How to Get More Engagement With Facebook Live : Social Media Examiner

How to Get More Engagement With Facebook Live : Social Media Examiner

Want more people to watch, share, and comment on your live videos?

Looking for tips on improving the quality of viewer engagement?

To explore how to get more engagement with Facebook Live video, I interview Stephanie Liu.

More About This Show

The Social Media Marketing podcast is designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover what works with social media marketing.

In this episode, I interview Stephanie Liu, a live video expert and social media consultant. She hosts a Facebook Live show called Lights, Camera, Live, which is focused on helping businesses succeed with live video.

Stephanie explains how to promote your Facebook Live video with events and crossposting.

You’ll also discover how questions, requests to share, and bots can improve Facebook Live video engagement.

How to Get More Engagement With Facebook Live featuring insights from Stephanie Liu on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

How to Get More Engagement With Facebook Live featuring insights from Stephanie Liu on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below.

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Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Engagement With Facebook Live

Stephanie’s Story

Stephanie is an ad agency veteran. After working in the ad agency world for about 15 years, she decided to start her own business focused on a social media strategy. In a crowded field, Stephanie decided the best way to stand out was to do live video. She wanted to be an early adopter to separate herself from the pack.

About 2 years ago, when Periscope was a big deal and Facebook Live was just rolling out for the masses, Stephanie started going live with OBS Studio, and Facebook Live provided the most client referrals.

This is a screenshot of Stephanie Liu’s website. At the top is a navigation bar with a cream background and blue-green navigation options. The navigation options are Episodes, Blog, Courses, Lights Camera Live, About, Collaborate, Contact. In the lower left is a photo of a white neon sign of a hand making a peace sign. On the right is an photo of Stephanie. Stephanie is an Asian woman with shoulder-length hair tied in a side ponytail. She’s wearing makeup, a beige, v-neck dress, and matching heeled sandals. She’s holding a white neon sign that says “hey”. She’s standing on one foot, and her other leg is raised so her knee is level with her hip. In the center of the web page, between these two images, users can sign up for a free workbook. The signup form has a pink border and a cream background. The headline text says “Girl, You Better Grab That Spotlight With Your Bad Self”. The text below the heading says “Get the latest tips to build your brand online with live video and get access to the Essentials for Facebook Live Workbook!” To sign up, the form has two text boxes side by side: First Name and Email Address. To the right of the text boxes is a Download Now button with white text and a blue-green background.

In a collaboration with Chef Claudia Sandoval, the winner of MasterChef Season 6, Stephanie had one of her early successes with live video marketing. Claudia was working with T-Mobile and MasterChef on a Facebook Live promotion for the new T-Mobile Tuesdays app. Claudia noticed Stephanie’s efforts to break into live video and asked for Stephanie’s help figuring out how to do it.

Stephanie planned a low-tech live video with Claudia using a regular iPhone 6 and one ring light. They created plans to generate buzz before the live event, keep people engaged during the broadcast, and keep the app top of mind and tip of tongue after the live broadcast.

During the live stream, Claudia made her famous Tres Leches Cake recipe. The broadcast lasted about an hour and a half. The whole time, someone held the iPhone by hand. They didn’t have a tripod because Claudia was moving around the kitchen, and this was before anyone was using a live gimbal.

This is a screenshot of a Facebook Live video featuring Chef Claudia Sandoval, which she hosted in 2016 as part of a cross-promotion with the T-Mobile Tuesdays app. In the video, Claudia stands in a kitchen with black cabinets and granite countertops. A window over the sink lets natural light into the room. Claudia is standing next to a red Kitchen Aid mixer. She is a Latina woman who has bright red hair that falls just below her shoulders. She’s wearing makeup, a bright red top, and a white apron with Claudia and the MasterChef logo embroidered in red thread. As she’s talking, she’s gesturing with her hands. In 2016, Stephanie Liu collaborated with Claudia to produce this live video.

