Looking for a new and winning way to engage with your patients and online connections? Consider utilizing Facebook Live to inspire and connect with your Facebook following. In this article, we’ll cover exactly how to use Facebook Live – and how to prepare for your livestream. Then, we’ll brainstorm some great reasons to use this new, popular platform.
(Related: Facebook 101)
How to Use Facebook Live
In January 2016, Facebook made its popular Live platform available to businesses. The easy-to-use platform engages followers and allows healthcare practitioners to create videos instantly with very little hassle. Here’s how to do it:
- On a web-camera enabled device, go to your practice’s Facebook page.
- Click the Start a Live Video Button.
- Allow access to your camera and microphone.
- Select your privacy settings – you may want to select “Private” to do a dress rehearsal your first few times using this platform. Once you’re ready, select “Public”.
- When ready, select “Go Live.” The screen will flash a 3, 2, 1 countdown – then you’re live! Make eye contact with your webcam, and start talking. You’ll notice that viewers can both react to and comment on your video in real-time.
- Select “Finish” when you’re done with your video stream.
How to Optimize Your Video Once Recorded
Facebook Live’s videos don’t just disappear when you’re done streaming. Your Live videos remain pinned to your practice’s Facebook page and videos section, so you can continue to engage with followers who may have missed your stream. You can also embed your videos directly onto your practice’s website.
Go to your page’s Videos section, and select the video you wish to edit. Click the three dots next to the video’s information to edit. You’ll see you can either embed, edit, or download the video.
Select embed to receive the HTML coding you’ll need to properly include this video onto your practice’s website, or another relevant medium, like a LinkedIn page.
Select edit post to give your video a title, tags, and even captions. Create an interesting, descriptive title for your video. Tag the video with short, relevant, and popular keywords. Your tags won’t be visible to the public, but will make the video more discoverable.
Add captions if you believe your target audience will benefit from having them. Facebook automatically generates captions, with impressive accuracy. You’ll want to double-check them, of course.
Improve and optimize your recorded Facebook Live videos as soon as your stream ends. These well-organized videos will be available for playback whenever your followers visit your Facebook page. Plus, they’ll be ready to embed on your website and other social media platforms.
How to Prepare for Facebook Live
Wondering how to get ready for your Facebook Live session? It’s up to you. If you plan on using the platform every day, then getting a haircut before each session isn’t feasible. There’s no reason to sweat the small stuff, but do try to look as presentable, professional, and trustworthy as possible. We’ll review a few ways to achieve this goal.
First, ensure you make direct eye contact with the camera instead of looking at yourself during the video. Eye contact with the camera means eye contact with your audience. Many practitioners using Facebook Live tend to look at themselves while they speak – don’t do it! You’ll come off as self-conscious and distracted.
Second, plan what you want to discuss. You needn’t read off a script, but you should prepare an outline. This way, you’ll stay on-thought and avoid unprofessional pauses or verbal tics.
Third, maintain a warm and friendly voice. And smile! This broadcast showcases your personality – take advantage of that.
How to Decide What to Discuss on Facebook Live
Ready to go Live, but not sure what to talk about? Here are some ideas:
- Host a Q&A Session. In the week prior to your video, ask your followers to submit questions on a given healthcare topic. Select your favorites, and discuss your answers – live. Extra credit: Embed the finished Q&A video directly to a related service page on your practice’s website.
- Do a little newsjacking. Offer your medical expertise on a hot topic that’s all over the news. Make sure to report responsibly, and title and tag your video appropriately.
- Provide a first look at changes in your office. New 3D ultrasound machine? Just-stocked retail section? Give your followers a tour.
- Celebrate with your followers! Milestones give you a great reason to go Live. Maybe your fertility clinic just welcomed its 1,000th miracle baby, or your podiatry practice just opened a full-service medispa. Sharing that happiness proves your practice is friendly, warm, and a great place to get well.
- Promote an upcoming event. Speaking at a seminar in the next few weeks? Tease a little bit of your content in your broadcast, and let viewers know when and where they can catch the full talk.
- Pull from your blog posts. When in doubt, consider repurposing your top-performing blogs into Facebook Live videos.
- Just Get Streaming
Don’t let a little stage fright stop you from reaping the benefits of Facebook Live. Remember, Facebook Live’s benefits aren’t limited to the few minutes you’re streaming – you can optimize your video for reuse, and embed it just about anywhere you’d like. Plan what you want to say, then go Live – and don’t forget to make eye contact and have a little bit of fun!