Best Tips For Pastors Streaming On Facebook
In light of the recent COVID-19 Virus outbreak, I am really seeing the immediate (and hopefully brief) future being all about engaging with your congregation on platforms like Facebook. So, I put together this quick tutorial to help you navigate the world of broadcasting live.
If you are not on Facebook yet, don't worry. It would be relatively simple to build an audience with your congregation. You can go live from your personal page for sure, but you probably want to let other people help you manage your account. It's a great idea to start a Facebook Page just for your church if you don't have one already.
If your church doesn't have a Facebook Page, now might be a good time to create one. What's the difference in a Page and a Group? Don't worry, you can have both...
- If you want to run any ads, you have to have a Facebook Page for your church
- A Group will allow you to have deeper conversations with your congregation
- People will tend to be more open and conversational in a "Group" than on a Page since the page is open to the world and a Group is something that you are a part of.
- It's easier to get more visibility in a Group. Facebook tends to naturally promote Groups over Pages. You will be easier to find if you have conversations in a group. If people "like" your Page, 98% still WILL NOT see your content organically, while if they "like" the group, EVERYBODY in the group will see it.
- My advice: Create BOTH a page and a group, but spend most of your effort in the Group
Here's how to do start a Group and/or Page
Once you are on Facebook and you have your Group page set up, It's time to go live!
How to go live on Facebook
Let's face it, you have a lot of competition on Facebook. Don't expect your congregation to tolerate a bad stream. They may do that for a while, but it's best to be a good steward of THEIR time too.
Tips for conducting a good Facebook Live broadcast:
- Be prepared
- know what you’re going to say, just like a sermon
- Have your “give” and connect links written down or memorized
- Make your links short and memorable. If you need to shorten a long website url, use a service like bit.ly. This will allow you to quickly reference a resource.
- Have your call to action ready
- Keep your camera close (most people watching from a phone as small as yours.. arms length is a good rule of thumb. If you keep it close, you will eliminate most of the problems you might incur.
- If you can, use the camera in the back of the phone (may need someone to help Frame you up. Usually that camera is better. This will keep you from constantly looking at yourself in your own camera, but you won't be able to read comments in real time (which can be distracting also). Decide accordingly.
- Use a room that has carpet and is small for acoustics, no noisy background.
- Make sure your background looks good (not too distracting)
- Make sure there is ample lighting. Just a simple lamp or the light fromin front of a window will do nicely.
IMPORTANT: When you go live, don’t “wait” for people to show up. Get right to some announcements, or teaching. Most people will be watching later and don’t want to sit through the waiting part. On Crosspointe's stream, people start leaving after a minute if they are not immediately engaged. You could engage them by asking them to say "hello" in the comments and that you will respond later...
It could be a good idea to start with music from somebody that will immediately engage your congregation if you really want to wait for an audience.
- If you can, have someone help you moderate and comment unless you are conducting a q&a
- Go online often. Have your live “scheduled”.. possibly every night. YOU be the nightly news
Conduct a "Watch Party" and re-engage with people watching it.
It's a good idea to tell people what to do next
- “Post your questions in the comments section”,
- "hit the share button if you know someone who needs this”
- “like the page so you will be notified"
Hopefully, this will get you into the world of streaming your content live.
If you need more help, Click here to get the Live Streaming Worksheet