2016 saw the launch of ‘Facebook Live’: a real-time video streaming service, allowing Facebook users to broadcast from their phone straight to their News Feed. So why should you be excited? Because it’s a simple engaging way to use live video to communicate news and updates within your school, building authentic relationships with followers in real time.

The purpose of this guide is to help you learn the best tricks, making a difference in how many people see your school, how they engage, and how your live broadcast performs.

Broadcasting on Facebook Live

Step 1: Go to the News Feed on your School’s Facebook page and tap the red “Live” option icon; as you are posting on behalf of your school you’ll want to make the video public.

If you’re new to Facebook Live and simply want to test it first, switch the privacy setting to “Only Me.” You can find this option by clicking “More” and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

Step 2: Next give your broadcast a description, which appears like a status update above the video. You’ll want an attention-grabbing headline helping viewers understand what your broadcast is about.

Tap the icons at the bottom of your screen to tag any people appearing (if relevant), add the location from where you’re shooting, or share what you’re doing in the broadcast. These touches add personalisation, increase discoverability and make people want to watch.

Step 3: Click “Go Live” and after a short countdown… you’re live!

As soon as it’s streaming, your video appears in your News Feed like a regular post. The video will be a square, so it doesn’t matter whether you hold your mobile phone vertically or horizontally.Your broadcast can be up to 90 minutes long. The longer you broadcast, the more likely that people will find your video and view it.

Step 4: To keep viewers engaged, encourage them to interact with your broadcast. A simple script that introduces who you are, what the video is about, why you are recording live and if relevant, how a viewer can find out more. WHO, WHAT, WHY and HOW, simple!

While you’re broadcasting, you’ll see the time elapsed along with the number of viewers, and comments will show up live on the bottom of your feed (these appear in reverse chronological order, so keep in mind that the earlier ones may be further down). If necessary you can also block viewers during a broadcast by tapping the profile picture next to a viewer’s comment and then “Block.”

Click “Finish” to end your broadcast, and you’re done! The video will stay on your Page like any other video post. You can also go back and edit the description, change the privacy settings, or delete the video.

When to use Facebook Live

Here at Ambleglow, we’ve noticed schools have been relatively slow to take up live streaming, but it is a really effective method of delivering engaging content to your school community and for parents to feel close to the action; offering an emotional understanding of what their child does at school, or for attracting future pupils or staff members.

The next question we usually get asked is…“What should we live stream?

Open Days and Virtual Tours

This is a great way to give prospective pupils and their parents the chance to check out what you have to offer, particularly as they might not be living close by, or open to a wider audience such as students from overseas.

School Concerts and Events

If parents and family members are unable to make it to a performance, why not bring the performance to them? Live streaming gives them the ability to watch live from anywhere in the world. Make sure you promote it in advance and ensure you have plenty of battery life in your phone (or make sure it is plugged into a power source!).

Schools Sports Day

Again make sure you plan the recording in advance and broadcast each sporting event. If you share the event times to parents ahead of the day they will be able to tune in.

Assemblies

Recording school assemblies is a great way for parents to check in and connect, offering them a unique insight into your school’s culture.

Give it a go and let us know how you get on!