Facebook Live is one of the best way to reach your audience on Facebook since the recent algorithm changes. Facebook themselves are investing lots of money and time into their Live platform with the release of Facebook Live Audio happening soon.
If you haven’t ventured into the Facebook Live arena or have only just dipped your toe in, now is as good a time as any to get started. The reasons for hosting a Facebook Live have been outlined in this blog, however I find that the technical side often hinders people. In this article I want to explore some of the ‘top’ tech considerations – which ones are essential and which are a nice to have.
When hosting a Facebook Live you are streaming live over the internet, so your first consideration is a great internet connection. As technology improves, internet connections are getting better and less internet bandwidth is required. I’ve done successful Facebook Live on my home cable as well as shopping centre free WiFi.
Regardless of where you want to go live, my best advice with internet is to do a test run first. You can then determine how you think the internet will hold up. And remember it’s live, mistakes happen. If your internet drops out, just start again as soon as you can.
I was recently watching an Instagram Live and the presenter’s phone overheated three times. Each time she was back within a few minutes and as it was an interview format the other lady keep interacting with the audience and it was a non issue.
Going Live on Facebook can either be done via your computer (with a webcam) or via the Facebook App on your mobile phone. Both are great options and I often use both. The content you plan on sharing along with your presentation location will determine which is better – computer or phone.
The mechanics of the Live work the same way, with your phone providing a few additional features such as filters and easier overlays. Mostly I will go Live from my computer on Facebook and broadcast Live at the same time on my phone to Instagram. As you will discover in my FB Live Course, I’m all about leverage and I show you, from one Facebook Live, how you can create a month’s worth of social media content.
If you are going Live from your phone, I highly recommend getting a tripod or even a selfie stick. One of the biggest issue with people going Live on their phone is the phone shaking.
Naturally most people can’t keep the phone 100% still (without lots and lots of practice). A tripod is a cost effective way to manage this and if you are like me, we need our hands for all the talking!
I have a Joby iPad sized one so I can have my phone in portrait which is perfect for going Live (and even recording other videos).
I personally believe that great audio is the most important. People will often forgive poor picture if they can hear you correctly. For this reason when I started my online business I invested in an excellent quality microphone. Way back in 2008, I purchased a Yeti Blue for around $300 and it’s still going strong now. This is perfect if you are going Live from your computer.
If you are going Live on your phone, then I recommend using the headphones that are included when you purchased your phone. Ensure to test them for the correct position before going Live.
Don’t let people be distracted by what is happening in the background of your Facebook Live. Before going live check what is happening behind and around you. Ideally you want your head and/or upper body to be in the middle of screen.
Personally, I also ensure that there isn’t too much mess in the office and that there is nothing too distracting. You want it to make you look your best. For example standing in front of a window with the sun shining, possible isn’t the best idea as people won’t be able to see your face.
I should mention here that I’m not a professional photographer and don’t have any lighting experience. When considering lighting what is most important is that you look good. This means no shadows over your face and natural light is generally best, however it’s unpredictable. And remember don’t sit in front of a window.
Play around with your location and lighting options. You can invest in ‘proper’ video lights or just move your lamps around. Remember you want no shadows on your face.
Professionals generally use three lights. One on you, one in the area behind you and one in the area opposite you. You can also get lights that attach to your iPhone that provide a nice natural glow.
If you can, use two screens. One for your broadcast – i.e. behind the camera and the other for comments. This can be two screens on your computer or your computer and a laptop, your computer and your phone or tablet.
When you are Live on Facebook you will find that the comments are odd. It’s really the best way to describe them. They are delayed, missed and sometimes jumbled. Having two screens allows you to check in on comments on one screen, while checking your broadcast on the second screen.
Facebook Live has a delay from when you speak to when the audience hears you. I know this isn’t really a tech tool but still very helpful. When broadcasting you need to remember to allow up to a 5 second delay. I know when you are Live this can feel like a lifetime!
Take a short pause, when asking questions or requesting feedback from the audience. Or you can learn to ask your main point first and then expand, giving people enough time to start answering you. This way when you are ready to review the content, there are some comments there for you.
Where to next?
If you want to learn more about Facebook Live and how you can use it in your business, check out my latest course – FB Live: Plan, Present & Publish.