Have you considered hosting a regular show on Facebook Live?
To discover creative ways to use Facebook Live, I interview Lou Mongello.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.
In this episode, I interview Disney expert Lou Mongello, author of multiple books and audio guides for visitors to Disney theme parks. He hosts the popular WDW Radio podcast and also broadcasts a live show on Facebook at Facebook.com/LouMongello.
Lou explores how to start a show using live video.
You’ll discover easy ways to get creative with Facebook Live.
Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below.
Scroll to the end of the article for links to important resources mentioned in this episode.
Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:
How Lou got into live video
When Lou began his Disney blog and community in New Jersey, he realized everything he was doing, even his podcast, was a one-way conversation. In 2007, when Ustream became a lot more accessible, he decided to give it a try.
Lou recalls the first night he did a live stream. He’d told his wife he was going to try it out and would be back in 10 minutes. Six hours later, he was still online with a couple of hundred people who were watching, chatting, and engaging. Since then, he’s been broadcasting live video every week.
Between his weekly shows and any ad hoc episodes, Lou believes he’s done close to 1,000 shows to date.
He thought Periscope was the best of the bunch until he got his account verified by Facebook and received early access to Facebook Live. Lou simulcasted his show, using two different devices to compare the quality, engagement, and viewer experience of the two broadcasts. Very quickly, in late 2015, he let people know he was moving off of Periscope and going all-in on Facebook Live.
Listen to the show to discover what Lou loves about the growth of live video.
How Lou uses Facebook Live
Lou does a live broadcast show every week. Most episodes are done from his home studio, and topics range from the week’s most recent Walt Disney World news and simple Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) and Q&As to showing off things in his collections.
He says his in-studio shows are more about the conversation, while the offsite shows (such as when he goes to a Disney park, on a cruise, etc.) are about conveying the experience.
Watch & chat with me LIVE! Let’s talk Disney, and Ask Me Anything! #tw
Posted by Lou Mongello on Wednesday, June 29, 2016
For his Wednesday discussions of Walt Disney World news, Lou talks about what’s going on, and also makes the audience part of the broadcast. If a new restaurant is opening, an attraction is coming, or something is changing, he flips it around to make it a question. For example, he’ll ask, “What do you guys think?” or “What’s your favorite place to eat on property?”
Whatever you talk about drives engagement, Lou continues. He always has questions in his head to initiate a conversation, and instead of asking a question, letting people respond, and moving on to the next question, he reads every response in the comments so he can further the conversation with people. Lou stresses that it’s important to acknowledge individuals during a live broadcast, because when someone’s name is called, it means a lot to them.
His AMA episodes allow the audience to ask him questions that are personal, business-related, or relate to an upcoming Disney trip. Lou tries to go through questions as quickly as possible, and normally does a lightning round at the end. He’ll do two minutes of rapid-fire questions and answer as many as he can.
People who want to host live broadcasts, but don’t know what to talk about and don’t want to read from a script should consider AMAs because they let the audience drive the content, the conversation, and the direction.
LIVE with Lou Mongello from WDW Radio. Watch and chat with me LIVE! Let’s talk Disney, Ask Me Anything, and play 20 Questions for a chance to WIN! (Like it? Please Share it!)
Posted by Lou Mongello on Wednesday, July 6, 2016
By simply turning on the camera in your office during an AMA, you give people a peek into your business and your life, and audiences love that. For example, Lou shares that in his office, he sits in front of a large bookshelf that holds items related to Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Spider Man, and more.
He’ll occasionally add new items to the shelf, and when his audience asks questions about it, he can bring it on camera to tell a story. And when he’s asked about his favorite thing, he’ll respond and ask about their favorite personal items. Suddenly, it has become a conversation.
For the offsite shows, Lou says, it doesn’t necessarily matter where he goes. Whether it’s to ride Space Mountain or try a new restaurant in Disney Springs, the goal is to take viewers with him on a first-person adventure and connect them to that experience. His hope is after he shares something at Disney, his audience will enjoy it at the park in real life.
Listen to the show to hear the challenges of doing AMA shows.
How to prepare to go live
Lou’s first bit of advice is not to over-prepare, since the point of being live is being real. People like a live broadcast’s raw, unrehearsed authenticity.
That being said, however, Lou thinks you still need to do some preparation, because you don’t want to turn on the camera and have nothing to say. As a host, you should be ready to talk immediately and prompt conversations, especially early on. To help, you can write out bullet points on a couple of topics so you have questions to ask the audience.
Lou says not to worry about audience size, at least at the beginning of your show. As people come in, especially early on with one, five, or ten people in the audience, he says you should acknowledge those people by name and ask where they’re from. It’s the easiest way to get people talking, so he does this for a few minutes before he gets into the content of his show.
Watch, chat, let’s talk Disney, and Ask Me Anything LIVE now!
Posted by Lou Mongello on Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Lou also shares technical tips. In his home studio, he uses his desk, a couple of lamps, and an overhead light. People are forgiving to certain degree about the technical elements, Lou explains, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money on equipment and lighting. You just need people to be able to see you.
