12 Ways to Fly at Facebook Live

If Facebook Live isn’t part of your social strategy, it really should be.  For starters, Facebook will prioritise Live in newsfeeds, with most of your followers receiving a notification when you go live.

With around 1% of followers seeing other organic content, Facebook Live gives you unparalleled levels of ‘free’ reach.  It also gives you instant contact with your followers – excellent for brand engagement.

Sold? Then, based on our experience, we believe that there are 12 ways to win with Facebook Live, and they look like this:


1. Know Your Restrictions

There are disadvantages to Facebook Live.  You can only run videos organically, you can’t geotarget, and video can only be promoted once the live stream has ended.  Take this into account when considering your Live strategy and approach.


2. Know When You Should Go Live, and When You Shouldn’t

Facebook Lives works best for new product launches and events. How to videos and tutorials, show and tell, unboxing, virtual tours, interviews, Q&As and influencer partnerships also all perform really well as a Live stream.


3. Be Creative With Your Content

However, you can do much more with the channel, with a little imagination.

The most successful Lives we have seen have all been Facebook Live first, with campaigns designed specifically for the channel – as opposed to just using it as a broadcasting tool for a wider campaign.

For inspiration, take a look at ASPCA’s #31DaysOfRescueDogs campaign. Volunteers in orange clothes walk around New York with pitbull puppies in matching orange neckerchiefs, to encourage New Yorkers to adopt a dog.  It’s the onlookers’ reactions that make the piece.

Also worth investigating is #GetActiveWithKohls. Kohl’s partnered with Tone It Up to give its Facebook audience a live workout video. The timing was perfect for Kohl’s as its key sales period is, naturally, the New Year.

One of our favourite Facebook Lives is also one of our own. To help Dunelm break through cluttered newsfeeds at Christmas we created a stop motion video with ‘Dunelves’ recreating scenes from famous festive movies.

Viewers could guess the film for the chance to win a £50 gift card. Proving the value of Facebook Live, we reached a staggering 146,749 people on social, with an exceptional organic engagement rate of over 6% – against absolutely no media spend.


4. Remember it Doesn’t Have to Be Live

As our Dunelm Live piece goes to prove, Facebook Live doesn’t actually have to be live.

We use Live Reacting to stream pre-recorded video.  One credit will buy you four hours of live streaming.  Your video dimensions will need to be 16:9, and you need to allow 24 hours for an upload.

A word of warning.  Always test first.  We have a test page for such eventualities.


5. Promote Your Live Activity

If you’re going to bother running a Live session, you need to let people know.  We always run pre-awareness ads and countdown posts to promote the go-live date and time.  Be sure to let viewers know not just when, but why too. For inspiration, have a look at our Dunelm pre-awareness ad.


6. Be Professional

Before going live, always test lighting, audio and internet connection.  Use photography lighting, and microphones, where possible.  Have a clean background, free from distractions and set a time limit.


7. Be Prepared

Prepare for the worst.  Brainstorm any negative questions or comments that could crop up, and have a plan for dealing with them.  Ignoring the odd one might be ok, but you will need an action plan if they increase.  Use a ‘presenter’ that is used to being in front of a camera, and rehearse several times over.


8. Be Clear

Have a clear video description so your audience knows exactly what to expect, and has a reason to tune in.


9. Be Human

Don’t just read from a script.


10. Engage With Your Audience

Use viewers’ names, ask people where they are watching from, ask questions, answer questions. Have a script, but don’t stick to it rigidly.

Our Dunelves video ran for half an hour but we kept interest going by announcing a winner every five minutes, and responding to viewers’ comments and questions throughout.  Just one of the reasons why the engagement rate was so high throughout.


11. Think Commercially

Have a clear call to action at the end of the piece, based on the commercial objectives.


12. Measure success

We set KPIs for organic reach, video views (view length) and engagement levels.  The more Live initiatives we run for clients, the more accurate our benchmarking becomes.

Whilst there is no media spend for the Live sessions, when assessing commercial return, we include media spend for the prepromotion and all production costs.


So, there you have it – 12 ways to fly at Facebook Live.  If you have any questions, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.



The author: Jane Ainsworth is managing director of WPR. She has over 20 years’ experience in developing and delivering communications strategies for consumer brands including Dunelm, Tesco, Mothercare, Greene King, John Lewis, Bullring, Beaverbrooks and Westfield.