The results of the promotion were amazing. As soon as Claudia went live, the video had 843 peak live viewers. Right after the broadcast, 1.5 million people opened the T-Mobile Tuesdays app, and Claudia’s cookbook had 178,000 downloads.

Since then, Stephanie has continued to help clients build their brands and bottom lines with live video. Whether a client is launching their own Facebook Live show or incorporating live video into their events, Stephanie helps make their live video marketing a success.

Listen to the show to hear Stephanie talk about her friendship with Claudia.

Why Focus on Facebook Live?

Stephanie thinks marketers who want to hit the ground running with Facebook should focus on Facebook Live because it has 10 times more reach than all other types of Facebook content. Since Facebook changed its algorithm in January 2018, organic reach has been dwindling to nothing.

Facebook Live video also has six times more interactions than recorded video. These interactions keep your brand top of mind and tip of tongue, and are a way to attract the meaningful engagement that Facebook wants. I note that the results Stephanie has seen with reach and engagement reflect what Social Media Examiner experiences, going live multiple times per week.

This is a screenshot of a Facebook Live video post on Stephanie Liu’s Facebook page. The text above the video says “Psssttt... want a sneak peek at a few new Facebook features that will be rolling out soon? One of the perks of attending the Facebook F8 conference this year is that I got exclusive access to a few features that are beta-tested and honestly, if you’re a content creator, then you’ll want to tune in to this episode! IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL DISCOVER:”. Then a See More link appears. Below the text is the video opener screen. It shows a Mac desktop computer on a white desk against a white wall. Several white containers appear on either side of the computer, along with a white mouse and a stapler. On the Mac desktop screen, the video of Stephanie appears. She’s an Asian woman with black hair that hangs below her shoulders. She’s wearing makeup and a white shirt with a peach and black abstract pattern. The background for her live video is a gray room with a white desk. On the desk are books and a white orchid in a square white pot. A white neon sign that spells “hey” is also sitting on the desk, and it’s turned off. Across the bottom of the video are a white bar with LIGHTS, CAMERA, LIVE in blue-green text, a Facebook icon with the URL to her Facebook page, an Instagram icon with the URL for her Instagram profile, and another icon with the URL for her website. The live video has 76 reactions, 196 comments, 22 shares, and 1.6K views.

Stephanie has also learned that a new product, Facebook Live Producer, will make going live much easier. At the Facebook F8 conference in May 2018, Stephanie talked to someone who works on Facebook Live and learned that Facebook will be putting out this new product.

Facebook Live Producer does all of the things third-party tools (like OBS Studio, Ecamm, or BeLive) do and more. For instance, Facebook Live Producer allows you to bring on a guest, set up split screens, and add text overlays. The tool is built into the web browser and puts other platforms on notice. Generally speaking, Facebook’s tools are easier to use than third-party tools.

Listen to the show to hear my thoughts about leaked screenshots I saw of Facebook Live Producer about a year ago.

How to Generate Buzz Before a Live Video

Stephanie treats any live-streaming video like an actual event, which means she invests effort into promoting the live video beforehand. Although anyone who follows your page receives a notification when you go live, that notification isn’t enough to reap the full benefits of your live video. Your page followers might be standing in line at the grocery store or stuck in traffic, so they can’t tune in.

Facebook Event: To get engagement as soon as you go live, get people to talk about your live video for about a week beforehand. To do that, Stephanie starts by creating a Facebook event for the live video with a detailed description. She explains why people want to tune in, what she’ll talk about, what the live video will show viewers how to do, and what will happen if they don’t tune in.

This is a screenshot of a Facebook Event for Stephanie Liu’s live video on September 6. The event image shows a photo of Stephanie in a circle over a photo of a sky and palm trees. Stephanie is an Asian woman with shoulder-length hair tied in a side ponytail. She’s wearing makeup and a beige, v-neck dress. She’s holding a white neon sign that says “hey”. The event is titled “Sneak Peek: Facebook Features to Look Out For.” The event is public, hosted by Stephanie Liu. The Going option is selected. The date and time are Thursday, September 6 at 2PM-3PM PDT.

