How to do Your First Facebook Live Broadcast


We recently had an event where we discussed Facebook Live. I will admit it is something I have not been driven to try. Some people like being behind the camera and some people like being in front of it. I am the former.

There ARE some great reasons to try Facebook Live:

  • It is an easy way to really show your audience/customers behind the scenes and get a feel for who you are.
  • People connect with video. It is as close as face to face as we can get.
  • Your closest followers (hot leads, company fans, repeat buyers) will get a notification that you are live.
  • You can interact in real time with your viewers.

The first Facebook live is the hardest and you will feel like you are talking to thin air. All the regular Live-ers will tell you, you just have to do it. It will be weird, you may not have a huge audience but… it will only get easier. If it is awful – you can always delete it.

“Be Fearless, be playful, be consistent – and you can always delete it!”
– Kathleen Deely Pierce, Maine Restaurant Association

Since now we all know the first Live broadcast will be awkward, let’s make it easier with some steps to follow.

Steps for Your First Facebook Live Broadcast

  • Have a plan – What will be the purpose of the broadcast? What is the ONE thing you want people to take away?
  • Is there a co-marketing opportunity? – Should you have a guest with you? If you are camera shy, like me, this could take some pressure off. Plus, you can get out in front of your co-host’s network.
  • Find a niche or angle – Nervous? Find an angle that makes you more comfortable. Think about broadcasting from your favorite coffee shop, bar, nature spot. Heck, invite your dog along if it makes you feel better.
  • Premarket – let people know you will be doing this ‘Join me live Friday at 2pm where I am interviewing our CEO about recent changes at our company’.
  • Make sure you have enough battery life on your phone!
  • Make sure you have a good internet connection!
  • Know how you are going to hold your phone/camera – I know from experience ketchup bottles are unreliable (see video below). A selfie stick may sound silly but Kathleen Deely Pierce swears it helps.
  • Add your text to your update first – Tag your location, who you are with, and what you are doing. That way whenever someone tunes in, they have some context.
  • During your broadcast have a plan to try to react to comments –  Take advantage of the instant feedback. Even just a ‘Hi, Beth! Thanks for joining us’ goes a long way.
  • Go as long as you feel like – There are various trains of thought on how long your broadcast should be. Kathleen recommended at our event to broadcast for a long time. She said your viewers continue to grow and you need to give them time to get to the broadcast and tune in. I have had other people say to keep them short. I would recommend, you do what feels right for you.
  • Save the story as an update – After the broadcast, you have the option to keep your broadcast as a page update. If you didn’t hate it, if it was valuable, or if it was even close to those things… keep it and let other people catch it later. My first Facebook Live is below. Do I love it? Absolutely not but… I learned a lot and I know the next one will be easier 🙂
  • Postmarket the broadcast –  Let people know after the fact about your video. Write a blog post (like this one), put it in an email newsletter, boost it etc. Get the biggest bang for your broadcast by making it available and letting people see it after it was done.

There you go! Hopefully, that will help you with your first Facebook Live broadcast. What other tips would you give to folks like you who want to get started?

At each Social Media Breakfast, I ask attendees for topics they want to talk about or cool stuff they are seeing locally. I have had a couple people mention the awesome online marketing from Fire & Company and the great people behind it.

You may have seen them – the beautiful vintage red trucks turning out gorgeous AND delicious wood-fired food at events, weddings, and at some of your favorite local breweries.

I reached out to Ryan Carey and we got a few minutes to talk about how he is using social media to grow their brand and get new customers – all while being super busy with their business.

On having a Social Media Strategy

A post shared by Fire and Company (@fireandco) on

Ryan, who is responsible for the social media for Fire & Company, is very aware that their brand and why people do business with them is about more than just the food. They have the vintage catering trucks, they work alongside some other top-notch professionals in their industry, and go to some beautiful places for events. Their story, is part of the whole story.

Fire & Company tries to capture not just the food but the whole event experience in their photos. Prospective clients will then be able to see themselves in the story and want an experience like that.

I need to add, the product from Food & Company is beautiful and delicious. With so many details in the story, it is also important that they exceed expectations with their specific piece – the food.

