It’s the hottest new trend in marketing. It’s called Facebook Live. Here’s what you need to know about Facebook Live for authors, and how you can jump on this bandwagon while it’s still hot.
What Is Facebook Live?
Facebook live is actually a video that you shoot from your phone and air live on Facebook. It’s different from pre-recording a video and then just uploading it (which you can also do). These are real-time video posts on Facebook. In other words, you turn on the camera and your video is recorded live on Facebook until you stop recording. And while these videos actually are visible while they’re being shot, they will also appear in the news feeds of friends and followers for some period of time afterwards.
How Do You Actually Do Facebook Live?
A Facebook live video can be anywhere from a few seconds to up to 90 minutes. To start recording and have it appear live on Facebook, just follow these directions.
Just How Popular Is It?
Well, no one yet knows just how far Facebook Live is going to go. But I can tell you this: Everyone with a hand in social media is experimenting with it now. Facebook has openly shared the fact that they are ranking Facebook Live videos higher on newsfeeds than pre-recorded videos that are uploaded. That’s because, according to Facebook, “People spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live. This is because Facebook Live videos are more interesting in the moment than after the fact.”
Are There Any Tips for Doing a Successful Facebook Live Event?
Again, it’s still pretty new. But in scouring some of the leading sites on social media marketing tactics, here are some tips I put together.
- Take advantage of the “live” aspect. There’s no point in doing Facebook Live if there’s nothing urgent/timely about it.
- Let people know in advance that you’re planning to broadcast. And write a kick-ass headline that piques people’s interest.
- Check your connection before starting. Nothing worse than Facebook Live that cuts in and out.
- Reduce background noise and speak loudly and clearly.
- Play around with different live video times to see when you have the biggest audience.
- Include a call to action at the end, like “Check out my website at …” or “Get a free copy of my book today by….”
How Can I Take Advantage of Facebook Live for Authors?
All types of businesses have started using this feature. And some of these ideas may be applicable to authors. Here are three ideas I found:
- Use it for live Q&A sessions with readers. Allow readers to tweet/text/IM you questions, and answer them live in real time. According to an article on Forbes.com, you should “Ask for feedback, respond to questions, and make the experience as participatory as possible.”
- Give your readers an “inside peek” at your world. Fans of your writing want to know more about you. Use Facebook Live to let them do that. One recommendation from Digital Book World is that you, “Switch back and forth from the front and the back of the camera so you can talk to your audience and also show your audience something else, like where you are, or the book you are talking about.”
- Broadcast live events. Are you going to a writer’s conference? Doing a book signing? Offer your fans the opportunity to follow you at this event through Facebook Live. As described by PostPlanner.com, “Are you at a conference, a concert, or some other place others would love to get a glimpse of? Share it live! But don’t forget to engage with the audience while you’re filming. Walk and talk them through every bit of it — and answer the questions that are sent your way.”
Have you used Facebook Live yet? What has or has not worked for you? Share your ideas with us!