How to Use Facebook Live: A Step-by-Step Guide
Andrew Wallis Monday, July 9, 2018
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Facebook launched Facebook Live in 2016 and it has become a game changer. If you are unsure exactly what it is, it is essentially a live video streaming service that lets anyone broadcast from their mobile devices straight to their Facebook News Feed.
Why should you be excited about Facebook Live? Because it's a fun and simple way for you to use the power of video to communicate your brand stories and build authentic relationships with fans and followers -- in real time.
However, for such a simple concept, Facebook Live has a lot of little nuances that you will need to learn if you want to get the most out of the platform. This guide will help you learn the best tricks and tips that can make a big difference in how many people see your live broadcast, how they engage with it, and how it performs.
In this article, we'll walk through how to broadcast on Facebook Live…
How to Broadcast on Facebook Live
Facebook Live started as a mobile-only broadcasting feature, but now Facebook Pages can broadcast from either mobile devices or desktop computers. We'll go over how to broadcast from mobile in this tutorial.
How to Broadcast on Facebook Live via Mobile
To get started, get out your mobile device and open the Facebook app.
Step 1: Go to the News Feed, and tap the "Live" option denoted by the icon.
You can also go live from your own Facebook profile. Open up the status bar by tapping the text that reads "What's on your mind?" Then, select the "Live Video" option from the menu.
Step 2: Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone when prompted.
You'll stop receiving these prompts after the first time you use it.
Step 3: Choose your privacy setting.
If you're posting for a brand, you'll probably want to make it public. If you're posting as yourself, you might want to reserve your broadcast for friends. But if you're new to Facebook Live and want to test it out first, or want to see what something will look like, then switch the privacy setting to "Only Me." You can find the "Only Me" option by clicking "More" and scrolling all the way to the bottom.
Step 4: Write a compelling description.
Give your broadcast a description, which will show up on people's News Feeds like a status update above the video. To get people to tune in, write an attention-grabbing headline and help them understand what your broadcast is about. Check out the example below from The White House's live broadcast.
Image Credit: Facebook
Step 5: Tag friends, choose your location, or add an activity.
Tap the icons at the bottom of your screen to tag people who are in the Facebook Live video, add the location from where you're shooting, or share what you're doing in the broadcast. These touches can add more personalization to your video, increase discoverability, and make people want to tune in.
Step 6: Set up your camera view.
Before you click "Go Live," be sure your camera's pointing in the direction you want it to. The background of your setup screen will show you what your camera sees. If you want to change the camera view to selfie or vice versa, simply click the rotating arrows icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
The video will be a square, so it doesn't matter whether you hold your mobile device vertically or horizontally.
Step 8: Click the blue "Go Live" button to start broadcasting.
Once you click it, Facebook will give you a countdown -- "3, 2, 1 ..." -- and then you'll be live. As soon as you start streaming, your live video will appear in your News Feed -- and others' News Feeds -- just like any other post.
Your broadcast can be up to 90 minutes long. Keep in mind that the longer you broadcast, the more people who are scrolling through their News Feeds on Facebook will stumble upon your post.
Step 9: Interact with viewers and commenters.
To keep your viewers engaged, encourage them to interact with your live video (which will help your ranking in others' News Feeds). You can also interact with them both by speaking directly to them in your video and, if you want, by having someone else respond to comments from a desktop computer elsewhere.
Where can you see these comments? While you're broadcasting, you'll see the time elapsed on the top left along with the number of viewers, and comments will show up live on the bottom of your feed. They'll appear in reverse chronological order, like on Twitter, so keep in mind that the earlier ones may be farther down.
Image Credit: Facebook Newsroom
Note: You can also block viewers during a live broadcast by tapping the profile picture next to a viewer's comment and then tapping "Block."
Step 10: Click "Finish" to end the broadcast.
Once you do this, the video will stay on your Timeline or Page like any other video post.
Step 11: Post your reply and save the video to your camera roll.
Once you finish your broadcast, you'll be met with a screen similar to the one I've screenshot below. If you want to post it, that will enable others to view your video once you've stopped broadcasting. Then, tap the download button to save the video to your camera roll so you have a copy of the original for safekeeping.
Step 12: You're done.
You can always go back to the post on your Timeline or Page and edit the description, change the privacy settings, or delete the video, just like you would any other post.
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