How to Use Live Video to Boost Social Media Engagement

It seems like any time anyone in business mentions Facebook these days, it’s to bemoan the fact that businesses aren’t seeing as much organic reach or engagement as we used to.

In fact, Buzzsumo reports that Facebook engagement is down 20% across the board, and “The biggest fall in engagement was with image posts and link posts. According to the data video posts had the smallest fall in engagement and videos now gain twice the level of engagement of other post formats on average.”

But the good news is that live video is one of the best formats both to encourage engagement and get more organic reach. It’s just one of the ways you can use Live Video to grow your business — download the Outline Your Livestream Strategy Worksheet now to find out other key ways you can use live video to boost your business.

Why is engagement so important?

Any social media channel that uses an algorithm to determine what you see in your news feed (and Facebook is the leader at this) must, by definition, have certain criteria that the algorithm uses to determine which posts are shown and which are shown first or most often.

Of course, Facebook and the others keep the exact details of their algorithm a secret, but we can make some assumptions based on what we see in our own feeds. For example:

  • We see posts when a friend likes or comments on it.
  • Posts that get more likes and comments get seen more often than those that don’t.
  • Even old posts can pop up in our newsfeed if there is new activity (reactions and comments) on it.

Therefore, logically, we can assume that getting people to engage with our posts is key to getting them delivered to more of our audience.

Live video is amazing for engagement

Facebook is already giving preference to live video in news feeds. Right now, they’re even showing a little pop-up video window in the lower left corner of your desktop when someone you follow goes live, as well as sending a notification.

This is great news! But what many live video creators may not realize is that the benefits continue after you’re done broadcasting.

Once you end your live video, it gets treated as a regular “native” video on Facebook — which still seems to get more organic play than other content types. Plus, according to Buzzsumo’s research, videos get vastly more engagement than other post types.

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With more engagement overall, videos should be shown to many more of our followers without having to pay to boost them.

Ways to encourage engagement on your videos

With a little strategy, you can even go above and beyond the natural “engaging” nature of videos, and encourage even more engagement — and thus more reach — for your live videos. Here are some tips:

    1. Ask for engagement while you’re live. Ask people to like and share the video. Ask questions that people can answer with a reaction or with a comment. Encourage discussion during the live broadcast.
    2. Create evergreen content with live video. This may seem counterintuitive, but if the topic you’re broadcasting on is valuable no matter when someone stumbles on the video, it’s more likely to be liked and shared for a longer amount of time.
    3. Respond to comments after the live broadcast is over. It’s a great idea to respond to comments while you’re broadcasting, but you can continue the conversation after the live video is over, too. And guess what? Your comments count as engagement as well, so be sure to respond to every comment — even if you just say thank you, sprinkle in some emoji, or add a funny gif.  
    4. Share to multiple places. If you have a personal Facebook page, a business page, and a group page (or several!) you can share your live video to all of those places. If you have a guest, encourage them to share on their pages as well! The more places you share, the more people will see your video.
    5. Embed your video on your blog. If you grab the code to embed your Facebook videos on your blog or website, every view and every reaction to the video on your website counts toward Facebook’s measure of engagement as well! It’s just one more way to get some more traction.

Paying attention to your engagement and actively working to improve it means that your posts — and, in particular, your live videos — will be seen by more of the people you want to see them. And, over time, there’s some belief that better engagement numbers with your page overall mean that Facebook will show all of your posts more frequently to your followers.

Which is what we’re all after anyway!

Don’t forget to grab the Outline Your Livestream Strategy Worksheet now and start building your Livestream business strategy — it’s just one of the key resources we’re putting together for our Business Class members when we launch the Live Video Destination Guide, as well as case studies, best practices, using live video for webinars and much more. Click here to be the first to know when it goes live!

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