The Do’s and Don'ts of Facebook Live

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By Jessica Chen, Senior Account Manager

By now, you’ve definitely heard of Facebook Live. That means you’ve probably seen snippets of Buzzfeed’s exploding watermelon, helped melt a block of ice to reveal the Season 7 premiere date of Game of Thrones, or filled in the New York Times’ crossword puzzle in real-time. No matter how complicated or simple your idea is, success will depend on mastering the logistics of broadcasting live. Below are our pro tips for how to overcome the most common stumbling blocks:

DO: Experiment with different options for pre-promotion. Create a post or Facebook event ahead of time to let viewers know when to tune in. You can also pre-schedule your Facebook Live to give fans a notification. Test each option to figure out what works best for your content and your audience.

DON’T: Forget it takes some time for ad spend promotion to kick in. If you’re putting paid promotion to increase the number of viewers on your live stream, make sure the stream runs long enough to account for Facebook approval time while giving the algorithm time to warm up. We’d recommend streaming for 20-30 minutes.

DO: Use a camera stabilizer. If your video is live action, make sure you have a way to stabilize the video camera. Usually, a hand-held stabilizer or tripod is sufficient.

DON’T: Stick to just the script. The best part of Facebook Live is the potential for spontaneous interaction and engagement between the brand and their viewers. Take advantage of real-time comments, suggestions, or even mishaps to keep the video content authentic and exciting.

DO: Utilize the Facebook Live API. Facebook has made it easy for brands to customize their live streams in infinite ways. Take advantage of this capability to test concepts that utilize or even completely focus on design-based executions!

DON’T: Forget to give periodic introductions to inform new viewers just tuning in. Make sure new viewers aren’t confused by what they’re seeing. You only have a few seconds to hook the viewer and keep them interested enough to view more of the content.

DO: Have a backup plan for internet issues. Triple-check the service in your area prior to streaming, but make sure you have a plan for if the unexpected crops up. We’d recommend proactively mentioning the potential pauses in the post copy, or having an equivalent of the Fail Whale image ready to go.


Need some help creating or managing your own Facebook Live streams? Contact us for more information!