Live streaming: it’s the cool, hip thing to do... but where do you even begin? Well, it’s actually easier than you think. All you need is a phone and that’s it. Good luck, and happy streaming.
The end. :)
Just kidding! You can start live streaming with just a phone, though, and in this blog I’m going to help you get started, give you some tips on ensuring good quality, engagement, retention, and give you some ideas on how you can practically use live streaming for your business.
Before you go all in and spend thousands of dollars on gear, start off by just using your phone. All you’ll need is the Facebook Pages Manager app and, if you want to ensure great quality, the following accessories can help:
No one likes shaky video, and the solution to that is a tripod. Your event will determine what you specifically need, but here at 5 Stones we use a tripod very similar to this. If we have to walk around, we still use the tripod and just carry it with us.
People also don’t like bad audio. You can have great video and low quality audio, and people are going to lose interest. Bad audio will also make your video seem cheap and underproduced. Sometimes you can get away with the microphone on your phone, but only when you’re in a highly controlled and quiet environment. 5 Stones has an open office, so it’s rarely quiet. On the off chance that it is actually quiet, a train is sure to pass by. We use a Sennheiser wireless microphone, but you definitely don’t have to. Start with using an inexpensive lapel microphone from Amazon like this, or get a shotgun microphone like this one. I haven’t personally used the Rode shotgun microphone, but I’ve used Rode microphones before and loved them.
What to Stream
To be honest, at first I wasn’t a huge fan of live streaming, and I’m still not 100% in love with it. I do, however, believe it can be very useful and effective if done properly. Below are some great reasons to go live:
Events and conferences are actually a good reason to go live. You can give your audience a taste of what they’re missing. So next time they might just head on over to your event! It’s not necessarily appropriate to live stream every event, so be sure to plan out if it would be appropriate for your event or not.
Here at 5 Stones we love teaching people. We teach people almost everything we know, and a lot of the time we do it for free. Lately we’ve been doing a weekly Facebook Live on various topics. This gives us a great opportunity to provide quality content to our audience and engage with them live. When you’re going live for an educational reason be sure to have someone monitor your comments closely for questions. And if you get questions, go ahead and answer them live! It’s also a good idea to repeat the question that way when people are watching they will know what the questions was and be able to hear your answer. Be sure to keep an eye on your live broadcasts even after it’s over to see if there’s any new comments that need a reply.
Giveaways are another super fun reason to go live. It encourages your audience to tune in and see if they won!
The fact that you got a new coffee pot is NOT a big announcement...but a new service, location, or team member might be. Depending on your audience and what they respond to this is a great reason to go live!
Other Fun Tidbits
Once you start going live, it’s easy to go live for everything under the sun. Before you do that, make sure you put some thought into it. Also -- this is pretty cool -- now you can schedule Facebook Lives. So keep that in mind next time you go live.