How to do a Facebook Live

In my 9-5 life, I do a lot of social media. So much so, that my personal channels are becoming the proverbial mechanic’s car that never gets fixed. I’ve been meaning to write this post for while as I’ve had a number of people ask me “what’s the deal with Facebook Live?”

Short answer: Facebook LIVE is real-time video broadcasting… and it’s a BIG deal.

Longer answer:  It’s a big deal because it allows individuals, small business and brands to reach out and engage audiences directly – FOR FREE. While other streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat have been around for longer, Facebook’s global reach is what makes this tool a big deal.

So here’s a quick overview on how to do a Facebook LIVE that even the most untechie person follow:

Three things you need to know BEFORE getting started:

  1. If you are a business, your page needs to be Verified verified button to broadcast.
  2. This feature is still rolling out, so you may not have it yet.
  3. Right now the functionality is available on Apple devices and just recently became available on Android.

How to start broadcasting:

  1. Open your Facebook app.
  2. Go to your own Facebook profile and open up the status bar as if you’re going to write a new post.
  3. Tap the “Live” icon FB LIVE icon, which looks like a human silhouette.
  4. Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone when prompted.
  5. Write a description for the broadcast. This description is public and what the video will be saved as on your Facebook page.
  6. Choose the audience that you want to share with before going live.
  7. Tap Go Live to begin your broadcast and ta-dah! You’re live.

That’s it.

Well basically that’s it. There are lots of extras you can get for your phone depending on your level of techie: directional mics, tripods and lenses. If you’re doing a live broadcast at a formal event, I recommend investing in a iRig Pre to patch in the audio board to get quality sound and ensure you have a secure dedicated Internet connection.

Here’s some things to know:

  • People who subscribe to your page, or are friends with you, will receive a notification that you are LIVE in their Facebook News Feed. As they engage with your broadcast (comments, likes, reactions, shares), THEIR friends will see it in their newsfeeds.
  • A live broadcast can be up to 90 minutes. To retain maximum viewership, aim to keep it less than 30 minutes.
  • During your broadcast, you’ll see the number of live viewers, the names of who are tuning in and a real-time stream of comments.
  • When you end the broadcast, it will be saved on your Timeline like any other video and you will have an option to save it to your device.
  • While watching a live video, audiences can tap the Subscribe button to get notified the next time your page goes live.
  • When the broadcast is shared, it’s still one single feed. That means that all comments will be captured in the broadcast comments section. (Easy for collecting data!)

Here’s the BIG ONE:

  • Once the broadcast ends it CANNOT be restarted. That means if you lose your connection anytime during the broadcast, a new LIVE broadcast must be started. So if you’re shooting something that’s a big deal, have a backup feed though another live streaming service that you can redirect viewers to.

So that’s basically it. Until the tool changes. But until then happy broadcasting!