Are you a new streamer that loves social media and is looking to grow? Or perhaps you’re looking for an alternative to Twitch, Facebook Live is a potential way to switch things up. If you’re already familiar with Facebook for connecting with family and friends, there are a lot of advantages if you’re an active user. You most likely already have one for personal use with friends and family. Bring them along! Starting where you already have a following can put you ahead of the game. As long as you don’t mind mom stopping in sometimes.
Facebook Live provides an established platform to create your content on. In the recent years they have pushed Live and reel-style video content that makes this a platform you most definitely can use to grow.
If you’ve already got a Facebook profile that represents you as a content creator, or you’d prefer to stream from your personal account, proceed to the Starting a Live Stream section below.
Building a Creator Page
Unless you want to stream using your personal Facebook page, you are going to want to create a Page. Besides the benefits of keeping personal information secret, it allows you to separate streaming from other income for tax purposes.
To create a Page, head over to this Create a Page link.
You’ll need to pick a name and a way to describe your page to get started. Utilize a name that is consistent across multiple platforms is the most effective marketing plan. You must also pick at least 1-3 categories that describe your content to your potential audience.
Once you enter your categories, the page will prompt you to create a small biography to introduce yourself to new viewers. Once this is complete, you can publish your page.
Set up the details of your business in 5 steps. Facebook will ask for the hours of operation and contact information for your business. The only requirement is a valid phone number.
After that, Facebook will take you through optimizing your page for publication. This includes a profile photo and cover image, as well as some aesthetic options and various customization options. This will help viewers recognize you when they land on your page and give new people a chance to get to know you. These are so your fans can associate the page with you and find you easier! There’s even a Send Notifications button here so you can let all your current followers know you’ve created a page.
A lot of creators go by an alias online to hide their identity. It is possible to set up your gaming creator page like this as well so your personal one isn’t linked. Just make sure to not use any personal information on your Gaming Creator page and do not send out a follower wide notification. This can help keep your identity protected.
The last step before you start adding posts to your page or going Live on Facebook, is to invite people you know to like your content! The great part about Facebook is that you probably already know lots of people, so you can start off your audience reach strong by inviting lots of people to like your Page.
Starting a Live Stream
Now that you have your page, head over to Facebook Live Producer to start creating a live stream for Facebook.
From this studio you can plan a casual live event, or set up a live event and build hype with a guest list and audience reminders!
If you choose to go live, be sure to check if you’re like to go live from your main Facebook profile, or if you’d prefer to go live from your business Facebook Page, select the ‘Post to Page you manage’ option.
On this main Live Producer page, you will see a few things that you may be familiar with if you have ever live streamed before. Like YouTube, Facebook gives you the option to just choose your webcam and go live! There is also basic screen share support and the option to select any webcam or audio source you’re like – though you are limited to one of each through the Live Producer.
However, if you’re a streamer with a setup, you might want to consider a few extra steps.
Select the key-shape option, indicating you have access to your own streaming software. Clicking this option will bring up some advanced settings, as well as your Server URL and Stream Key – which are the two main items that streaming services such as OBS or X-split need to go live.
Facebook Live OBS Stream Key Setup
In this example, we will use OBS. Copy the Stream Key to put into your favorite streaming software. In the File tab, select Settings, then Stream. In the drop down menu, select Facebook Live, and post the Stream Key copied here. A good tip here is to toggle ON the Persistent Stream Key in Advanced Settings back on the Facebook Live page. It will make sure the key never changes so you aren’t repeating these steps every time you want to go live.
With the streaming software setup, head back to the Facebook hub, choose a good title and description, set up a thumbnail for the stream, and you are set. To go live, Click the Go Live Now button and start your streaming software.
Facebook Live Producer Dashboard
To get to this dashboard, click ‘Gaming’ with the three panel icon along the bottom left of the screen.
This dashboard will show you details about your video, alerts, comment moderation, metrics, insights, leaderboards for chat and your comment panel. All these modules are there by default. You can actually remove any areas you’re not interested in seeing, and can pop-out or replace modules where you’d like.
The Live Producer has several interactive abilities much like other streaming services. You can create polls, ask your audience questions and add graphic features. Finally, let’s look at the live dashboard.
Scheduling Future Events
Want to schedule some streams in advance as a heads-up to your audience? This can be done easily from the same screen. Clicking ‘Create Live Video Event’ will let you post the stream on the timeline as a future event. This will also update with live video once you hit that go live button. Very east and an excellent way to advertise events, streams, and videos.
If you are on the go, you can use the Facebook app to connect and stream live at any time. Just download the Facebook app, log in, and select “Go Live” from the drop down options. Allow permissions for Facebook to use your camera and microphone, add a description in the text field or location, and press “Go Live.”
Facebook is a multi-million user platform and can be utilized by any creator for growth if used correctly and consistently. Even if going Live on Facebook isn’t for you – sharing clips and vertical content, or building community spaces with a Creator Page is a great idea. Take the plunge and try something new, reach a brand new audience with Facebook.