Facebook Live is increasingly important to get some traction on the social media platform. Here are some mistakes you won’t want to make.
We sat down with Dorien Morin-van Dam, who hosts her own weekly live stream on Facebook, to get some insight and the hows, whys, and whats of Facebook Live. Namely, we’re bringing you six of the mistakes people make when they start doing Facebook Live.
First, a little bit about Dorien Morin-van Dam. She is the owner and social media consultant with More In Media, located in sunny Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She helps small businesses with their social media strategy, planning, and execution. Dorien is a coach and trainer, concentrating on video marketing and social media management. Her most favorite things to do are blog, teach and speak about social media.
Dorien also manages a household with four teens and three dogs, runs marathons and loves to cook and eat vegan.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? You have your Friday show, tell us what that is.
Yes, on Fridays I have the No Fear Video Live show, and that came about because I work with a lot of brick and mortar stores. Local, location based businesses who want to get into social media marketing, understand that it’s all about relationships, and initial, when we first started out, Facebook was helping you reach more people with links and blog posts and images. But, that’s really changed in the last two years. So as started working with these clients on video I realized that the biggest obstacle wasn’t necessarily money or technical stuff, it was their fear. It was fear of being in front of the camera. So I do this No Fear Video Live show where I invite experts, as well as newbies, on the show, getting them comfortable in front of the camera. Because the first step to doing video marketing is to get in front of the camera and being comfortable.
Why is Facebook Live so important today and why do you do live streams?
It’s that social proof. If you’re telling people to do video, but you’re not willing to be on it; you’re the marketer and you're the expert, educating people or working with clients who you want to get in front of the video, the best way is to show and tell. I have a friend who used to do a weekly tip on her blog, and she would write it all out and there was a whole process to it. When I talked to her and said well why not do that tip on Facebook Live, switch it around, you know. Do the tip on live video first. So you get the shares for that and then taking that video, putting it on YouTube, then embed it on your blog post, then writing a blog post around the video that you made. So it’s a five-minute video, where you give that tip, put it on YouTube, so you’ve got it in a lot of different places. But it’s quicker. You can get something out really fast. If you’re at a conference or meeting with someone, and you have this lightbulb moment, video live allows you to go ahead and share that with people and be that resource for others. If you get into the habit of going live when an idea strikes, it will really make you an influencer within your industry.
Ok, let’s jump into the mistakes people may make when jumping on a live stream. Mistake number one: not having a plan with your marketing strategy. What would you like to add to that?
Well, I have a perfect example. I had a free consult with a local business owner, who has a great entertainment venue here in the Myrtle Beach area. And when I audited their social media, the one thing that stood out was they didn’t use Facebook Live, so I suggested that we should build a strategy for the Facebook Live. There are all these different things you can do. I left that meeting, and the next day they went live–five times! There was no strategy involved, it was really fun, and I watched them and I saw what they did. And then they forgot. Since then they’ve gone live maybe once in the last six months. That’s what happens when you go live without a plan. It’s a great idea and might make you feel great, but then there is no consistency, people didn’t understand what was happening, so that’s what not to do. It would be great to say, “we’re going to go live once a week or every other week.” Have a purpose, and then people start coming back because you’re fun, it’s exciting, you give them a tip or some news.
Mistake number two: Not alerting your audience. Can you talk about that?
Ok, there are people who may follow you who you might not know about. There are all these lurkers, as we call them, that follow you on Twitter, might see your Facebook posts, happens to me all the time. If you’re not telling people when you’re going to go live, you’re not doing them a service. You’re disallowing them to set an alarm to come to your - and be part of - your live video. Part of that is going live at a set time and then letting your audience know to come to your show. So that’s really important. If you don’t advertise or let people know, you’re going to get that new audience and not that warmer audience. That colder audience will have just happened to be there. There’s great value in getting people there who know you, who love you, who know your show. They’re going to bring engagement to this live show.
Mistake number three: not having a consistent time or regular pattern.
Random will not work in the long-term. You want to really have a regular pattern, a consistent time because you build up that expectation. You also give people the opportunity to schedule that day. We’re talking about marketing to marketers. We know we’re all busy, we know we have certain systems in place and tasks and things. I love to listen to webinars after lunch from one to two. But I have to make sure I make my coffee at 12:45, otherwise I won’t be awake at One O’Clock! So giving me the opportunity to plan for that allows me to be there. And then time-frame; if you tell people 10 minutes, stick to 10 minutes. If it’s an hour, stick to the hour. Build that up.
This leads us right into mistake number four: Being too short or going too long.
You have to know your audience to know what is the right time. One of the ways you can that, there is great analytics on these videos and you can see once the video is done, when people stayed and when they leave and how many people are there at what time. You can go back and look. For example, if you have all these people come right in at the beginning of your broadcast, and you know, you tell them what you are going to talk about and you give the tips, but then you ramble on for 10 more minutes. And by the end, you can see the audience has dropped off. That should be your indication that you went too long. Now, Facebook Live first started coming out, it was pretty much standard to say, you should go at least five minutes. It takes a little bit of time for the audience to build, it takes a little time for Facebook to alert your audience that you’re live. I’m not sure that’s still 100 percent accurate, I think you can do an excellent five minute live, but I wouldn’t recommend 30 seconds. I would say at least four to five minutes. Don’t forget people can watch it later. It’s great if people watch live, but it still serves a purpose afterward. But really find that sweet spot for your particular audience.
This is a big one. Number five: Not testing your data or internet connection for bandwidth, or forgetting to test lighting or sound.
You know, I have been doing lives for quite awhile, and I was pretty comfortable in my home office. And this summer, something changed: my children were home. And they were using up y data. And so one show after the other, on my end it looked fine, my audience was going, “Dorien, we can’t see you! We can’t hear you!” So, I found a new favorite spot. I’m actually in one of my children’s bedrooms. We have two routers in our house because we have two home businesses and I jump onto the stronger router I make sure the window is behind me so there is light behind me, I open up the curtain, I have a white wall behind me. And it’s my new spot. It’s not my office, but it’s a spot that has good data. It’s important to remember, that might change. Different times of day, if you’re traveling. But it is super important to have that good data. There’s nothing worse than people who can’t see you or hear you.
So, let’s say you have all the above good to go, you’ve been doing it awhile. Mistake number six: that’s all you do with it. Do you want to dive into that one?
First of all, once you are done with the Facebook Live video, you can download that video. That’s the first thing you should do. Once you have it downloaded on your computer, there are so many different things you can do with it. I would suggest giving it a home on YouTube or Vimeo, I use YouTube, putting it there first. Then you should embed it in your website. Whether it’s on a blog, you have a separate page, I have a bunch of them on a page of Facebook Lives, but I also put them in blog posts where I write out the tips that my guests give. If it’s on your phone, you can make an Instagram Story out of it, using little snippets. Another way is to strip the audio off the Facebook Live and you have a podcast. You could also, while you are on Facebook Live, simulcast to Instagram Live or YouTube Live. Why would you just keep it to one? You could actually live stream to several different places. Don’t forget to share it to your Facebook group. Send it in an email blast.