If Stephanie’s live video will feature a guest, she invites them as a co-host. This way, they can both invite people from their networks and collaborate on getting people talking about the event a week in advance. You can ask people to share questions they’d like to ask the guest in the event comments, which is a great way to engage people interested in the guest or topic.

Stephanie occasionally spends a small amount to promote the event, but most of the time, she doesn’t put a lot of money behind the actual Facebook event.

Scheduled Live Broadcast Link: It’s important to note that Stephanie doesn’t go live within the Facebook event. She goes live from her page, so everyone who follows her page receives a notification when she’s live. In the event, she shares a link to a scheduled live broadcast. With this permalink, Stephanie can share a link to a live video in an email, social media copy, and the Facebook event.

Typically, Stephanie creates the event 1 week before the live stream. The day before the Facebook Live, she leaves a comment reminding people of the live video and asking for last-minute questions. About an hour before the broadcast, she leaves another reminder in the event and shares the permalink. Every time she posts in the event, everyone who has RSVP’d receives a notification.

This is a screenshot of a Facebook event notification from Stephanie Liu. The notification says “Stephanie Liu posted in How to Get Your Social Media Ready for the Holidays.”

This build-up to the event increases the likelihood people will watch live. Even if they can’t make the live video, they’ll ask Stephanie about the replay. That’s another opportunity for her to engage with her audience and share the link to her live video. After the live video, she can also continue posting in the event. For example, she might share a link to a blog post that recaps the video.

When Stephanie posts the link to the scheduled live broadcast, she also adds a comment on the post. You want to be the first person to leave a comment because that tells people who want to engage with you how to do so. Stephanie typically leaves a comment that says, “If you’re tuning in, let me know where you’re watching from.” This icebreaker helps people in similar locations connect.

Any conversations within the event and on your link post help your live video. As an illustration, a conversation about where people are from can turn into a conversation about conferences or events people are attending. As one question leads to another, a sense of community can develop around the topic of your live video.

Email: Outside of Facebook, Stephanie promotes the live video in emails. In the email, she shares a link to the Facebook event because that’s where people see social proof. If people see that an event has a certain number of RSVPs, they won’t want to miss out. They’ll want to be part of the live event.

If Stephanie is inviting a guest, she also creates suggested promotional copy the guest can use across their social media or email.

Messenger Bot: Stephanie uses her messenger bot, RoboSteph, to promote live videos, too. She tells her current subscribers when a live video is coming up and they can click RSVP in the bot. RoboSteph can also share a message like, “Hey, we’re live now. Click here to tune into our new episode.”

This is a screenshot of RoboSteph, Stephanie Liu’s Messenger bot. At the top is a GIF of Stephanie dancing. Stephanie is an Asian woman. Her black hair falls below her shoulders, and she’s wearing makeup and a denim jacket. She’s smiling with her hands in the air, palms facing outward. White text at the bottom of the GIF says “Happy Dance”. Below the GIF, RoboSteph sent the following message to the user: “Hey Rebecca, so happy to connect with you! I’ll be sending you updates on Facebook when something exciting happens or when Lights, Camera, LIVE is on air. - RoboSteph”. Below this image is a place to type a response in Facebook Messenger.

To get bot subscribers, Stephanie asks people who want a reminder for the live video to leave the comment “subscribe” on the Facebook post that links to the scheduled live broadcast. When someone subscribes, RoboSteph confirms their subscription, thanks the person for their RSVP, and then confirms it will send a reminder for the live video.

Stephanie set up her bot using ManyChat and the Facebook Comments Growth Tool. With this tool, the bot knows to message subscribers as soon as she goes live. The automated reminder helps bring live viewers on-air so she’s not talking to an empty audience.

Listen to the show to hear my thoughts on the similarities between Facebook groups and events.

Live Crossposting

Crossposting means asking other people or pages to promote your content for you. The ability to do live crossposting with a blitz marketing campaign became available earlier this year. With this feature, you can partner with other pages so a live video on your page appears on all of your partner pages, too.

