If you’re looking for a free way to increase engagement with your target audience, consider hosting a Facebook Live Q&A session. Facebook Live is a live video-streaming platform within the Facebook interface. When you use it to broadcast an interactive question-and-answer session, you’ll engage customers, prospects, industry insiders and others in a fun, casual environment.
We’ll explore tips for running an effective, impactful Facebook Live Q&A and touch on additional ways to make Facebook Live video more engaging.
5 tips for running a successful Facebook Live Q&A
During a live Q&A, your audience asks questions that you answer in real time. A Q&A differs from other video marketing practices and digital marketing strategies because interactions are immediate. Your audience receives instant answers to their questions, and you gain valuable real-time market research insights.
Consider these five tips to maximize your Facebook Live Q&A’s impact.
1. Promote your Facebook Live Q&A ahead of time.
Your audience must know about your livestream well in advance so they can plan accordingly. You won’t generate interest or excitement without providing advance notice to your target market. An effective promotional strategy for your livestream will garner more views and engagement.
Here are some tips for promoting your Q&A:
- Market your livestream. Use social media marketing to spread awareness via all your social platforms and email marketing to reach current customers and prospects. Emphasize how they’ll benefit from tuning in and submitting their questions.
- Start promoting early. Give yourself at least a few weeks to promote your livestream Q&A. Treat it like an event, instead of a spontaneous conversation, to create audience eagerness and enthusiasm.
- Share the details. State the date and time you’ll be going live, and encourage users to subscribe to live notifications so they’ll always know when you’re beginning any live video.
- Encourage questions. Ask your followers to submit questions ahead of time. You’ll get an idea of the information your audience wants while engaging them before the event even starts. As a bonus, you can fall back on these questions during your livestream if you run out of questions or experience a gap between questions.
2. Prepare the main points of your Facebook Live Q&A.
Q&As are tricky because you don’t want to seem overly rehearsed, but you must have some idea of what you’ll be discussing. It’s important to find the sweet spot between preparing and letting the livestream run organically.
Here are some Facebook Live Q&A preparation tips:
- Make an outline. To prepare, create an outline or bulleted list with the primary points and subjects you’d like to discuss during the livestream. This way, you won’t forget to mention them.
- Keep submitted questions nearby. If you’ve gathered questions from viewers ahead of time, keep them available for easy access once you’re live. You’ll be able to refer to these questions to avoid awkward pauses and keep the presentation running smoothly.
- Consider a moderator. If you’re answering questions directly from participants during the livestream, consider using a moderator to help you select the best questions.
3. Go live before broadcasting your Facebook Live Q&A.
Every technical element of your broadcast must go smoothly. To ensure this, consider going live before your official broadcast. You can change the privacy settings so only you can see and hear what you’re doing. This preparation can ensure everything runs smoothly when you go live in front of your audience.
When you go live early, do the following:
- Test your equipment to ensure your tools work correctly.
- Check your microphone and camera to make sure people can hear and see you properly.
- Ensure you’re in a well-lit room so viewers can see you clearly.
- Double-check that your internet connection is solid and won’t burn out midstream.
- If your setup needs a tripod for extra stability, purchase one and test it before your airdate.
Tip: ecord the entire Facebook Live Q&A presentation, and use it as a lead magnet on your website or post it to your Facebook business page or other social accounts.
4. Interact with viewers during the Facebook Live Q&A.
Part of what makes livestreams successful is the amount of user engagement they garner. An excellent way to boost user engagement is by interacting with viewers as they join and comment on your livestream Q&A session. Don’t hesitate to start a conversation or encourage more questions from users. If they’re already watching you, you know they’re interested.
Personalize your live Q&A by addressing users by their names when answering their questions. This will show them you’re paying attention to what they’re saying and will encourage them to stay on your stream longer. Facebook suggests planning to stay live for at least 10 minutes to increase engagement length, but you can broadcast for as long as four hours.
5. Go live regularly with Q&A events.
While it’s essential to treat each live Q&A as its own event, Q&A sessions should be part of your overall marketing strategy to increase user engagement. If you’ve hosted live events but haven’t gotten the numbers or traction you expected, consider making them a consistent part of your marketing plan.
When you arrive promptly and do what you promised, you demonstrate that your brand is reliable. You also increase engagement because your audience knows what to expect and when to tune in to your content. If you’re consistent with your schedule, future livestreams will yield increased interactions, views and shares.
More Facebook Live tips
Although Facebook Live Q&As are casual, planning will maximize your results. Use these tips to optimize Q&As or any Facebook livestream you host:
- Practice your Facebook Live presentation. Hosting a live Q&A – or any presentation – can be stressful. You must engage with your audience members and grab their attention while delivering value. Do a few dry runs with employees or others posing questions. Practice and prepare your main points so you aren’t stumbling over your words, trying to figure out what to say next. This preparation will help you tune your delivery so you don’t have awkward “ums” and “wells” as you answer questions. Practice can also help you formulate answers to unanticipated questions so you don’t feel put on the spot.
- Remind viewers what’s happening. Not everyone who shows up at your Facebook Live event will understand what’s going on. They might have stumbled across it on your feed or forgotten the subject. Latecomers may not have heard the question you’re answering. Repeat questions before you answer them, and periodically remind viewers what your Q&A or presentation is about. Greet late arrivals, and give them a brief recap.
- Give your livestream a title. Once you go live, add a title and a short description to your presentation. This is useful to latecomers or anyone who runs across your livestream in their news feed. If you reference other people or pages, tag them to give viewers more context.
- Dress carefully. It’s essential to look the part when you’re using video. How you dress and look will depend on your business and branding. An internet marketing guru can get away with a T-shirt and jeans, while a financial advisor might wear more professional clothing. Artists, designers and fashionistas can wear something a little edgier, as long as it’s not distracting.
- Pay attention to your visuals. In addition to your attire, be aware of other visuals, including your background, other people around you, and your facial expressions and body language. Follow webinar etiquette tips to ensure a professional image.
- Consider additional focal points. If your Q&A is longer than 15 minutes, consider showing co-presenters or visual aids, like a whiteboard or prepared slides. Viewers might get bored looking at your talking head for long stretches of time. Switching to another focal point once in a while can keep people’s attention.
- Have a call to action. Consider what you want your Q&A to accomplish. Once you answer viewers’ questions, what do you want them to do? Some possible calls to action include registering for a class or event, making a purchase, reading something or visiting your website.
Throughout your presentation, casually mention the action you’d like viewers to take. At the end of the session, make it very clear where you want them to go.
Did you know? Facebook marketing strategies, including livestreams, come with valuable metrics and insights. For Q&As, you can see minutes viewed, unique viewers, average watch time, peak live viewers, and viewer demographics.
Set up your Facebook Live Q&A for success
Hosting a live Q&A doesn’t have to be stressful. When you’re prepared and passionate about your subject, it’s easy to engage your audience and deliver value.
Remember to promote your Facebook Live Q&A and prepare your main points. Interact with viewers to show them you value their presence and input, and go live regularly to build a loyal audience.
Jared Atchison contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.