Get started with Facebook Live in five easy steps

By Leyl Black

If you’re marketing your medical group on Facebook and looking for ways to boost reach and engagement, you probably already know that video should be on your to-do list. But producing high-quality videos can cost thousands of dollars or more, which often deters practices from using video in their marketing.

This is why many companies are now using Facebook Live to create and live-stream video content on Facebook.

Facebook Live is a free video streaming service that lets anyone share live video with their followers on Facebook. It costs next to nothing to use — all you need is a video-enabled smartphone and a reliable internet connection — and for a few extra dollars, you can promote your video after the fact to new prospective patients.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Pick a topic.

The first step is to think about what your patients are likely to be interested in — what are some commonly asked questions or concerns for your patients? For example, a pediatrician’s office might do a video interview with a provider about how much sleep newborns need; a gynecology practice might interview one of their doctors about the IUD insertion process (here’s a great example of a Facebook Live interview on this topic from One Medical). If you’ve just moved into a swanky new office, take people on a video tour; if you’ve got a new doctor in the practice, interview them about why they joined, what they’re most excited about, and their approach to care.

2. Let your fans know when you’re planning to broadcast.

If you have a good-sized audience, build anticipation by letting them know when you’ll be going live with a written post. Facebook recommends posting about your upcoming broadcast one day before the event.

3. Include calls to action throughout the broadcast.

Make sure you’re letting people know what actions you want them to take throughout your video. For example, ask them to subscribe to your Live broadcast (by tapping on the “Live Subscribe” button) so that they can get notifications the next time you go live. Let them know that you’re currently accepting new patients, and give them your phone number or web address. Invite them to ask questions during the broadcast.

4. Be real.

Facebook Live works best when it’s unrehearsed and authentic. While you can generally plan your content ahead of time, don’t overly script what you’re going to do and say. When the camera starts rolling, just speak normally like you’re talking to a colleague or a patient. (Bonus points for engaging with commenters as questions and feedback come in.)

5. Promote your video afterward.

Once your live video is done, you can pay to promote the recorded video just like any other Facebook post. This is a great way to get your content in front of your existing patients who might have missed the broadcast or to reach new prospective patients.

Don’t forget to monitor how your videos are performing using Facebook’s video metrics.

Leyl Black is a marketing and communications executive with 20 years’ experience building high-impact programs for emerging companies. Most recently, she led the communications team at One Medical, which Fast Company named The #1 Most Innovative Company in Health in 2017. She is also a contributor to publications such as USA Today, Mashable, and Entrepreneur on marketing, PR, social media, and health tech topics.