Should I Go Live On Facebook Live? By John Young


Should I Go Live On Facebook Live? By John Young

Facebook Live has been around now for just over a year. This is the ability for businesses and every day Facebook users to stream live from their location (depending on the internet connection) in real time and engage viewers.

If you haven’t tried Facebook Live yet, we will cover a few tips to make it a successful broadcast for your channel or profile!

Live streaming from Facebook can be started from your computer (desktop) or your mobile device. On your mobile devices, you can stream from the Pages app (which allows you to broadcast to your business page) or from the Facebook app. In this article we will just look at the personal profile streaming method but the method is similar on the Pages app for business.

A few things before we get into the streaming process. Live streaming video eats up data! You will eat up approximately 10 mb per minute on the Pages streaming app, and about 17 mb per minute on the Facebook app. So, if you would be streaming a 10 minute video, you would use about 175 megabytes on the stream to your profile. Your 1 gigabyte of data package will give you just under an hour of live streaming on the Facebook App. There is also a 90 minute limit on the length of your stream on all Facebook Live streams.

The process is relatively easy on streaming from the Facebook app. When you first start the app, near the top you have the area in which you would type up a status update or post a photo. On the latest version of the Facebook app, on the left below where you would type in your message is the red camera with a ‘Live’ next to it. The first step is to click on that live button to activate the camera and start the process.

On the next window you see, you will have a live camera view with the ability to add some overlays or filters in the upper left. On the upper right, there is a button to brighten the screen or turn on the rear light for lower light streaming and then a two arrows button that switches between the front and rear cameras.

You will see your profile picture on the lower left, with one touch menu (you touch it to change it) saying ‘Public’ and a second touch menu that mentions notifications on. Notifications is for the times you have followers to your personal page that want to be notified when you live stream. The ‘Public’ touch menu is one you might use. From this area, you can choose who will be able to see your video. Once you click on this, a new window opens up and allows you to have the video only available to your friends, or you can limit the video availability to only people that you choose. I have one group I have made on Facebook that is just my family and I can choose just that group to see a live stream of our children in action or something that I don’t want out for the general public to see.

Right below the touch menus is the Describe Your Live Video area. Here, you could type in a few words on what you are showing your viewers. In the business streams, we want to be sure to have more info here so it would entice people to watch. For a private, family video, maybe a word or two would be all that is needed.

Finally, at the very bottom of the screen, you have the tag for tagging people in the video (or people you want to see this video), you can check in to set the location where the video was shot, and you can add a feeling/emoji to your video. One recent addition that is available on some devices is a donation button to ask for donations.

The last button on the screen is the blue ‘go live’. Once you click that, it will make contact with the Facebook Live server and give you a 3 second count in for the video. Once the countdown hits zero.. you are now LIVE!

A few more thoughts:
1. Decide if you want to go vertical or horizontal with your device. If you are doing a single person shot where you are talking to the camera, then go vertical so only your face and torso are in the shot. If you are doing ANYTHING else (especially where you are showing some scenery or action) turn the phone sideways to get a horizontal video.
2. Sound: Most newer devices have decent microphones for capturing audio. If you are doing an outdoor event and talking over the event, you might want to use a decent plug in headset or a nice plug in lapel microphone. If you have watched some of our Hometown News live streams, you probably observed how a lapel microphone can help cut wind noise and give a better voice over.
3. Hold the camera still and move it slowly. This is something even I forget. In the excitement of the event, you will sometimes be moving back and forth so fast viewers will get dizzy or motion sick. Slow, steady movements that follow and capture the story are best!
4. If you are streaming for any length of time, consider a selfie stick or a tripod for a steady video.

Next week I will cover more on what to think about when shooting your live stream video.