It is likely by now that you have heard of and seen (or even used) Facebook Live, or another live-streaming network (e.g. Periscope). In our predictions for 2017 we saw live-streaming as being a major trend in 2017.
It would seem that Facebook agree as they push forward with a massive advertising campaign for Facebook Live. The war for live-streaming supremacy has begun in earnest.
With live-streaming likely to be a significant tool in your school's marketing shed, what steps should you take to make the most out of it?
1: Let people know when you're going live
Obviously you will be wanting an audience when you decide to live-stream to the world. Even more obviously you want this audience to be made up of people from your own community!
Send parents an email or detail specific time and dates in your school's newsletter. Likewise, share these details across social media and engage with your community if they have any follow up questions. Many parents will not have used Facebook Live before so it is essential you know the basics, so they can join your broadcast issue free.
TIP: make this compelling to better entice your intended audience. You want your viewers to want to join your live-stream.
2: Make sure you have good 4G or WiFi
Nothing will look worse than a live-stream riddled by lagging or cutting out 😱. Plan ahead and test your phone's 4G where you plan to broadcast. Better better still ensure you have a strong, stable WiFi connection.
3: Invest in a smartphone tripod / stand & battery pack
Now your connection is stable it can't hurt to make the image stable! Investing in a tripod is the simplest way to ensure this.
There are various types of tripod you can look into but our recommendation, for its versatility, is something akin to the Joby GorillaPod. These tripods other more flexibility, over conventional ones, when you are out and about. We have one in the office and it is impressive how we can set it up pretty much anywhere.
Likewise a battery pack / portable charger can be a real life-saver - imagine being 10 minutes into an awesome broadcast and your phone runs out of juice? Disaster!
There are lots of great choices out there but our recommendation goes to the very tried and tested Anker range. Simply plug the packs in over night (usually via USB) and they are ready to go! When your phone is drying up, plug it into the battery pack in exactly the same way you'd put it on to charge normally.
4: Ask your viewers (parents) to subscribe to Live notifications
It's easy for your viewers to "subscribe" to your Live-streaming channel - just a simple tap / click of the Follow button when they are watching your broadcast.
Let your viewers be aware of this while you are live-streaming and they can choose to get notifications whenever you go live. This can also be done on the regular videos too (i.e. the saved recordings of your live-stream) 👍
And there you have it - 4 simple tips that can really up your live-streaming game. 👍
What else can you do?
- As with most social media platforms you want engagement to be at the forefront of your mind. Something as simple as a a quick hello to your audience, as they join, or responding to their comments ensures that this engagement is being maintained.
- A broadcast shouldn't always be short and sweet. Facebook's own recommendation is that a live-stream should last at least 10 minutes. Of course, this won't always be the case but don't be afraid to keep going if you have something to share. On Facebook Live a single live-stream can last up to 60 minutes - plenty of time to share your #SchoolStories and engage with your audience. Statistics show people are up to 3 times more likely to watch a live-stream for longer periods vs. a regular, non-live video!
- Remember: video content is king in 2017! Flex your creative muscles and live-stream often. Mix up what you do and how you do it to keep your audience coming back for more.
We hope you enjoyed this article and are ready to live-stream to the world. We'd love to hear all about your thoughts and ideas. The potential for live-streaming in schools could be huge - so get out there and give it a go! 😎
Best of luck and have fun!!!