Every time I get an inkling to open up Facebook to see if they have any unannounced, under the radar feature releases for live streaming, I get a little rush. Nerd alert! But in all seriousness, Facebook devs just casually roll out features to accounts in a way that treats every user much like a beta tester, especially because of the way features come and go, work and don’t work on any given day in some cases. Because the Facebook Creator Studio has recently added a bunch of new options for streaming using a paired encoder or stream keys, I wanted to cover some of the ones I’m excited to be seeing on their platform…. options that we have had in places like Youtube for some time, but Facebook is catching up.

I will be showing how to pre-schedule a live stream from a business Facebook page, you can do the same from a personal page and/or by going live now.

Creator Studio on Facebook

First, head to your page and at the toolbar at the top of the page, click “More” to drop down the menu and select “Publishing Tools.”

facebook creator studio

Once in Publishing Tools, you will find under the “Tools” heading, “Creator Studio.” Click here to be taken to the Facebook Creator Studio.

creator studio facebook

On the next screen, if you don’t already see the “Go Live” button with the red broadcast icon near the top right of your screen, click the “Home” button on your top left to access it.

 

Schedule a Live Video

Here you can Go Live Now or Schedule a Live Video. Since Facebook recommends scheduling your live event so that your followers have a chance to sign up to be notified and reminded about your live stream, that’s the method I will use here. Remember that Facebook, has not yet added the ability to select your time zone, so if you are scheduling a live stream that is going to happen in a time zone other than where you are when you schedule it, make the adjustment now to reflect the time it will be where the broadcast is. 

live stream facebook

Getting Started

Under “Getting Started” you can select how Facebook will receive your stream. Currently the following features are not available if you select “Camera” here and try to stream directly from a webcam. If you plan to use a paired encoder like we do for our client’s Facebook streams, such as Wowza’s Clearcaster you do not want to connect the encoder until 4 hours prior to your event. So for now, select “Use Stream Keys” and then go back later and pair your encider when you’re set up and ready to preview your stream within the 4 hour window.

Live Stream on Facebook

In this middle column are most of the goodies, so here we go! Make sure you drop down the “Stream” section to see of all these options.

End Live Video If Stream Stops

This one has been around for a minute. Ending the live video if the stream stops is another way of saying that by checking this box, you will not be using a persistent stream key, which is the term used elsewhere in streaming, on platforms like Youtube. It is not recommended that you use this option if you do not have reliable internet, because if your internet drops out and stops your stream, you will not be able to go back to the same live stream.

Allow Embedding

This is new, and while we’ve been able to embed a Facebook live stream on another webpage using their embed code, now we have the option to not allow the video to be embedded elsewhere on the internet. Here are some reasons we can think of not to allow embedding, and if we missed one, leave us a note in the comments.

  • Comments! If you are directing your audience via email or other social outlets to watch your Facebook Live on a webpage outside of Facebook, only the player will show up with the native embed code.
  • Followers! People watching your video off Facebook who don’t already like and follow your page are much less likely to do so if they aren’t on your Facebook page viewing your stream
  • If you are selling products through Facebook, collecting responses or utilizing any of the other many business tools on your Facebook page, your audience can’t interact with them off site.
  • Finally, we think that the Facebook gods and their algorithm don’t shine as brightly on you when you’re directing your traffic to watch a video using their platform, off of their site where their ads play. We don’t know what exactly the impact is, but we feel sure there is one.

Unpublish After Live Video Ends

We’ve seen this one before. We’ve seen clients use this feature if:

  • They want to give their audience that shared live experience.
  • They want to maintain their live analytics and then edit, shorten or make a highlight reel style video for on demand viewing after the event.
  • They have a large organization or brand with many decision makers that need to review the content before its more widely available to watch.

Go Live For Longer Than 8 Hours

Since 2016 when Facebook rolled out live streaming for all users, there have been various time limits for live streams. Most recently it was 4 hours on mobile and 8 hours streaming from a computer. Now Facebook has streaming longer than 8 hours, but will not save your video and your viewers will not have the option to rewind. We can’t seem to find an official word on how long you can continuously stream to Facebook using this option, but we speculate up to 24 hours.

Viewing

Now for settings about the viewing experience for the audience.

