First of all, well done on deciding to use Facebook Live. Livestreaming is daunting at first. I should know, I’ve been doing it for 2 years and was involved in a record breaking 24/7 continuous livestream event. This guide is not about what kit to buy, what to say, but it is about those very first things you need to know when you are just starting out.
Turn off location services or GPS
If you are at home or some other private residence and you are not playing tourist guide, then people have no need to know where you are when you use Facebook Live. Yes, I have seen people tracked down by their location services while live streaming. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it can also be beneficial. No, it’s not necessary to have it on while live streaming (unless you’re a tour guide and you are out and about).
I tell you this, not to freak you out but to make you informed.
Do NOT go Live and drive
Plane, train, bike, or any other form of transport (OK, if you’re a passenger and going Live that’s ok, just don’t distract the driver). Let’s face it, it’s illegal in most places in the world. There is nothing that can not wait for you to pull over and go live about. Yes, people have had accidents while livestreaming.
I will admit, I was once tempted to do it. It was early one morning, the roads were clear and the sunrise was stunning and then a massive F100 car ran a red light when my light turned green and had I not been paying attention, he would have cleaned up the driver’s side of my car.
Do not play the radio or other music
While not a safety issue, it is a legal one. People have at the least had their Facebook Live videos removed, at worst had accounts shut down and compensation orders served all because they played a song on a live stream.
Unless you own the copyright to a song or soundtrack, don’t play it. Copyright laws vary from country to country and what is ok in one might not be in another.
It is preferable to use a wifi connection as Facebook Live uses a lot of data. Also, if you are using your phone, turn it to flight mode and turn your wifi back on to avoid calls and SMS interfering with or cancelling your Facebook Live.
You do not need a fancy tripod, in fact, I started without a tripod. I used a set of boxes and books on a kids desk – that was my stand. A tripod can make it easier, but be warned that sometimes the mount for the phone actually pushes on the volume buttons and so it will take some careful manoeuvring to set up the right angle.
Yes you could use a fancy lapel mic, but to be perfectly honest you actually don’t need one. I have only ever used phone headsets. Granted, mine are Senheisser and I bought them specifically for sound quality in live streaming; you don’t need anything more than the headset that came with your phone.
Make sure you have ample light coming in from in front of you. This will light up your face, making you easier to see. While natural light is best, it’s not always practical. I use LED strip lights when recording my live streams.
Don’t use them in the title of your live stream. Not all emojis for Android are on iPhones and vice versa. If you are using them to write a word or make your description understood and it’s not loaded on a viewer’s device, all they will see is an ‘X’ in a box and not your emoji. Not only is it frustrating for the viewer, it’s unprofessional.
This one is entirely up to you. Personally, it depends if I am using my LED lighting. If I am I will wear make up so I don’t look washed out. Otherwise, I go by the premise that people are watching to hear what I have to say or see what I am showing, not to look at my make up.
Wow did I get this wrong at the start and yes everyone is different on this. I started out using a script and it was woeful. It actually made me more nervous. I have looked into the online teleprompter services and found them to be cumbersome. So, I have a few dot points, if that, and I go from there. If you have a goal for the live stream, that’s all you need. You know what you’re talking about so talk.
In the end, don’t take it too seriously. You are using Facebook Live to build a connection with your clients and not deliver a high-end news broadcast. People appreciate honesty, authenticity, and a little fun. The nerves will pass, it just takes time. This is precisely why I encourage the members of my Facebook Group to hone their skills. It’s a safe environment where courage is encourage and small steps towards a goal are celebrated.