We've been a fan of Facebook Live for a while now. Here are our top five reasons why:
- It's integrated directly into Facebook.
Unlike other live-streaming apps, Facebook Live is actually part of the Facebook platform where most church audiences are already engaging. So as soon as you "go live," it goes out to your followers!
- It brings a new level of authenticity.
Using Facebook Live is a great way to reach out to the thousands of people following you and connect with them on a personal and authentic level. The quality and expectation of a Facebook Live video isn't very high, so you can keep it casual and be authentically you without having to worry about a ton of production value, lighting or sound equipment (although we do recommend that you think about camera angles and lighting before you jump onto Facebook Live). Test it first, and make sure that your iPhone is centered on a tripod or that someone else is holding it, so it isn't shaky.
- The video lasts forever.
Periscope live-streams only last for 24 hours, but Facebook will save your video forever. This is a great way to build out the video content on your Facebook page. You can also repurpose the video and embed it into your website.
- The comments and questions are super easy to answer, and they live on with the video.
We like Periscope, but the questions fade away after the live video is over. However, the comments and questions on Facebook show up and stay right alongside the video, so anyone watching it later can see not only what you said in the video but how you responded to people's comments or questions. It really adds another level of depth to your videos.
- Facebook shows live videos to a wider section of your audience!
The unfortunate part about Facebook is that because of the algorithm, only a small percentage of your audience sees the posts you make. However, because they are trying to expand Facebook Live, they will show live videos to almost 10 times the number of people compared to a normal post!
Ready to use Facebook Live? Here are seven ways you can use it to engage with your congregation and connect with potential visitors:
- Monday Morning Recap: Have the pastor give a short video recap of the sermon along with tips of how to apply the message during the upcoming week.
- A Moment with a Ministry: Highlight one of your main ministries (youth, women, outreach, etc.) and have them share a tip of the day (or week) that's related to their ministry focus, upcoming events or a general inspiration.
- Youth Interview: Once a week, during a youth ministry gathering, chat with a student. This can be very casual, or you can choose specific interview questions to ask.
- Special Event Coverage: Give your congregation the opportunity to connect with special events, even when they can't attend. Live-stream guest speakers, youth gatherings and other exciting events that your members don't want to miss.
- Live Tours: Check out your analytics and look for spikes in "Visitor Page" activity. Based off of those numbers, choose a day and time to live-stream a tour of your facility in order to engage with possible newcomers.
- Looking into Outreach: Let people see what serving looks like at your church. Live-stream community outreach, church work days and weekend ministries.
- Small Group Gathering: Have small group leaders let visitors and members "come into their home" by choosing one leader each month to live-stream part, or all, of a small group meeting. This allows potential group members to get a sneak peek at what they'd be joining.
Director of Marketing