For instance, if you have a flash sale or a limited-time offer that’s about to expire, you could use live crossposting to have a blitz campaign that alerts people to your timely offer.

To set up crossposting, open the Settings for your Facebook page. In the left-hand sidebar, click the Crossposting option. Then you’ll see a screen where you can type the name of another page so it’s linked to yours.

This is a screenshot of the Facebook Crossposting settings screen. In a white bar at the top, on the far left, are the options Publishing Tools and Ad Center. On the far right is the Settings option followed by a downward-pointing triangle. The main screen has a light gray background and a white box. Inside the white box are instructions for setting up crossposting. The heading says “Add Pages to Crosspost.” Below the heading are the following instructions: “Crossposting allows you and another page to post videos on each other’s behalf. Crossposting can only happen between Pages that have added each other. You control which videos are eligible to be crossposted. When a Page crossposts your videos, they will also be able to view video insights for their posts. Add or remove Pages here you want to crosspost. Learn more.” Below these instructions is a text box labeled Add Page. Inside the text box, users are prompted to “Enter name or Facebook URL.” Stephanie Liu says crossposting is a way to spread the world and boost engagement with your live video.

After you set up crossposting, the page connected to yours can control whether its followers see your live stream. The other page can control this manually, schedule a time to share your content, or share your live videos automatically. Crossposting can work for regular recorded videos as well.

Listen to the show to hear Stephanie and me discuss when live video appears as a crosspost.

Tips for Getting Live Viewer Engagement

To encourage engagement during a live video, Stephanie combines several tactics, including welcoming viewers, asking for shares, and encouraging meaningful comments.

Welcoming Viewers: Stephanie begins her live videos by briefly welcoming viewers. Everyone loves the sound of their own name and will tune in a little bit longer because they notice they can interact with you in real time. However, you need to balance these welcomes with details about the video’s content.

You can start the video with basic information about the video, when very few people have joined the live stream. Explain why the topic matters, what you’re going to cover, and what they’ll learn how to do.

To illustrate, Stephanie starts a show by saying, “Hey everyone. Today we’re going to talk about Facebook Live and why it’s important for your business, and what it can do for you. I’m going to show you how to bring comments onto the show, and if you don’t have time right now to tune in, that’s okay. Leave the comment ‘subscribe’ and I’ll notify you when the replay is done.”

This is a screenshot of a Facebook Live video post on Stephanie Liu’s Facebook page. The post text says “Want to get more out of Twitter but aren’t sure where to start? Madalyn Sklar, the world’s leading Twitter marketing expert joins Lights, Camera, Live to share the best tips and tricks to spark conversations and make your brand top of mind and tip of tongue. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: Secrets to Building and Growing Your Audience The Right Way Twitter Strategies to Breakthrough the Noise. . .” Then a See More link appears. Below the post text, Stephanie and Madalyn wave hello to viewers. Stephanie is an Asian woman with black hair that hangs below her shoulders. She’s wearing makeup and a beige tank top. The background for her live video is a gray room with a white desk. On the desk are books and a white orchid in a square white pot. A white neon sign that spells “hey” is also sitting on the desk, and it’s turned off. On the right on the split screen, Madalyn appears from the shoulders up. She’s a white woman with blond bangs and hair cut just above her shoulders. She’s wearing glasses, a short black necklace with a small pendant, and a black v-neck t-shirt. A large professional microphone drops down from the upper right. In the background are decorations on a gray wall. The room’s lighting is dark and blue light from the computer shines on Madalyn’s face.

Stephanie might then briefly greet someone by saying, “Hey, Mike, thanks so much for joining. Nice to see you again.” In other words, don’t spend the first 2 minutes greeting every person.

Stephanie also likes asking people where they’re from as an easy icebreaker. She usually tells viewers she’s broadcasting live from San Diego and asks where they’re tuning in from. If someone says, “Hey, I’m tuning in from Guam,” Stephanie might respond, “Wow, I’ve never had someone tune in from Guam. This is awesome. Welcome to the show.”

