I had this brilliant idea last week (at least I thought it was brilliant). I was going to a rodeo to watch a friend, so instead of just videoing a friend, and sending the video to his wife — I thought I would do a Facebook Live and she could watch and listen live. When did I decide this? I decided at the rodeo, after they played the National Anthem. In other words, I decided minutes before the event my friend was riding in.
I’ve worked with some Facebook Live videos before — both watching, and filming — but in all the cases the focus of my video was a human. This proved to be the wrong kind of practice. I was also sitting behind a fence — so I was trying to shoot my video through a wire fence. I still thought i could do it. I told my friend’s wife to join thru Facebook, and I’d broadcast the bareback. Theoretically — if I was successful only one person would know — and if I failed only 1 person would know. The cowboys started riding. I tried to follow them thru the squares in the wire fence — OMG — one horse just blew past us like he was in the Kentucky Derby. I was thinking I hope I didn’t make my friend seasick. Uh oh. All of a sudden — people started joining my video! I looked down at my phone and there were 45 people watching — one of whom was commenting that he was getting seasick. I didn’t have a tripod. Uh oh dude, you’ll just have to deal with it!
Here’s the big fail. I was not familiar enough with doing Facebook live from my phone to know exactly how much of what I saw on my phone, went thru to the people watching. While I saw the whole horse, the people watching only saw flying horse feet. For cowboy after cowboy — more flying horse feet. In hind sight — I probably would’ve done a better job had I used my ipad — which I had with me in my purse. But my iPad gets the data signal from my phone, and I thought if I was sharing live video I ought to have the best signal I could. Now 45 people all saw me fail at Facebook Live. My degree is in Public Relations, but it doesn’t take a degree to know that failing in front of 45 people is bad PR. To be fair — I kept broadcasting a few event riders after the Bareback Bronc Riding – and they were much better.
So here are my lessons!
- Practice first in the same environment. (Don’t practice for rodeo by doing Facebook Live in an interview in your living room).
- Decide which gadget will do the best job. In my case — I think an iPad would have done a better job.
- Until you’re comfortable with the quality of your work — broadcast from your personal page, and not from a business or fan page where people might join randomly!
- When you’re confident of your work, let people know when you are going to do a Facebook Live. If I got 45 viewers randomly — it could have been hundreds (or more) if I planned for it and let people know.
I should’ve known better. I have conducted training for years, and we had less than a handful of technical issues in that time, because we planned, tested remotely, tested on site, and when it was time to “Go-Live” we were ready for any contingency. Duh, follow your own rules, Becky. Next time I will.
If you want further proof — that I didn’t make this whole story up — here’s my facebook live. All 8 minutes of it. Be sure to check the second video below — for the proof that I got better!
By later in the rodeo — I was getting better, but still learning to deal with the fence in front of me. This is 67 year old Mary Burger, who’s leading the world in barrel racing and she’s my hero because she’s older than me, and she’s winning more than the younger women! More proof that age is just a number. However, when she goes around the third barrel, you’ll see that I have an issue because the wire of the fence, blocks that whole barrel.
If you’re using Facebook Live to promote your business — what lessons have you learned? Comment here – I’d love to chat about your experience!