How to Use Facebook Live

Facebook Live was launched for all users (after previously only being available on select accounts) on 6 April 2016 as part of the platform’s continued investment in video content.

What is so special about Facebook Live?

Well, for marketers live video presents a valuable opportunity to communicate brand story and build “authentic” relationships with fans and followers.

So, if you’re new to the platform, here’s a quick run-down to get your started:

  1. On your own profile, or business profile, select the status bar as if you’re about to type an update. Select the “Live Video” option positioned below “Photo/Video” at the bottom of the screen.
  2. If prompted, give Facebook access to your camera and microphone.
  3. Otherwise, you will be directed to your camera screen and asked to “Describe your live video…” Before you get to that, select the “Friends” tab beneath your name to determine your privacy settings: Public, Friends, Friends except Acquaintances, Friends except… or Only Me. If it is your first time using Facebook Live, perhaps have a trial run with “Only Me”.
  4. Next enter a descriptor for your video. This caption will show up above the video in the News Feed, so to get people to tune in, be as compelling as possible!
  5. Ensure your camera view is right: selfie or outward facing, using the icon in the upper right of the screen. (Note, live video is filmed square, no matter how you hold the camera, so you can just point and shoot without having to worry about orientation.)
  6. When you’re ready to roll, select “Go Live”. You will receive a 3,2,1 countdown and then you’re live!
  7. Broadcasts can be up to 90 minutes long. The longer you stream; the more likely people are to come across your video in the News Feed.
  8. Encourage interaction using the comment section, which will appear in reverse chronological order in the bottom of your feed. Respond to comments via desktop, or alternatively just piece to camera. (You can block users during live video if things happen to get a bit hairy!)
  9. Click “Finish” to end the transmission. The video will then live on your Timeline and in the News Feed as any other video content would.
  10. Save the video to your Camera Roll if you wish!
  11. Be sure to have a look at the metric for your live video: minutes viewed, unique viewers, video views, 10-second views, average % completion, and particularly, peak live viewers, people reached, reactions, comments and shares.