Insight

by Jenna Lally, 4.2.2020

Staying Connected During COVID-19: Communicating With Your Audience On Facebook Live

COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, but this doesn’t mean your organization should lose audience engagement – this is an opportunity to connect with them through a new medium. We’ve seen some of our favorite musicians and entertainers offer virtual concerts, fitness studios live-stream classes, aquariums and zoos showing live footage of animals and other creatures virtually – all great ways to connect with audiences and provide entertainment during this time. There’s a great opportunity here for organizations to leverage Facebook Live to make a lasting impression on their audiences.

Facebook Live is a tool we’re recommending for your organization to communicate updates to your audience, replace in-person large-scale events, and deliver thoughtful insights, or answer questions to a number of people at the same time.

Facebook Live is a feature that broadcasts in real-time a video to Facebook by using your camera on a computer or mobile device. Facebook Live gives every brand the opportunity to become broadcasters and update your Facebook audiences during events and moments of significance.

While there are other alternatives to Facebook Live, including Instagram Live, Twitter Live, Periscope, among others, we find Facebook Live to be the best fit since it’s well-known, reaches most audiences, has a proven track record to boost reach and exposure – it’s our most recommended platform for live video. However, if your audience is more active on Instagram, we recommend that as well and most of the instructions are the same since Instagram is owned by Facebook.

Here’s a quick snapshot of Facebook Live’s benefits:

  • Creates an authentic, real relationship with your audience (remember these are in real-time and unrehearsed!)
  • Provides information immediately (no second takes)
  • Reaches a mass audience at once
  • Brings your content to life in a more desirable, engaging way, and is a preferred method of content for audiences
  • Provides a unique content delivery method (opportunity to stand out with your audience)
  • Cost-effective video option, requiring just a phone or laptop with a camera
  • Increases awareness around community events
  • Drives more traffic to your Facebook page
  • Gives you access to seeing real-time engagement (viewers can like, comment, react to the live broadcast)
  • Archives the video to your page (the live stream is automatically saved to your Facebook video library once complete)

Promote Your Facebook Live Event

The great thing about Facebook Live events is that once the live broadcast starts, it will automatically notify your followers that you have gone live. However, it’s important to capitalize on this opportunity to address a large audience at one time.

Here are some ideas on how to promote your Facebook Live event in advance and during the event to encourage people to tune in:

  • Create a Facebook event for the live video stream. Act as if this was an in-person event, and create a Facebook event for the future live stream a few weeks in advance (if possible). Provide a date, time, and a compelling description that explains why people should tune in, what you’ll speak about, what the live video will show viewers, and what they may be missing if they don’t tune in. Once you create this event, share it on your business profile and encourage followers to share it on their personal pages.
  • Promote the live stream in email blasts. In emails, provide a quick description as to what the live stream will cover, and link to the Facebook event to provide more information and give them an opportunity to RSVP to the scheduled event.
  • Encourage viewers to tag friends in the comments to increase Facebook Live reach to people other than your followers. At some point in your video, tell viewers to tag friends or share the live link with others who may be interested in the content. Not only will this increase exposure during the live video, but even after broadcasting when the video is saved to your page, people are still able to engage with the video. The potential reach could be exponential since it isn’t limited to just the time you are live, the content lives on long after this.
  • During the live video, monitor comments and likes on your video and respond to comments, thank visitors for engaging with you. Facebook live lets users comment in real-time on the video to let the broadcaster know that they’re listening, and if they’re thanked during the broadcast, it will give them an incentive to keep watching!

Remember, while we practice physical distancing, there’s no reason to be socially distant – it’s now more important than ever before to continue to speak with your audiences and find tools to achieve this. We can still be connected in our new normal of a remote world.

Interested in learning how to use Facebook Live to better your connectivity? Download this helpful step-by-step guide on how to launch a Facebook Live video on your Facebook page for free.

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Want more tips to help your business stay connected with audiences through your communications during COVID-19? Subscribe to our email list for more helpful tips and resources.

As COVID-19 pushes teams into remote, virtual workspaces, our “Staying Connected During COVID-19” series is here to help. Let’s commit to keeping ourselves, our families, and our communities safe, one step at a time. Follow us for tips on how we can further your mission together.

Jenna Lally's headshot

Jenna Lally

As Marketing Strategist, Jenna crafts customized digital marketing strategies and cross-channel content to connect with diverse audiences.

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