People love watching live video. If you’ve been thinking about diving in with your own Facebook Live broadcast, there are a few things to check off of your list before you press “Go Live.”
Check your connection: First, make sure that you have a strong signal to air on. You don’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to have your connection drop out on you. If available, connect to a strong Wi-Fi network. If you’re on the go, Facebook says a 4G connection is also OK to use.
Get comfortable: Feeling like you need some practice? Do a test broadcast! Facebook has a privacy option for Live broadcasts called “Only Me” where you can begin broadcasting but it won’t go out to any viewers. This is a great way to get accustomed to the formatting, options, and back-end view of Facebook Live, so you don’t get tripped up during an actual stream. This also gives you the chance to allow Facebook access to your camera and microphone, both of which are required for Live broadcasts.
Build anticipation: During the lead-up to your broadcast, post an announcement on your Facebook page letting people know when to tune in. You can also ask your followers to submit questions ahead of time so you have some material to work with once you begin.
Decide on Your Game Plan
It’s a good idea to have a plan in place before you click the “Go Live” button. Think about what kind of broadcast you’d like to do:
- Q&A. This is a great format to start with. Viewers type in questions, and you answer them live. It’s a fun, relaxed way to have a conversation.
- Demos/tutorials. Live demonstrations can be a huge draw for your viewers. If you have a special technique to share, Facebook Live is a great place to show it off. Consider planning for a helper or investing in a phone mount for this type of broadcast.
- Get to know me. Use Live broadcasts to introduce yourself or your salon employees. Conduct mini interviews or chat about your background in the industry. Talk about why you’re special.
- Discussions. The interactive nature of Facebook Live streams means that you can have great discussions with your viewers. Ask their opinions on trends or styles. Use the opportunity to hear what they have to say.
The Actual Broadcast
Now that you’re ready to go live, here’s what to expect.
There are two ways to broadcast through Facebook Live: mobile and desktop. Mobile broadcasting gives the impression of spontaneity, and gives a greater feeling of intimacy with your viewers. It also allows you to move the camera around more easily, if needed. Desktop broadcasts are a little more rigid, but also give a greater sense of professionalism. Decide what works best for you.
Begin by navigating to where you would normally write a post. If broadcasting from a Facebook Page, select the “Start a live video” option. If broadcasting on your mobile device, the button will just say “Live.”
Next, add an interesting description (and title, if prompted) so that people can find out what your video is about. Use the icons on the screen to tag friends or add a location to your stream. Tap the magic wand icon to flip the camera view if needed (this can sometimes be helpful if you are using a phone mount) or to brighten the screen. Once you’re ready, take a deep breath and tap the “Start Live Video” button.
When you’re live, the screen will display a red “Live” icon indicating that your broadcast is going out to your viewers. It will also indicate the time of your broadcast. Aim for at least 10 minutes, and try not to go longer than 45.
When people begin tuning in, take a moment to introduce yourself and give them a short intro to what your stream is going to be about. You may have to repeat this a few more times as people begin to filter in to your broadcast. Address viewers by name and ask where they’re from. Have fun and use the first few minutes to get out the jitters.
When you’re ready to finish up your broadcast, give a recap of what you covered, thank your viewers, and remind them to share the broadcast once it’s been published.
Tap the Finish button, and give it a few seconds to end before you have the all clear. The screen will prompt you to post your video, and if you choose to do so, it will be shared on your page just like a normal post would be. Of course, we recommend sharing your video! It gives people who weren’t able to tune into the live broadcast the opportunity to watch.
NAILS’ social media columnist Sarah Waite is a licensed nail tech and the creator of the popular nail art website www.chalkboardnails.com. Follow her on Instagram @chalkboardnails.