Allow Viewers To Rewind

We don’t usually recommend that people turn off the ability for folks to rewind their live stream. This is super helpful if you get distracted and want to rewatch something, come into a live stream late or have to step away from your device and come back to have missed something. The reasons you may want to utilize this feature around mostly the same as not having your video available on demand after the event or “unpublishing.”

  • You want to really promote that shared live experience like we had before DVR’s on our TV’s.
  • You want to have revelenat, real time comments and discussions and not have people posting about stuff that happened 15 minutes ago.
  • You want only your loyal viewers to get all the inside info and not have it available for people who join late.

Disable Live Commentary

Now you can live stream and have your audience viewing on Facebook, not allow comments during the stream. At Varvid we always stress to our clients that they need to assign someone from their organization to watch, interact, moderate and respond to comments during live streams, or you might want to consider turning them off. In social streaming, we don’t think it’s best practice to let your viewers comment without having anyone responding, it sends the message to your viewers that you aren’t engaged.

You may also want to disable live commentary if your content is controversial to some. Let’s keep going because below are some more fine tuned setting for comments.

Comments

Slow

Check the “Slow” box to restrict users from commenting faster than every 10 seconds. Keeps trolls from flooding your comment section quit so fast if you think you might have that issue.

Discussion

Using the “Discussion” setting only allows comments that are at least 100 characters. This might discourage people from a leaving a comment, those who don’t like rules, if you will, but using this feature could help facilitate more in depth engagements, just make sure you have someone on your team – maybe even multiple people responding thoughtfully.

Restricted

Using the “Restricted” setting restricts new (2 weeks old or less) Facebook accounts from leaving comments.We usually assume accounts that new are bots or accounts trolls made to make salty comments without revealing their identities. I don’t see any reason not to use this feature, unless you think there may be a chance some of our audience members don’t use Facebook and may create an account specifically to watch your live stream. Seems like a narrow field, but hey, maybe that fits your needs!

Protected

“Protected” only allows Facebook users who have followed your account for at least 15 minutes to leave a comment. So if you’re hoping to have your stream be shared around and new potential followers engage with your stream, don’t use this feature. We would recommend this option for a stream that have people coming to be objectory in the comments, who may even go follower or like your page to allowed to comment, but this feature would block them.

Crossposting

We have covered this in other posts, but remember that you can combine your viewing analytics with your partner’s pages by crossposting to their pages and engaging their followers. We learned the hard way that some features like adding Facebook’s donation buttons do not crosspost, even though Facebook doesn’t expressively state this anywhere. Be sure to test any content to make sure its cross posting correctly before you go live. You should be able to create a Scheduled Live Video for crossposting and then go to each page’s post and customize the description for each page without it affecting the other, however I will caution you that I have had some annoying instances of this not updating in real time on the pages who were not the main page, or it created the appearance of a separate post on the page. I hope these bugs are since worked out, but I always plan for and look for them during testing and set up for any event. At Varvid, this is a part of my project management process when using Facebook during testing and rehearsals. 

 

Audience Settings

And finally, if your content is not appropriate for all ages from 13 and up, you can restrict users whose accounts have their age set at various intervals form 12 plus through 25+. Not quite sure what you’re restricting for 21-25 year olds……but uh, yeah, be responsible with your content to avoid extra public backlash. Be aware that your content still have to abide by Facebook’s community standards.

And if any of this is feeling like a lot, we’d love to work with you as a consultant or as your streaming partner so we can effectively put these practices in place for your organization or brand.

 

Frontgate is a leading home luxury multichannel retailer who does recurring live streamed events with us from their storefront locations. Because Facebook is really prioritizing live content, we find that for many of our clients, it is a great fit for getting the most viewers on your streamed event.

Nathan Turner talks food and entertainment at Dallas retail location for Frontgate

Frontgate’s last event was streamed from their Dallas/Plano, Texas location and featured a prominent designer, author and gourmet guru, Nathan Turner, who shared recipes and favorite products for holiday gatherings to a small local audience and reached thousands more via their Facebook Live stream.

Frontgate interacts with their audience in real time on their Facebook Live stream

We love the big brand’s use of live streaming to bring in promoters of their brand that share content that both in the room and remote audiences want and can engage with. Frontgate, stepped it up by holding a prize drawing that featured people in the room and anyone who left a comment of the live stream. We also think that our clients gain the most, by having someone on your team interacting with the live audience on Facebook live stream, via comments. You can view the recorded live stream here.