Because people often don’t join a live video as soon as it begins, Stephanie repeats her introduction to the show about 10-15 minutes into the live video.

Tags and Shares: To spread the word about her video, Stephanie asks viewers to tag friends in the comments and share her live video. She might say, “If you know anyone who will be interested in this episode, do them a favor. Tag them in the comments. Share this to your personal profile or your groups.” She finds most people will share the video because it’s an easy, one-click action.

This is a screenshot of Stephanie Liu in a Facebook live video. Viewers can see Stephanie from the shoulders up. Stephanie is an Asian woman with black hair hanging just below her shoulders. She’s smiling and wearing makeup and a white shirt with a peach and black abstract pattern. In the lower left, on a light green background is the black text “Stephanie Liu, Lights Camera Live”. The background for her live video is a gray room with a white desk. On the desk are books and a white orchid in a square white pot. A white neon sign that spells “hey” is also sitting on the desk, and it’s turned off. The live video has 77 reactions, 196 comments, 22, shares, and 1.7K views.

Each time Stephanie repeats her introduction to her live video topic, she includes her request to tag a friend, share the video, or subscribe to her bot for details about the replay. She repeats these details in the middle of her show and at the very end.

You can also encourage people to share by having a share sponsor. Stephanie learned this idea from Owen Hemsath of Owen Video. He gives away a 10-second spot at the beginning of his next show, and to enter, viewers have to share the video. The opportunity for free publicity is popular among his viewers.

Groups: I ask for Stephanie’s thoughts on sharing a live video in Facebook groups. She says the video should be relevant and offer value to the group. For example, a video about social media can help people in her Social Media Strategist group. You also need to adhere to any group rules about promotion within the group.

If you own a group, you can organize a Facebook watch party for your live stream in your group. A watch party is like a playlist that’s available to the group. A post introducing the watch party says something like, “We’re going to have a watch party on XYZ subject.” Group members can watch the playlist whenever they like, and comments on specific videos appear in the group.

On-Screen Comments: Just as people like to hear you welcome them by name, they like seeing their comments on-screen. When you show people’s comments with tools like BeLive or Ecamm, people are super-excited to engage with you.

This is a screenshot of Stephanie Liu hosting a live video with Madalyn Sklar. The live video shows a split screen with a user comment displayed in the lower left. On the left side of the split screen, Stephanie appears from the shoulders up. She’s an Asian woman with black hair that hangs below her shoulders. She’s wearing makeup and a beige tank top. The background for her live video is a gray room with a white desk. On the desk are books and a white orchid in a square white pot. A white neon sign that spells “hey” is also sitting on the desk, and it’s turned off. On the right on the split screen, Madalyn appears from the shoulders up. She’s a white woman with blond bangs and hair cut just above her shoulders. She’s wearing glasses, a short black necklace with a small pendant, and a black v-neck t-shirt. A large professional microphone drops down from the upper right. In the background are decorations on a gray wall. The room’s lighting is dark and blue light from the computer shines on Madalyn’s face. The user comment is from Scott Ayers, a white man with short hair and glasses. His comment says “#TwitterSmarter chat rocks!” Across the bottom of the video is a white bar with LIGHTS, CAMERA, LIVE in blue-green text, a Facebook icon with the URL to Stephanie’s Facebook page, an Instagram icon with the URL for her Instagram profile, and another icon with the URL for her website.

Meaningful Comments: Because Stephanie usually has a guest on her show, she’ll elicit meaningful comments by reminding viewers that the live video is an easy time to get one-on-one advice from the guest. Then she asks viewers to ask questions in the comments. If you don’t have a guest, you can ask viewers to leave their questions for you instead.

Listen to the show to hear my thoughts on asking viewers to share a live video and tag friends in the comments.

