When used correctly, Facebook Live is a great tool for building your practice and connecting with patients and prospective patients.
Facebook Live is a way to create live marketing broadcasts, question-and-answer videos, and more. This app supports your other activities on Facebook by helping you build interest in your social media pages, provide educational information about your practice, and help patients understand their health. Essentially, Facebook Live allows you to quickly create your own channel of live videos. It is easy for your followers on Facebook to provide comments, ask questions, and share your content with their friends.¹
You can create your own live broadcasts for your followers or friends on Facebook to view, comment on, and review later as a video posted to your page. With basic technical knowledge, you can plan and post a live broadcast of your own.
Before you begin, determine what you plan to accomplish with your broadcast and plan your content. Create a great title that will generate interest and shares on Facebook. The video’s name will be the first thing your followers see, so be sure to choose a short, succinct, and interesting title.¹
Think carefully about the content of your video. You may want to write a brief outline and review it before beginning your broadcast. Preparation will help you create better content and stay on message during your broadcast. Avoid rambling, discussing unrelated information or including inappropriate content, such as discussing personal patient information that may violate HIPAA.
If you plan to discuss examples from your work with patients, make sure everything you say fully complies with HIPAA and other regulations. You may also want to include disclaimers in your videos that encourage patients to see their doctors or make an appointment with you before they make any significant health changes.¹
Planning your content
Great ideas for content formats include live question and answer events, ‘behind-the-scenes’ broadcasts, interviews and patient testimonials, frequently-asked questions and answers about your practice, broadcasts from a speaking event, discussions about popular health topics, and live responses to recent news. You can be creative about mixing and matching these different formats and create a calendar of planned broadcasts for your followers to see.¹
Do include a call to action that gives your viewers an opportunity to use your advice or apply the information you provided in the video. Choose something that engages your viewers, is easy to commit to and is shareable.
Remember to invite your viewers to subscribe to your future broadcasts. If you have future broadcasts planned, let your viewers know when your next live broadcast is.¹
If you’re using a smartphone, make sure your device has the latest version of the Facebook app and is capable of making a video. Test the audio and camera capabilities to be sure your video will look and sound great. Some older devices are not capable of creating Facebook Live broadcasts, so be aware of the possibility that you may need to purchase a new smartphone or upgrade the software on your device.¹–²
Try creating a post and click the camera icon to create a video. There should be a ‘Go Live’ button you can click to begin your broadcast. Before you start, you may want to specify an audience so your friends, your followers or the public can view your video.
When you are ready, click the button and you will be given a countdown from three before the broadcast begins. Viewers are able to comment and react during the broadcast, so you may want to invite their live questions. When you are done with your video, click the ‘Finish’ button. You can now post your video or save, edit, or delete it.¹–²
If you are ready to connect with your Facebook followers, Live may be the best way to offer an interactive message and control your content. Get started learning about Live by practicing with a test video and a limited audience.
Once you feel comfortable with this new tool, plan events you can broadcast.
- Smith, M. “Facebook Live: What Marketers Need to Know.” Social Media Examiner. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-live-what-marketers-need-to-know/. Published: January 2016. Accessed: January 2017.
- “Facebook Live: Welcome.” Facebook. https://live.fb.com/golive/. Accessed: January 2017.