It was, perhaps, inevitable that Facebook live video would be supported across the board. Whether you want to go live to your personal profile, Facebook Page, or to a Facebook Group, you can (or will be able to soon).
While the capability and certain features are being rolled out (so don’t be alarmed if you’re missing some of these), I thought it would be a good time to start noting how and where you can begin a live video broadcast.
And if you’re hoping to integrate live video into your overall social media marketing strategy, definitely pick up a copy of the Social Media Planner. That will help you plan out your content and schedule. For the individual shows themselves, I strongly recommend taking the time up front to settle on a format and then giving yourself a script, a Run Of Show, that you can follow and stay on track while on video. Stephanie Liu has created an amazing Video Script Maker which you can use to plug in your show details and then generate hundreds of thousands of variations so that each show is unique, yet easy to run.
For those of you wondering, “How do I broadcast live video from my Facebook profile or Facebook Page or Facebook Group?” – this article is for you.
To Facebook Profiles
Currently, initiating a live video broadcast from your smartphone to your Facebook personal profile is perhaps the easiest of the methods. Simply open your Facebook app and look for the “Live” icon just below the status update field.
When you tap it, you’ll have an opportunity to type in a description for your broadcast, as well as tag others, change the audience, or set a location. And of course you’ll see yourself as you will appear to your viewers so you can make sure that the video quality is acceptable before you begin.
PRO TIP: Avoid extended mobile broadcasts off WiFi as they’ll consume a lot of your data plan (not to mention battery life).
Facebook is currently rolling out “Split Screen broadcasts” where you and one other user are able to broadcast simultaneously. If you initiate your broadcast in landscape (sideways) and are able to invite someone else into the broadcast, the video will appear as two squares side-by-side. If you initiate your broadcast in portrait, the invited guest will appear inset like a picture-in-picture.
Jeff Sieh broadcasting with Peg Fitzpatrick and myself about how busineses can use Facebook Live’s split screen video.
To start a broadcast to your profile from desktop, simply go to your profile and click on Live Video.
Type in a meaningful description, as well as review your audience setting. You can tag other people, check in, or even add what you’re feeling.
To Facebook Pages
To broadcast live video to your Facebook Page, you currently have two options (or will, once it’s released to your account).
First, using the Facebook app, tap the hamburger menu in the lower right, tap on your Page if it’s in your shortcut list or tap on Pages lower down to get to your Page. Tap on the ‘Write Something’ field and then tap on Live Video.
Just as with personal profiles, you will need to type in a description, and can choose to limit the audience or check in.
Some Facebook users and pages have access to fun filters and effects which can be applied to the live video, like this additional guest from the exomoon LV-426:
It tried to attack my blog post draft, but I nuked the site from orbit – was the only way to be sure.
The second option is to broadcast using the Pages app – Facebook’s dedicated app for Facebook Page managers. Your Facebook Page will have a ‘Live’ icon right on the home screen.
Once you tap Live, everything else is the same as the regular Facebook app.
For Pages that have access to broadcast live video, it will appear as a large red activity button – “Start a Live Video.”
Once clicked, Facebook then walks you through writing a description (you can’t set an audience, but you can tag people and check in), then previewing what your broadcast quality looks like.
If you want to broadcast your live video to a video wall, this is how you’d do it. You’d broadcast to your Facebook Page and then use a video wall controller to display the Page feed across multiple video screens.
PRO TIP: Make sure that you are connected to WiFi, have the best lighting you can manage, and either an external mic or a set of headphones with built-in mic. While your broadcast doesn’t have to be studio-quality, you also don’t want your Facebook Page audience to be distracted by terrible lighting or audio.
One question that comes up from time to time is how to manage going live, to Facebook or elsewhere, when you want to use a standing desk. Does that force you to re-adjust your camera and lighting every time?
This is where it’s helpful to use a standing desk that’s a full, adjustable workstation, to which you can attach and mount your camera and lighting. That way, as you move the desk up or down, your video equipment moves accordingly.
To Facebook Groups
Similar to Pages, to broadcast live to a Facebook Group, tap the hamburger menu, then tap on Groups to get to your Group.
Tap on ‘Write Something’ then tap on Live Video, or tap the three dots to the right of the status update field to get to Live Video.
The audience will be set to your Group by default, but you can tag group members, as well as set a location.
Currently, Facebook users can broadcast a live video into any group they’re a member of.
To broadcast to your group from desktop, open the Group in Facebook and click on the More menu for a new status update. Click on Live Video to begin initiating your broadcast.
As I mentioned at the outset, if you don’t yet have access to any of these features or platforms yet, just be patient. Facebook is in the midst of a multi-feature rollout that may take months to complete. And while that’s happening, expect things to change!
If you’re interested in a more professional, branded look and feel to your broadcast, such as custom graphics and overlays, guests, camera control, feeding comments onto the screen, and more, I recommend you look into trying Streamyard or Ecamm Live. Ecamm has more features and capability, but it limited to Mac only, whereas Streamyard is accessible via web to any system.
Be sure to join the 360 Marketing Squad to stay up to date on these and future Facebook developments and receive regular, exclusive training. Our members are the first to know about major changes and features, as well as gaining access to insider tips and privileged content.
And if you’re looking for additional guidance on how to leverage Facebook Live Video for your business, I highly recommend reviewing this free presentation from Stephanie Liu, a Facebook Live Strategist and amazing resource.