How to Follow Up After a Live Video

After a live video is over, Stephanie follows up by encouraging ongoing comments and conversations. For Lights, Camera, Live, she goes live about twice per month, and viewers tend to make three comments. The first is where they’re from; the second is something like, “I didn’t know that;” and the third is a request for more information about a topic.

After the broadcast ends, Stephanie answers requests for more information because she wants to nurture relationships with engaged viewers. The next day, Stephanie responds to comments from people who watched the replay. She not only thanks the commenter for watching, but also asks an open-ended question such as, “What did you think about the last episode?”

When Stephanie responds to comments in this way, people keep engaging with her, and this engagement makes her live video reappear in the news feed. The more viewers leave a comment on, like, or share your live video, the more visibility the live stream has in the news feed.

This is a screenshot of Stephanie Liu responding to comments on a Facebook live video post after the live video is over. The first comment from Mary says “Would I use this for my FB Live show?” Stephanie responds, “Depends... the nice thing about livestreaming is that you can engage with your audience in real-time. You *could* premiere your video and then just keep an eye out on the comments BUT, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to give them a shout out in the video”. The second comment from Eleanor says,”Becky was just asking me about bumper videos and I told her to check you out”. Stephanie responds, “Thanks for the reco! If she’s looking for a logo bumper video, I’m sure she can find something on Fiverr. Tayeba for LCL also has a cool program to create logo animations.”

Stephanie also uses comments after a live video to gather topic ideas from her audience. She asks what viewers want to learn because that helps her create content that interests them.

Comments on a previous live video or event can promote an upcoming one. One of Stephanie’s most successful Facebook Live interviews was with Jenn Herman, an Instagram marketing expert. Because the Instagram algorithm is always changing or myths need to be debunked, Stephanie can leave a comment on the old interview such as, “If this video interested you, here’s the next episode.”

On a video like the Jenn Herman interview, Stephanie’s comment helps her audience know changes are coming, so the comment adds value and promotes the upcoming event. Because they’ll know the upcoming video can help them, Stephanie is nurturing her relationship with these viewers using all of the organic ways Facebook offers.

To manage all of this work, Stephanie uses Asana to keep a checklist for her team. Also, for her business, she needs to go live only twice a month. Because she delivers valuable content, she gets a new client referral every time she’s done going live.

Listen to the show to hear how updates to my old live videos and posts led to continued engagement in the comments.

Discovery of the Week

When your social media image posts are stuck in a rut, PostMuse can kickstart your creativity.

Like many image editing apps for Instagram, PostMuse includes tips and tricks, photo filters, different fonts, and other tools. What sets PostMuse apart is the ability to draw inspiration from pre-made templates. For instance, you can see different ways to use overlays, filters, and so on for a single stock image. From there, you can substitute your own image and create something unique.

This is a screenshot of the PostMuse website. In the top center is a large image of the PostMuse logo, which is an illustration of a P and M filled with a curved gradient. From top to bottom, the gradient includes purple, fuschia, red, orange, and yellow. Below the logo is the following white text: “We help you post awesome designs on Instagram more often. Draw inspiration from our design ideas and create visual impact using our free images, fonts and emojis.” Below the text are buttons that connect to the Google Play store and the App Store. The background image for the website is a photo of a white person with red manicured fingernails holding a smartphone and using the PostMuse app. The photo is taken from over the person’s shoulder, and the depth of field blurs the person’s hair and neck to focus on the phone. The person’s legs are stretched out in front of them, and they’re wearing blue jeans.

Although PostMuse templates show an affinity for Instagram-like posts, the app isn’t specifically for Instagram. You can export images you edit in the app and post them anywhere you like. Also, you can create vertical images for stories.

PostMuse is a quick and easy app that’s a great addition to your tool belt. The app is free and available for iPhone and for Android.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how PostMuse works for you.

Key takeaways from this episode:

What do you think? What are your thoughts on getting engagement with Facebook Live video? Please share your comments below.

Learn how to promote your Facebook Live video with events and cross-posting, and to improve engagement with questions, requests to share, and bots.

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