Facebook Live and how your nonprofit broadcast can use it

Rehearse what you plan to say before you hit
Date Published
09/23/2016

It seems that not a month goes by that Facebook doesn’t change things up. The social media giant launched in 2004, and with its predecessors Myspace and Friendster’s heydays lasting four and two years, respectively, it’s obvious that Facebook has been doing something to keep people coming back. The latest big change that Facebook implemented was making the site’s “live” feature more accessible for app users. Though the feature itself launched last year, now that it’s so easily accessible, it’s being used exponentially more.

According to CIO, Facebook videos, including live ones, amass over 4 billion views a day. When these feeds have such an extensive reach, it’s important that all businesses learn to use this feature, including nonprofit broadcasters. Here’s the how and why of using Facebook Live for your broadcast:

“Listeners love feeling like they ‘know’ people in the media.”

Why you should use Facebook Live

With the way information is literally at our fingertips at all times, people expect more and more. Most nonprofit broadcasters can’t afford to only attract new listeners when the radio shows are airing. However, using Facebook Live allows you to have a presence, even when people aren’t listening to the radio. Even if your show broadcasts once a week, chances are, people are working at the station every day. With Facebook Live, listeners can get daily updates about what’s going on behind the scenes. Not only does this allow you to stay at the forefront of listener’s minds, but it humanizes the broadcasters. Listeners love feeling like they know people in the media.

If your broadcast holds fundraising events, live streams are a good way to not only spread the word but give listeners who are unable to attend feel as if they’re there. Rather than treating it like an exclusive gathering, giving listeners an inside look at the event could even garner more donations. It’s a win-win situation.

Stream for at least 10 minutes.Stream for at least 10 minutes.

Facebook Live tips

Just like any other form of social media for a business, Facebook Live isn’t something you should go into blindly. There’s no editing once you begin streaming, so what you record is exactly what your viewers will see in real time. Here are a few tips for Facebook Live beginners:

  • Promote your live stream first: Just like you hype up events on your broadcast, you’ll want to attract attention to your upcoming live streams before you hit the record button. In the days leading up to an event that you’ll be streaming, let your social media followers know that you’ll be streaming. If you’re going live behind the scenes during a broadcast, tell your radio listeners to log into Facebook to see what’s going on in the studio.
  • Plan ahead: Nobody, even people who work in radio, likes to be blindsided with a surprise occurrence. Always let your staff or volunteers know when the station will be going live and what the topic will be. Even though live streams tend to be more casual than other forms of online video, it’s still extremely beneficial to plan ahead and know what everyone will say before the smartphone starts recording. 
  • Make sure your internet connection is strong: Before you go live, ensure that your location has a strong enough internet connection for a clear video. If your live stream is pixilated or cutting in and out, people will just turn it off. After all, you don’t continue trying to watch TV when it gets staticky, so why would people sit through an unclear video?
  • Don’t be too quick: Though Vines and Instagram videos tend to do best when they’re quick and to the point, that isn’t the case for live streams. People can only view your live stream for as long as you’re streaming. According to Facebook’s live stream best practices, it’s best to stream for at least ten minutes so your followers have ample time to tune in. 

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