This also goes for audio. He thinks sometimes the iPhone earbuds are even better than having a big mic in front of your face, because the mic is a barrier. When he films in the Disney Parks, he doesn’t even use his headset, unless he’s in an incredibly noisy situation. Part of people connecting to the experience isn’t just what they see, it’s what they hear.
Watch & chat (and ride!) with me LIVE from Disneyland! #tw
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Posted by Lou Mongello on Wednesday, May 18, 2016
On location, Lou won’t even use the light on his iPhone. Whether he’s in Disney or another venue, Lou is respectful of the people around him who are enjoying it themselves. He doesn’t talk loudly, turn a light on, or interrupt somebody else’s experience for the sake of his own.
He also shares that because you can’t bring selfie sticks into Disney anymore, which is fine with Lou, he sometimes brings a baby Gorilla tripod and a small external battery charger.
Listen to the show to discover how to craft the headline for your live broadcast.
Considerations for filming on location
Depending on where you are, Lou cautions, it’s wise to ask for permission to film ahead of time. It’s important to remember other people around you might not feel comfortable if you’re live broadcasting, especially if they’re with kids. Lou says he deliberately doesn’t show kids on-screen, unless he talks to the parents first.
The toughest thing to deal with on location is the cell signal, especially in a place like Disney World or Disneyland, because there are 40,000 people trying to upload at the same time. For this reason, Lou tends to stay off of local WiFi, and uses his phone because he gets a better signal. Prior to going live, he also shuts down all of his apps and reboots his phone to clear the cache and the memory, so nothing is running in the background.
Listen to the show to learn why people don’t stop and ask Lou what he’s doing when he films at Disney.
Lou knows some people who broadcast from a studio while one person monitors the comments and another takes care of the video. Yet 99.9% of broadcasters do everything themselves.
You’re trying to make sure the video is up, and your signal and battery are good. Plus, you need to watch the comments, think of what to say next, and not trip over your feet as you walk. While it is very much a juggling act, for Lou that’s part of the fun.
Lou asks questions often throughout his broadcasts, because he doesn’t want the show to be about him, but about the audience. He wants to hear their stories, so he encourages sharing. Lou wants to learn about his audience and their experiences at Disney, because he’ll do his best to remember the person next time they come on the show.
Filming on location is easier if you’re wondering what to talk about, because you aren’t talking, you’re showing people around. Give them a tour, a first-person adventure, and connect them to that experience, whether it’s a conference, a convention, or a process of doing something. It’s not about the content you’re creating, it’s the content being created by the environment.
Anyone can show off his or her surroundings, whether it’s a restaurant, hotel, office, factory, or warehouse. People want to look behind the curtain, so all you need to do is give people a how-to hack, show them how to build something, or share how to use your product.
The key is to give your audience something of value when you’re on air.
Listen to the show to hear more ideas for Facebook Live video broadcasts.
Want a fun distraction? Pull Slither up in your browser, or download the app on your iPhone or Android. Slither is a game that lets you move around a world as a snake, along with other players. This goal is to intercept the other snakes, knock them off the board, and eat their dots.
The game also works in airplane mode, and it’s an absolute blast. Check it out. After all, marketers need a break every now and then, too.
Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how you like Slither.
Other Show Mentions
Today’s show is sponsored by Social Media Success Summit 2016.
When you decide to go to an event, it always comes down to the content and reputation of the event producers.
We have amazing speakers who always bring original content to our events. The Social Media Success Summit is the equivalent of our physical conference, Social Media Marketing World, except it happens online. That means it’s a lot less expensive, and you can consume it from wherever you happen to be.
This is our 8th year and more than 27,000 marketers have attended the Summit over the years.
You’ll soak in 39 social media marketing sessions taught by the top social media pros, including Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day), Michael Stelzner (founder, Social Media Examiner), Kim Garst (author, Will the Real You Please Stand Up), Joel Comm (co-author, Twitter Power 3.0), and Amy Porterfield (co-author, Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies). And many more. They’ll share their latest social media marketing tactics with you.
Plus, Lou Mongello will be speaking on 10 Ways to Grow Your Business on Facebook Live. Check out the entire agenda.
Discover the best and newest ways to market your business on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Find new ways to improve your content and measure your results with sessions on video, live video, visual marketing, analytics, and marketing tools–all from the comfort of your home or office.
Register now for Social Media Success Summit 2016.
Listen to the show!
Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:
- Learn more about Lou on his website.
- Tune in to watch Lou’s Facebook Live videos.
- Listen to WDW Radio.
- Follow @LouMongello.
- Check out Disney.
- Learn more about Ustream, Livestream, Meerkat, and Periscope.
- Take a look at the Gorilla tripod.
- Explore Disney World and Disneyland.
- Check out Slither on iTunes and Google Play.
- Watch our weekly Social Media Marketing Talk Show on Fridays at 8 AM Pacific on Huzza.io, or tune in on Facebook Live.
- Read the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
Ways to subscribe to the Social Media Marketing podcast:
- Click here to subscribe via iTunes.
- Click here to subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed).
- You can also subscribe via Stitcher.
What do you think? What are your thoughts on live video? Please leave your comments below.