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The Roaring Tip Sheet: Live Streaming with Facebook Live

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Photo credit: Ben

By Melanie Yunk | February 8, 2016

While live streaming isn’t new, the advent of applications such as Periscope and Meerkat brought it to the forefront of marketing and social media in the last year. Not to be outdone, Facebook announced Facebook Live, their version of a live streaming service, in August of 2015. Initially only available to public figures and verified pages, last month Facebook announced expansion of the service; now any individual in the United States and a few other countries, with a personal Facebook page and an iPhone, can broadcast video. Rollout of the service will continue to the rest of the world in the coming weeks. Exciting announcements, but what does the ability to live stream mean to you? Let’s talk about it!

What is Facebook Live? Facebook Live is the latest live streaming video application to become available to a widespread audience. Live streaming video allows users to broadcast over the Internet in real time. In the case of Facebook Live, it is done via iPhone but with an Android version promised soon. A broadcaster chooses an audience with whom to live stream, answers questions and comments during the broadcast and sees who is engaged with the show. Upon completion, the broadcaster edits the content and reposts for non-live viewing. It is quickly becoming a very powerful social media tool.

Why is it relevant to me and my business? Live stream broadcasts exploded in 2015 and figure to gain even greater popularity in the next few years. By example, Periscope gained 10 million users in the first four months after launching! We expect adoption of live streaming to skyrocket, which will drive increased expectation of, and demand for, content available in this medium. While it isn’t available yet for Pages, we suggest you give it a try with your personal page now. Test your own broadcast, perhaps only to yourself or a friend, until you get the hang of it. And, check out some experts who have honed their live broadcasting skills. Mari Smith and Mario Armstrong are a couple of our team’s favorite Facebook Live broadcasters. Once it is rolled out for Pages, you will have mastered the art of live video and your business will be ahead of the game.

How do I do it? One of the best parts about Facebook Live is that it is extremely easy to use. First, make sure you have the latest version of Facebook on your iPhone. Then, follow these simple steps while using your iPhone:

  1. In Facebook, click “What’s on your mind?” - just like if you were to do a written status update
  1. If you see a menu that drops down, click “Write” - note that this view is in beta testing so you may not see it, if that is the case just skip to step 3

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  1. On the “Update Status” page, first choose your audience under “To:” - I suggest the first few times broadcasting a test to only yourself or a few select friends
  1. After you have selected your audience, click the broadcast icon at the bottom of your screen

YUNK#1

  1. This page confirms you want to “Go Live on Facebook!” - click “Continue”

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  1. Give your live video a title where it shows “Describe your live video…” - I named this one “Let’s roar!”
  1. Click “Go Live”

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  1. A countdown shows how many seconds until you go live: 3...2...1...
  1. The top left corner displays the running time of your video
  1. The bottom one-third of your screen shows comments from viewers in real time
  1. Click to “Finish” in the bottom right corner when you are finished live streaming

LIVE

  1. Congratulations, you did it! Your video will upload to your timeline for your selected audience to see at any time. Pretty easy, right?

Want more information? I previously mentioned one of our team’s favorite Facebook experts, Mari Smith. Mari regularly shares her wealth of Facebook knowledge, and she is the team’s go-to guide for the latest tips, tricks and information on Facebook Live. We found this video to be a particularly useful guide to getting started. Also, this article on Social Media Examiner explains what marketers need to know about Facebook Live and provides valuable tips to get started and produce great quality broadcasts.

Let me know what questions or comments you have about live streaming. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

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