Facebook Live

Ready, Set, Facebook Live

Millions of Facebook users, organizations, and brands are utilizing live videos as a way to provide users with access to visual information in real-time. From breaking news updates to weekly advice sessions to cooking demonstrations, live video is a unique tool for any brand or organization to use to engage audiences around the world.

For nonprofits and mission-based organizations, Facebook Live is a powerful method of sharing authentic moments that can drive awareness amongst new and existing supporters, as well as encourage online or offline participation with your programs.

While some live broadcasts might be spontaneous, it is important to plan ahead when possible. Facebook Live broadcasts can be a strategic tactic to drive awareness, spur crowdsourcing, or boost fundraising campaigns. So before you start a broadcast, be sure to think about your social media marketing and larger communications goals to assess whether a live broadcast might help you achieve those goals. Think about the story you want to tell, the audience you want to engage with, and the action you want them to take. Remember: you might not know exactly what content your audience will engage with the most via a live broadcast, so don’t be afraid to test!

To help you plan, here are some ideas of how your organization might leverage Facebook Live, and a checklist to make sure you are set up for success.

Ideas for Using Facebook Live:

  • Are members of your team experts on popular topics or programs?  
  • Do you know celebrities, thought-leaders, or influencers that would speak on your behalf?
  • Would your audience have an interest in seeing what a local or international project site looks like?
  • Do you have any projects or campaigns with unusual or surprising components?
  • Does your organization have resources that could be shared in real-time?
  • Does your organization have strong views on current events?
  • Do you have a partner organization that would want to team up with you?
  • Does your organization have a major announcement coming up?
  • Do you have alumni or volunteers with unique experiences to share?
  • Would a live feed compliment a fundraising event?
  • Are volunteers or donors asking for other ways that they can participate?

Checklist for Using Facebook Live:

1. Shout it from the rooftops:

  • Tell your audience ahead of time when you’re going to go live. (Those who tease upcoming live broadcasts tend to have higher viewership than those who don’t!)
    • Do think about the time of day your planning to go live and if time zones might affect your viewership. You can also check Facebook Insights to see when your fans are most active.
    • Plan to post 1-2x in the days prior to the event, telling your audience when to tune in, where, and the accounts or hashtags to follow.
    • Be sure to post these announcements across all of your channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Email, etc).
  • Ask your partner organizations or influencers to share the live broadcast when it’s published.
    • Provide them with drafted copy, tracked links, and hashtags via email and send them the link when live. 

2. Check, check, and double check:

  • Make sure you have:
    • A strong internet connection
    • Fully charged mobile device ready to capture the broadcast
    • Extended power cords (if needed)
    • Additional lighting
    • Sound and microphone features enabled and tested
  • Scan your surroundings before going live to make sure there is nothing that might inadvertently compromise the broadcast or give users a reason to react negatively or with inappropriate comments.

3. Tee up your speakers:

  • Prepare your speakers and special guests with talking points or conversation parameters.
    • Are there certain topics or events that your organization refrains from discussing with a public audience?
    • Does your organization have a slogan or short way of describing what you do?
    • Are there opinions, details, or facts that your organization wants to have highlighted?
    • Do you want the speakers to mention a website?

4. Compel them to action:

  • Write an actionable, eye-catching, and clear description for the live post.
    • Keep it short and concise
    • Think about new audiences (don’t use insider language!)
    • Incorporate a call-to-action
    • Use hashtags or a specific campaign hashtag
    • Add a tracked link to measure clicks to a custom landing page or website

5. Don’t set it and forget it:

  • Make sure a team member is dedicated to monitoring the broadcast on the social feed while live. They can help alert the team of any technical issues and actively engage with comments from users.
  • To keep your viewers engaged, encourage them to interact with your live video. You can also interact with them by speaking directly to them in your video.

6. Measure performance:

  • Once the live feed has ended, analyze your results, which are all accessible within Facebook insights or through the page post.
  • Here are some KPIs you might consider recording:
    • Total views
    • Total Reach
    • Minutes viewed
    • Unique Viewers
    • Video average time watched
    • Total number of post engagements (Shares, Comments, Reactions)
    • Make note of any constructive or negative comments
    • Dominant Reaction
    • Tracked Link Clicks
    • Signs ups or website visits based on CTAs
  • Keep these metrics in a spreadsheet or file in order to compare future performance.

7. On to the next one:

  • Given your results, prepare your next live broadcast to test a different content piece or call-to-action.
  • Explore more Facebook live features like masks and filters to creative doodles.
  • Consider boosting the next live broadcast to target audiences.
  • Think about establishing repetition if your broadcast was successful. Could you turn the broadcast into a weekly or monthly series?
  • Be sure to thank partner organizations or influencers who shared on your behalf.

Looking for support in optimizing your nonprofit’s social media strategy? Get in touch! We’d love to help.


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