. Be yourself and don’t overthink things. Have fun and your viewers will enjoy your Facebook Live video, too.

3.  Familiarize yourself with Facebook Live controls and settings.

These may be a lot to take in especially when broadcasting a Facebook Live video on your desktop, but mastering your settings will work wonders for your Facebook Live video.

4.  Have someone help you in your Facebook Live video streams.

Have someone assist you with things that you might find difficult or impossible to do when you go live. They can read and respond to comments of viewers, take control of equipment and other useful things that might interfere with your Facebook Live video.

5.  Subtitle your broadcast.

Videos are by default on mute on Facebook and people sometimes just want to watch videos on mute. Have subtitles for these people.

6.  Practice off cam.

A confident, well-practiced host or performer is more enjoyable to watch.

7.  Keep reintroducing yourself

New viewers join mid-stream during a Facebook Live video broadcast and reintroduction of yourself and your program will help them get up to speed with your streaming.

8.  Say goodbye at the end of your Facebook Live video stream.

Now that you are geared with all the steps on how to go live on Facebook, stream and do what you have set out to do and have a good time doing it!

Maddie Schultz

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