Live video is one of the best ways to connect with your audience, not only because social media algorithms tend to thrust live videos right in front of the noses of your followers, but also because they attract a lot of engagement. More than 80% of people prefer live videos to standard social media posts (Livestream), so if you aren’t already going live, then it’s about time that you started! If you’re feeling nervous about taking that step, you’re in the right place. I’m here to give you my top tips for going live on social media.
Building up the confidence
The biggest hurdle that most people have to overcome when going live is a lack of confidence. They’re scared of messing up, or saying something stupid while people are watching. And yet, these are exactly the things that make you human and, in actual fact, will help your audience to relate to you in a way that polished video just won’t. So embrace the real-ness and go for it!
Start small. When you’re first starting out, try going live on your personal profile first. Just like your normal Facebook posts, you can select (or rather, deselect) the people who can see your Facebook Lives. So while you’re still growing confidence, try going live amongst a group of close friends. Then just start to widen that net each time by allowing more people to see your posts until you’re feeling uber-confident in front of the camera.
Have a script. But then don’t. I rarely recommend having a script when recording a video as it can appear clunky and inauthentic. That said, it’s a great tool to use while you’re trying to gain your confidence. After a few goes, you’ll start to get more comfortable with speaking and be able to switch to using some headline prompts instead. You might need to rehearse a little beforehand, but you’ll come across much more naturally this way.
Have a plan. Once you’ve graduated from scripts, and maybe even prompts, I still recommend having a rough plan in your head for how you want your live to go. It’s not always necessary but it does help to keep you on track and to stop you waffling – which is very easy to do! Videos that lose their purpose will quickly turn off followers – and potentially put them off tuning in again, so it’s definitely something to be mindful of.
Practice makes perfect. Don’t worry if it feels really hard at the start. As with anything, the more you do it, the easier it’ll get.
- Firstly, find somewhere well lit with nice soft lighting. If you don’t already know how to look great on camera, then check out my blog: How to take the perfect selfie as all the same rules apply.
- Buy a tripod or find a way of securely propping up your phone so that it doesn’t fall down mid-broadcast! (As an Amazon associate, I earn from any qualifying purchases)
- Turn off your notifications to avoid annoying viewers with dings left, right and centre and also to prevent you getting thrown off-track with what you’re saying.
- Before you go on, make sure you’re familiar with where the camera is on your phone and make a point of looking at that rather than yourself on the screen. This will make sure your audience are getting the great eye-contact that will help with building those all-important connections.
- Make sure you add a caption so that viewers know what you’re talking about. If there’s no caption and they’re busy, then they may well decide to give your video a miss, but a useful description could be enough to entice them in.
Some people go live all the time, but, as a busy business owner/mum, I don’t always have the time to sit and watch lots of video, so I personally recommend that, as with everything, you use live video in moderation. (Check out this blog post if you need some other ideas for mixing up your content) It’s also important to remember that, unless you’re a bit of a tech whizz, your live videos aren’t going to have the captions that make your videos accessible to the 85% of people who watch video with the sound off (Digiday) or the hearing impaired.