Facebook Live has introduced an innovative new option to reach your audience.

You no longer have to confine yourself to updating short video updates after an event has passed or to “live blog” with snippets of text as you report from an event. Now, you can broadcast a stream in real time to your audience just as if you were reporting a news program.

Since this is a relatively new feature, you may still be a little confused about how to start using it or how to get the most out of it to influence your audience.

Tech blogger Hillel Fuld sat down with CodeFuel Vice President of Marketing Angie Geffen to talk about this new technology and its potential. You can check out that session here, or you can read on to get some top tips for getting start and being successful with Facebook Live:

Create a Unique Offering

Everyone and their grandmother can post a video of themselves reacting to watching a show or singing along to a popular song — and does.

You need to create something unique that is worthwhile for your audience to watch.

Take advantage of the access that only you have to create unique videos. For example, if you attend an industry event, broadcast live from that event. If you can snag an exclusive interview with an expert in your field, broadcast it live instead of waiting to post it after the fact.

The fewer people that are offering something, the more interesting and special it seems to be. Make sure you are among those that are offering something rare.

Invest in Good Equipment

You can take video with any smart phone with a camera, but that doesn’t mean you should.

Low-quality video will reflect poorly on your brand. Your audience may think that the products and services you offer have the same poor quality and they won’t buy.

Invest in a good quality camera and other equipment to improve the look and sound of your videos. You may want to purchase items such as a high-quality microphone, green screen, professional backdrops, and good lighting.

You don’t need the best setup that money can buy, but you should purchase the highest quality you can to create a professional-looking video.

Create a Content Strategy

Just like you create a content strategy for your blog, you need to create a content strategy for your Facebook Live videos.

Developing a calendar is the best way to create your strategy, as it will include a clear list of dates and video topics that you can plan around to create a steady stream of videos.

However, if you aren’t able to develop a plan in that much detail, you can at least develop a plan for the frequency of your videos, the type of videos you will produce, or even the roles that your team members will take in creating these videos. Therefore, you may not know what you will record until the week of the video, but if you at least know that you are going to put out a video every week, you can be thinking ahead and planning accordingly.

Don’t be Afraid to Experiment

Recording live video can be very challenging. Don’t feel like you have to have every aspect of your video planned or that you can’t deviate from your plan.

You will make mistakes on camera. The unexpected will happen. Instead of trying to prevent that, it is better to remain flexible and focus on how you can learn and grow from those mishaps.

If your mic drops out during a recording, you can make changes to your tech setup to ensure that mistakes like that don’t happen again. If someone you are interviewing goes rogue during your talk, you can create a better vetting process for on-camera guests.

The way you handle mistakes and mishaps on the air will also show your audience what kind of service and professionalism you have to offer them. If you’re able to roll with the punches and act with grace under fire, you will inspire your audience’s trust and confidence.

Loosen Up and Have Fun

The best videos are those that are fun, and if you are having fun, your audience will appreciate your video more.

Plus, if you are having fun, you’ll be more open to learning and adapting as you adjust to using this new, experimental platform. Make funny jokes and asides as you are recording. Respond to mishaps in funny ways. Show off your personality!

Your audience will feel more engaged with the video if you are having fun, and they will be more likely to comment on your stream and to watch your future live videos.

Facebook Live offers a great way to engage your audience and to create more exposure for your brand. Use these tips to get started with the platform and start connecting with more of your followers.

Social Media Tips for Getting Started and Being Successful with Facebook Live