10 Top Facebook Live Tips

Think big, start smaller

If you're new to Facebook Live, we recommend planning your first few Facebook Live broadcasts from your office, home or a quiet and controlled setting. Live broadcast from an event or rally can be fantastic and is definitely something you should work towards. Once you've got the tech, production and community management nailed in a controlled environment, then hit events, rallies, public forums and protests!

Make the most of simple tech

Be sure to use the tech you have available to you. Even simple tech makes your video that much more watchable. A steady camera and clear sound will keep people watching for longer.

  • Test you've got strong wifi before you start broadcasting.
  • Ensure your phone is fully-charged. Live broadcast uses lots of battery, so ensure you've got back up power.
  • Make sure all notification sounds are muted. You don't want to ring or ping in the middle of your broadcast!
  • Use a tripod for your phone/camera and set your phone/camera in position in advance.
  • Use decent lighting, making the most of good natural light where available.
  • Consider what's in the background of your broadcast - make use of potted plants, artwork, and points of interest that will add colour and depth to your broadcast.
  • Use an external mic if you can. Lapel mics are cheap and easy to use.
  • Listen out for background noise before your broadcast. If outside, check for wind sound levels, roadworks, traffic and external noise factors. A quiet room is going to make for the clearest sound.

Get in close

The best sound and the best frame for your shot comes when you get in nice and close to the subject of your broadcast. Don't be shy! Get in very close and frame your subject's face - they're the star of the show! 

Make sure your phone is horizontal

Don't film live in portrait mode. Turn your phone sideways before you start filming and keep it that way.

Filming in portrait makes your video appear super thin to your audience. And, if you start filming in portrait and then remember and turn your phone horizontal, it won't change and your video will appear sideways to your viewers.

Turn your phone horizontal to shoot any video. You'll always get a widescreen video and you'll look a million times more professional. What's not to like about that?

Know why you're going live

Have a clear purpose for your live broadcast and stick to it. Do you have an event to promote? Is it breaking news? Is it a Q&A? Is it a PR disaster you're responding to? Know your topic and stick to it as closely as possible - don't let the event run away from you. Similarly, if you don't know why you're doing it, your audience won't either. Don't waste your time (or theirs).

Timing and promotion is everything

Got a national or even an international audience? Pick a time (and timezone) that suits the biggest portion of your audience. When will your page supporters be online? Consider when they're commuting, when they're on lunch break or popular weekend times. Use your analytics to decide the answer.

Once you've locked in your reason for broadcasting, your audience and your time - promote it like you would a party! Build anticipation, be clear of the day and time, and send reminders to folks to come! One day ahead is a good amount for people to prepare and plan to attend.

It's your party, remember to host

Assign someone in your team to be the community manager. Their responsibility is to welcome people, manage comments, share discussion points and answer questions throughout the broadcast. Responding to questions direct from your Facebook comments during the broadcast drives engagement. In a more formal environment, you can swiftly relay questions from your community directly into the live broadcast for discussion.

Be prepared, you've got this!

Live broadcasting is challenging. The person in front of the camera should be well prepared and rehearsed. Make sure they know when they’re live, how they’ll be taking questions, who’s doing what during the broadcast, how they’ll communicate at the end of the broadcast and anything else that will make the conversation flow. 

  • Don't be too scripted, this makes for stilted conversation.
  • Allow for spontaneity and a natural flow of conversation. Again, use your controlled environment to get everyone familiar with the tech and build rapport before going live.
  • Consider a whiteboard behind the camera to allow for prompts and for the production team to communicate with the host.
  • If running a Q&A, prep a list of possible questions beforehand. This way you can answer difficult questions with pre-prepared answers.
  • Talk slower than you think you are - nervousness makes us rush our speech. Slow down, breathe and articulate clearly.

They've turned up, make it count

A 10-15 minute broadcast is ideal. It allows for you to grow your audience. Ensure your hosts have enough content to sustain the ideal length of your broadcast. You can go live for up to 90 minutes.

Download and reuse

Save the original video of your broadcast to your device with the ‘save to camera roll’ function. This will be a higher quality than the video that you’ve streamed live. Your content may be great to repurpose on other platforms such as Instagram or Twitter. Consider how you might edit portions of your live video for use on other platforms to recap key messages.

Want to know more? See Facebook's own tips and tricks