When asked if the posts are pre-planned or happen in the moment, Ryan said his employees make fun of him for taking pictures all the time at events but he actually prefers to post later. He says taking a day or two to reflect on the moments he captures gives him a better perspective on if it is worth sharing.

Take Your Own Photos or Hire Someone

A post shared by Fire and Company (@fireandco) on

Capturing the essence of your brand in photos is so important. Many businesses struggle with whether they should take their own or hire someone. Ryan told us he takes most of the photos they share but it is clear he has an eye for photography.

He also acknowledged that because of the industry he is in, there are professional photographers around who take wonderful photos. He posts a lot of his own photos but when he posts one from the photographers, he is always sure to give them credit.

Boosting Facebook Videos

I asked Ryan for an example of something he tried that went really well. His first thought was a few times he posted a video to Facebook and boosted them. He said those were viewed between 6,000 – 10,000 times. He was impressed that with very little effort, he can take a video on his phone, post it, and then boost it to his Facebook audience and friends of that audience and reach so many people.

Tying those boosted posts to business is difficult for them right now but the branding is important for them. Also, referrals are a huge part of their business, so showing connections on Facebook is an advantage for them.

Trying New Things

When asked if there was anything new for the 2017 season, like many others I have talked to, Ryan wants to try getting into SnapChat. Live events, weddings, and parties always have so much going on. There is a bunch of entertaining content that he thinks could make for some fun Snaps.

We love what Ryan and Fire & Company are doing with their social media. It is simple but yet stunning. They are definitely capturing more than just food in their posts. We look forward to seeing what the 2017 season has in store for them!

If you have a company you think I should talk to, let me know!

Some of you may already know about the Facebook Debugger tool, but I thought I’d share it for those who don’t. It’s a handy little tool for developers that’s been around for awhile, but it can come in handy for all of us.

Ever start to post something to your Facebook page and run into a not-so-great link preview? Sometimes it’s missing an image when you know there are many on the page. Other times the description snippet is old and doesn’t accurately reflect the current content. Of course you can edit the title and description if you click on them in the preview, but if that link then gets shared by your followers — it reverts back to the original. You may not be getting the preview you expect because the data has been cached.

Enter the Facebook Debugger tool: pop the URL you’re having an issue with into the tool and voila! — the cache is cleared. It will spit out a lot of technical info, but what you care about is the cache clear happening behind the scenes. When you go to post your link again you’ll see an updated link preview that reflects all of the current content. The tool wasn’t originally developed for this specific purpose, but that’s ok — still serves a great purpose.

Anyone else have any handy tools they use like this one?

Using the Facebook debugger tool

This post is a guest post from SMBME friend, David Pride. David owns Social Impressions, a Social Media Marketing company, specializing in the hospitality market. He is also the Sales Manager for the Portland Harbor Hotel. People can find David and additional blogs at

The cheese burger I had for lunch is causing me some acid, actually it’s making me wish I had some Pepto Bismol.

As a kid I never liked the taste of it, pink, slimy, and slightly minty. In fact, it reminded me of the pink candies my Nana’s not-so-secret boyfriend used to bring her. She kept them in a glass jar on her table. Whenever he would leave her home the jar would be filled with these round pink chalky candies. Perhaps it was some sort of parting kiss that us grandkids shouldn’t have known about…

Enough of me reminiscing about lovely Nana…I started this story with one goal, to tell you about my amazing experience with Pepto Bismol, masters of Pink.

About six months ago I started following Pepto Bismol on Facebook because I somehow came across their fan page. I thought it would be interesting to see what they talked about and see how they interacted with their fans. Almost immediately I was impressed with their snarky attitude and willingness to poke fun at their gas preventing, fart squashing, pink slime juice.

The first post I noticed exclaimed “We make parties better.” It had roughly 110 responses from their followers everything from the expected “I chug bottles of this stuff” to folks just chiming in and agreeing with the Pink. Every person who interacted with Pepto was acknowledged and not a single comment disregarded. I was totally impressed and soon I found myself interacting with Pepto because I wanted to be part of the fun.

One afternoon I even tagged Pepto in my status begging them to bring me a bottle after a traditional Maine Beans and Weenie dinner I had consumed the night before. They acknowledged my tag and even commented back. I felt even more connected with the brand I once overlooked as a child. What really won me over was what happened next…

One unsuspecting afternoon I opened my email and there before me was a message from my Pink pals. It said “David, we appreciate you interacting with us and we would like to thank you for your friendship, may we have your mailing address?” At first I was suspicious of it being a scam but judging by the email address it came from and other legitimate items in the email I responded in kind, with my mailing address.