Facebook Live is accessible to 1.66 million users today, and a variety of businesses have adopted it as a tool to engage with their followers. Brands that live broadcast product launches, behind-the-scene event footage, and demos over Facebook increase their social-media-standing dramatically. One reason for increased engagement is that Facebook Live instantly notifies followers when the broadcast begins and a red “Live” logo is added to any live streaming videos.

Early last December, we helped our client, Scaling New Heights, promote their June conference by producing a live stream to their Facebook page. The SNH staff was visiting their venue (Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida) to do a walk through and plan their event, and the live stream offered their audience a preview of the venue and gave them an opportunity for a real-time Q&A session. Although Scaling New Heights started with nearly 40 real-time viewers, they gathered 1.4k views after airing their Facebook Live conference promotion broadcast, as all Facebook Live videos are recorded and available on demand after a broadcast. To add an element exclusivity, SNH offered their online audience code words for discounted rooms and flights as a way to encourage attendance.

Joe Woodard shows Disney World for Scaling New Heights promo

According to social media leaders, like those at SSW16, digital marketing is key to develop brand identity and trust. Online brand identity is created in a variety of ways -through blog posts and tweets, for example- and each social output reaps specialized benefits. In order to be successful, a business ought to use a wide array of social engagement tools, including live streaming which is growing in popularity.

With the largest social network on the internet, Facebook Live makes it easier than ever to engage with target audiences online. Want to learn more about the perks of Facebook live and key steps to starting your live stream? Take a look at our Facebook Live page, here.

To expand the reach of an event, more and more organizations are starting to use live streaming video as a way to engage their online audience and to provide content to people who aren’t able to attend in person. Most often these streams are free and easily accessible through social media, with Facebook Live now being one one the most effective ways of delivering live content. However, some still question the effectiveness of live streaming events, as they worry people will watch online rather than attending in person. So, if an organization wants to increase the physical attendance to their event (and thus their profit), why should they offer the event online for free?

Consider the reason why individuals attend conferences, concerts, or sporting events to begin with. For first-hand experiences, of course! For example, an EventBrite case study concluded that 67% of millennials that watch a live stream of a concert are driven to buy tickets for the next upcoming show. Although it can be entertaining and informative to watch an event from home, there are many aspects of the on site experience that just cannot be offered via live streaming.

Scaling New Heights Woodard 2016 Conference

For example, conference attendees purchase tickets to meet like-minded folks, engage with new tools, and to gather information from class sessions. Live streaming conferences does not give a remote viewer direct access to these experiences. While an online audience member is able to follow a presentation, their questions are less likely to be answered, they do not have access to resources, and they do not have the opportunity to shake hands and trade business cards with other attendees.

This is not to say that live streaming doesn’t have value, but the point we’re making is live streaming is not a replacement for the on-site experience, it’s a way to deliver your content to a wider audience and encourage them to attend your next event in person. Considering that individuals face different financial challenges, and work schedules, events available through live streams are a powerful way to connect with an audience that otherwise would be missed. From a marketing standpoint, however, growing an online audience is one of the most effective ways to generate a larger physical audience for your next event.

If you were not already aware, marketing is a continuous activity successful businesses do really well. Nothing you didn’t already know, right? But did you know that great marketing organizations are able to show you how well your messages are resonating with your audience?

That’s right, today’s great marketing resources enable you to monitor the following after your videos are released. It’s not enough to just see if people are playing your videos, you need to learn:

1. Are people watching and re-watching your videos and where are they being played from?

It is important to not only know if people are viewing your videos, but if are they re-watching them. This could be an indication the message is important enough to watch twice!

Metrics-demo

 

2. How are the videos being played and who is watching them?

As you look at which video is getting the most play, you will want to know which messages in each video is being focused on. For example, in this video the red indicates a part of the video that has been replayed over and over again. This is a strong indication that the message being viewed is resonating or confusing to viewers. In either case, this is an opportunity to put more focus on this particular message in your next video.

platform-metrics2

 

3. Where do people stop watching your videos?

Knowing where viewers stop watching or skip ahead to is just as important as knowing where they are being rewound to be watched again. This may indicate a video message that was too long or boring.

platform-metrics3

 

At the end of the day, your marketing (video or otherwise) should be teaching you about which message is playing well with viewers and readers.

Stay tuned for more details as we learn whether or not this email was valuable for you. Learn more about how Varvid Subscriptions can help your video content marketing efforts.