So, you’ve summoned up the courage to do your first Facebook live and you’ve now got a couple under your belt. Very well done you!
At this point, you might like to consider purchasing a little bit of equipment to make your Facebook live look and sound more professional.
The whole point of Facebook live, is that it shouldn’t be perfect and we don’t want ‘fear of the gear’ to hinder getting going with recording. Nevertheless, a few little purchases can make all the difference.
First of all, it goes without saying that you need to get the environment in your recording area sorted out.
Ideally, try to find some natural light or at least some constant indoor light. Choose somewhere that's not next to a noisy gym/station/park filled with frustrated two year olds. Make sure you have good internet connectivity or this will be a Facebook dead rather than a Facebook live broadcast.
If possible, activate your forwarding calls option on your smartphone; there is nothing worse (or more embarrassing) than someone ringing you mid-flow.
Now is the time to treat yourself to some new Tech.
In terms of equipment, all you really need is a smartphone, but I’d encourage you to go one step further.
For example: whilst it is entirely possible to hold the phone or balance it against a keyboard, it's not very easy if you plan to be speaking for around ten or more minutes. An inexpensive option is to use a ‘Gorilla pod’ stand, which will securely hold your smartphone. Its bendy legs can wrap around a computer monitor, piece of gym equipment or simply stand up on the desk. There are many iterations of this on good ole Amazon.
The next step up from using the native microphone in your smartphone, is to use a lapel microphone. This will significantly improve the sound quality and means that you can be further away from the camera if you want to demonstrate something. I really recommend considering purchasing one if you are going to be doing recordings on a regular basis. Which I really want you to do.
My favourite option is a RODE SMART LAV + (it's important if you are going to buy one of these that you buy the plus version rather than the original version). I also think it's a good idea to get an extension cable and RODE do one called RODE SC1. Collectively, you could probably pick up a mic, extension cable and a Gorilla type stand for around £100; it’s a really good investment.
But… what if there’s more than one of you starring in the the video?
Maybe you want to interview a person, or film a conversational piece with a colleague or expert in your area? Two microphones and extension cables can record into the same smartphone socket provided you have got an adapter. RODE make one called a RODE SC6 and its super helpful.
This is better than sitting uncomfortably close together whilst trying to be heard by the phone’s inbuilt mic.
Live v's Re-play.
Now, whilst the whole purpose of recording your Facebook live is that people see you go live (something that Facebook wants to boost in terms of rankings), you must understand that the majority of people will view your video after the event. This means that they will be seeing a saved recording in their regular Facebook stream.
Rather than focusing solely on pleasing your live viewers, you really need to be focusing on the after the event listeners. This is sometimes called the replay audience. They don't want to snooze themselves into a coma whilst you spend the first five minutes shouting out to Mary from Ohio, your Aunt Liz, or that patient that you once helped get around the marathon.
Whilst saying “hello” to people who are sending up ‘like’ emojis during your Facebook live is a great way to interact with your audience, it's also potentially putting people off who are watching this later.
Make your introductions.
Most people joining the Live viewing as viewers won't catch the first few minutes – in fact most jump-in mid live session. Whilst they are showing up, why not use those first few minutes to say “Hello and welcome, thanks for listening to this replay” and then very, very quickly introduce yourself. Tell the viewers in around five seconds who you are, what you do and what they are going to listen to. It really helps if you can get this pre-prepared so that you can rattle it out in a few moments.
For example: “Hi, I’m Will Tickle, specialist foot and ankle physiotherapist, and I help patients with tricky trotters to trot better”.
Next, take the viewers quickly through what they will be listening to. You really want to draw them in and show them what’s in it for them, if they hang on in and listen to you.
You might say; “Today I'm going to be talking about the symptoms you might experience if you are a runner who is overtraining, and what to do about it”.
When you are speaking, remember that video can flatten how you come across on camera – it’s as if it turns down the excitement dial on things. Don't be afraid to be a little bit more animated than your usual self, in terms of your speech and gestures.
If you have ever watched a good Facebook live that kept you entertained throughout, chances are it was well prepared and planned out.
Resist the idea of winging it. Instead, I recommend that you list some bullet points in bold marker pen onto an A4 page or type it up in a big bold font on your iPad or tablet, which you position right next to the smartphone that you are recording on. You need to be able to see this easily when you are speaking, and make sure it doesn’t distract you from focusing on the camera lens.
Let me nudge you with a little reminder that it's really important that you…
…look directly at the camera.
Rather than making the mistake of staring at your own visage on the screen. The small lens hole on your smartphone can be difficult to spot, as it may appear on a dark background. It's worth putting a small visual maker right next to it, but make sure it doesn't obscure the view of the lens. I've used a slither of the sticky portion of a brightly coloured Post-it note before, to act as a pointer and I’ve seen other people use a small spot of blu-tack.
It’s a WRAP.
As you’re finishing your Facebook live, you need to state a call to action. This could be your suggesting the viewer might like to check out some further interesting content on your website, to book into clinic to see you for a consultation about problem “X” you were discussing, or to get in touch with any clinical questions the viewer might have.
Be sure to explicitly spell out any email or web addresses, and say that you will be putting a link in the comments section below the video, which appears in the news feed. It’s important to remember to do this, as people won't be able to click on the video image to take them through to your website.
Always, thank them for watching and tell them when your next live broadcast will be.
But wait a minute… you aren't finished yet..
Share the good news.
Once you have finished celebrating with your glass of wine or family size bag of gummy bears, it’s time to promote your video post to people who didn't see it whilst you were live.
Get the word out on Twitter, LinkedIn and put a link to the video you have just recorded. Let your email subscribers know about your video and for future videos get the word out before you next go live.
Facebook will drop hints to those in your Facebook following that this is about to happen, but why not make a point of recording regularly at a certain time of day on a certain day of the week?
Make this a commitment of consistency, and people will show up and spread the word.
Live video can also be repurposed and put onto YouTube, embedded via a link onto your website, and you can even put a small link to it on any emails that you send out to your patients and referrers. Amazing isnt it!
Live stream video is here to stay, so get on board, get creative and enjoy the process!
Sometimes, we all need a little extra help in building our practices – from a business perspective, as well as a clinical one.
If you feel like your private practice needs a little help with social media
We are waiting to help you gain more patients and boost your referrals
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