Facebook Live—the new feature on Facebook which allows users to live stream from their mobile devices (for now iOS and Android only) is part of Facebook’s effort to dominate the video market. If you are on Facebook, you may already be noticing more videos. You may never stream on Facebook Live, but it is likely that you will view a live presentation in the future. You want to at least know what it is and how it works.
Where Can You Facebook Live Stream?
Users can live stream on their Profile as well as on any Pages where they can post. One of the nice features of live streaming on your Profile is that you can designate who can view the live stream using lists that you have created such as family, close friends, classmates, etc. One of the choices is Only Me. I chose that option when I was trying it out. If you are live streaming on a Page, it is accessible to the public only.
How Long Can You Live Stream?
For now, the time limit is 90 minutes. This keeps getting longer, so don’t hold me to this. There are differing opinions on ideal length for a broadcast, but from what I am reading by those who are already using it, don’t do less than 5 minutes. Ten minutes is better. If you have compelling content and can go longer, do it. The reason for this is that people who are viewing your live presentation can share it and bring others to view it as well. The longer presentation gives time for that to happen.
During the live presentation, you are able to see the number of viewers and their comments live. Once the live steam is finished, it remains on Facebook like other video posts where anyone can view it and comment.
The secret to a good presentation is to present a single message in a few succinct points with energy and in a conversational way. Be friendly, be yourself and be helpful.
How can Church ministries use this feature? Here are a few ideas to get you started. Please add others that occur to you in the comments.
- Teaching or commentary
- Outreach for inquirers
- Q & A on any topic of interest to your members and/or potential members
- Live events
Why Do You Want to Know About and/or Use Facebook Live?
You may not be the one on your ministry team to use this tool, but you could be the one to suggest it to someone else who would use it. Here are two stats to encourage that: Users view live videos 3x longer than standard videos and there is 10x the engagement (clicks, likes, views) than on a standard post.
We can use Facebook and other social media tools to inform, inspire and invite viewers to grow in holiness, take action for good causes, support the mission of the organization, be more active in their faith, and bring their faith more joyfully to those they meet. These are good things to do.
Here is a link to Facebook’s own Tips + Tricks for using Facebook Live. Give it a try or get someone you know to try it and let us know what happens.
Why Not Try It?
Have you viewed a Facebook Live stream yet? What was it like? I plan to do a FB live stream soon. If you want to see it, Like Catholic Web Solutions on Facebook and watch for my announcement.
My next blog post will be July 12. Have a wonderful July 4th weekend!