Three weeks later a box arrived. Inside of this box was all things pink:

  • A pink insulated lunch bag,
  • a Pink LL Bean beach towel,
  • a Pink LL Bean Canvas Tote Bag,
  • and a handwritten note in pink from Pepto that read –

    “Thanks for being our friend and interacting with us.
    Enjoy this gift and stay Pink.”

I was so impressed I immediately took all the stuff laid it out on my couch and began snapping pictures for Facebook and Twitter – tagging Pepto in every post. Soon roughly 1,000 of my closest friends were seeing Pepto pink in their Facebook and Twitter Feeds.

Guess what else happened? My friends and followers began asking me about Pepto… and I began telling them about Pepto. Before I knew it I was the Benny Hinn of the acid reduction world. Pepto Bismol had made me a product evangelist for just the price of the few items listed above and for acknowledging my comments.

The next week at Shaw’s I found myself noticing Pepto advertisements, and I even bought a bottle for the upstairs bathroom just in case my acid acted up again. Being a man of larger carriage I knew that Doritos consumed tonight meant Doritos consumed tomorrow morning also. Quite unexpectedly I found myself wanting to support Pepto and wanting to tell my friends to do the same.

There are many lessons to be learned here. One of which is don’t melt sharp cheddar cheese on Cool Ranch Doritos at 11pm, or the Pink stuff will be a must by 3am. But the other lessons are a bit more fun.

  • Lesson #1 is that Pepto posted fun content that made me want to interact with them.
  • Lesson #2 is that Pepto acknowledged the followers who commented back and continued the conversation.
  • Lesson #3 is that Pepto saw someone who was excited about their conversations and capitalized on it by making that person (me) feel even more connected to their brand. In return I made sure my friends knew that Pepto – for lack of a better term – is the shit. (Couldn’t resist).

Am I suggesting that all of us who have Facebook Business pages begin mailing stuff to our followers and fans? Can we afford that? Probably not, and we probably don’t have the budget that Pepto has either. What we do have that our friends in Pink also have is personality and the ability to make the members of our community feel special. When I feel such a connection to a brand that when I don’t check their Facebook page I feel like I may be missing out on something, guess what? They’ve done something right.

If a product that focuses on diarrhea, stomach aches, and flatulence can make me feel special – pretty sure I can do the same for the followers of the companies I represent.

I’ll drink (the pink) to that.

Cheeseburger photo credit: TheCulinaryGeek

You are here
Photo credit: chokola

In a huge win for geolocation services like Foursquare and Gowalla, Facebook has quietly said they will be stepping out of the check-in game. Facebook launched it’s checkin service a year ago and it just never caught on like other services had. Facebook users will be able to update their status and tag a location instead of ‘checking-in’.

Some users may be upset but Facebook was reporting that only about 6% of users were using the application the way they had hoped. Early adopters of geolocation say that they weren’t using Facebook places because they were already invested in another geolocation service that offered them more functionality. Some have even said that they didn’t use Facebook check-ins because they were not as close to their Facebook friends as they were to their Foursquare/Gowalla friends and they weren’t sure they needed all of their Facebook friends knowing where they were at any given time.

The takeaways:

  1. Facebook can’t destroy everything. Facebook Places was supposed to destroy Foursquare and Gowalla but they seemed to make it through unscathed. Actually, Foursquare is thriving. Many feel Facebook (and Google) wait to see what applications become popular and then they just launch it themselves.
  2. Being the biggest doesn’t mean you are perfect for every application. Facebook may have the problem of being too big. Adding a geolocation service made a lot of people uncomfortable. An online community that has your significant other, best friends, old high school friends, neighbors, old professors, your grandparents and an ex or two – may not be the right audience to tell where you are located at all times.
  3. Early adopters are no longer on Facebook. A service like geolocation gets momentum from early adopters but now Facebook is the norm, not something new. Trying new advanced functions may turn off the general Facebook population.

What do you think? Did any of you use Facebook check-ins a lot?

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August 16th 2019



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