Written by A Guest Author November 15th, 2018

How to Use Facebook Live to Promote Your Writing

— Jen Kolic

Did you know that a whopping 78% of Facebook users view live content? And there are ten times more comments on livestream videos than regular videos—that’s an amazing level of engagement!

These were just some of the astounding facts shared by Phylecia Jones, budgetologist at Keeping Up With Mrs. Jones. Jones and social media expert Karen Albert recently held workshops in Denver. Both were full of advice and encouragement for live-streaming novices.

Jones had plenty of stats on her side, as well as experience. She has been sharing videos on Facebook Live every day for over a year. So what’s the best time to post? In the morning, or the afternoon? Jones says the best time is whatever time you can commit to doing it—consistently, every single day.

Whether that means streaming at 8am or 10pm, pick a time that can easily fit your daily life and become a part of your routine. (One more amazing stat to back her up: YouTube and Twitch users who post videos regularly generate three times more income than users who post sporadically. So pick a time and stick to it!)

Authenticity is critical for Facebook Live. “You’re going to have to show up and be yourself,” Jones says. This can be hard for people who are not used to being on video, so she offered some tips. To really connect with her audience, Jones avoids over-scripting her videos. She has a topic for each day of the week, but doesn’t plan beyond that. For example, Jones usually talks about crash-budgeting on Fridays, but never writes out a script. She simply turns on the camera and says what’s on her mind.

Aside from that, Jones says it’s important to make sure you have good lighting and a good recording angle. These two things will help you look your best (and hopefully feel more comfortable being on camera), even if your hair’s not done. Buy a ring light to put over your computer, or a smaller version to clip on your phone. Better yet, if you’re using your phone, go outside and get in the sunlight! And make sure the camera is above you, so you’re looking slightly up at it. It’s a more flattering angle for everyone. This is easiest with a phone if you have a selfie stick, and if you’re casting from a laptop, just put a stack of books under your computer.

Both Phylecia Jones and Karen Albert agree that consistency is a major key to success—and growth. Here are some more simple tips to give yourself a boost right from the start:

  • Stream from your business page. You’ll get access to analytics that aren’t available from your personal page.
  • Tell people you’re streaming! Post about it on social media beforehand, add it to your email signature, and inform your email list and power partners.
  • Work with Facebook’s algorithms. Your video will be automatically pushed out to people who like your page, but it will take 2-3 minutes for everyone to get on board. Spend that time saying hello and introducing yourself, your background, and your topic before you get to the real meat of your video. That way you’ll have the largest audience when you launch into your main topic.
  • Use a service like BeLive.tv to stream your videos from multiple pages at once—your business page, your personal page, and a related page you manage, for example. This will maximize your audience, because Facebook will push your video out to users in all of these places.
  • If you don’t use BeLive, you can still share videos onto other pages after you’re done recording to expand your reach—but they won’t be “pushed” out to people in the same way.

Karen Albert, a social media expert with Behind Your Curtain, says Facebook Live is “the most powerful way to get your message in front of a massive audience—and it’s free!” She has even more ways to strategize using Facebook Live.

Always consider your target market first. Who are you trying to reach? This is an important question to think about, primarily because we tend to assume we already know without doing any research. So here’s a more pointed question to consider: what problem are you solving for people? Maybe you (and your book!) want to support fledgling business managers, help teens avoid debt, or encourage new moms to take time for self-care. No matter who your audience is, there are tools to help you reach them.

Research hashtags on hashtagify.me to tag your videos, and make them visible to people who are searching your topics. Keywords Everywhere is a similar tool. It’s a plugin for your Chrome browser, and it shows the most-searched keywords in the US on a particular topic. You can use this to find titles for your videos, and even evaluate your personal or business web site.

Finally, be clear about your goals. “Every Facebook Live should have a call to action,” Albert said. This means asking your audience for something, even if it’s just to sign up for your newsletter. It’s also okay to ask viewers to stay engaged—ask them to turn on notifications for your videos, share with friends, or hit the “like” button if they’re enjoying your content.

Whether you’re a first-time author or an old pro, Facebook Live can help you connect with a wider audience. So get comfortable in front of the camera, have fun, and be yourself! But don’t forget the strategies that can help you maximize the impact of your efforts.

Jen Kolic is a writer, editor, and publishing coach. She co-hosts Queen City Companion, a live storytelling show, and the Mutiny Book Club podcast. Originally from Queens, NY, she now lives in Denver with her partner and two cats.


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