One of the biggest crazes to begin gaining momentum for social media? Facebook Live. I know personally, a few of my brands have really been pushing to do more with it and I've really been learning a lot since they have. It is interesting however since there is no real benchmark to truly measure the success of a Facebook Live, just comparisons.

For example, Social Media Examiner listed three ways to measure the success of videos, but not specifically Facebook Live videos. You can really only compare Facebook Live videos to other brands and other Facebook Live videos you've already done. While some brands do a great job of leveraging, others sometimes hit the mark, so after working with it extensively now I have a few questions you should ask yourself before you decide to do a Facebook Live video.

Do I Have a Story Worth Telling?

Be honest. Many times brands will push to do a FB Live because "everyone else is doing it," but has that EVER been a good enough reason? Really think about what the goal of this FB Live is. Is it worth sharing on a live feed, or could it easily be something you can create a video about instead? If you even consider the alternative option, chances are you don't need a FB Live. You should really consider what is worth a live stream and what isn't because if your goal is to inform and stay in control, FB Live is not for you. Your audience can interact and if you don't see the turnout or feedback you want, you've now wasted lots of time and production effort on something you could've created and published on your own. Which leads to my next point...

Who Am I Trying to Reach?

Who is your audience? When are their peak times on Facebook? Using Facebook Insights to pinpoint the best times to publish a Facebook Live is key. You need to make sure your audience is interested and available for what you want to show them. If you want to make an announcement in the morning but your followers' peak active time on Facebook is midday, consider an alternative way to share or changing the time. Also, the biggest part of the question is WHO are you trying to reach meaning, what kind of audience is this going to focus on? Are you looking for an audience that will ask questions from a Q&A style FB Live, or one that will be interested in a big announcement. Your audience is the key to measuring the success of your video - their engagement and feedback is what determines if it was all worth it, so make sure your content matches who you want to talk to.

What Are My Key Messages?

I cannot stress this enough. Seriously, I always preach that using a content strategy is key and the same goes for FB Live. I advise against just pointing a camera at your exec/influencer and saying, "Okay just answer questions about ice cream when people comment," you are setting yourself up for failure already with no fighting chance. Work with your client and your FB Live "star" to determine what are some key messages you 100% want to be covered and how to authentically weave it into your live stream. The last thing you want to see are crickets on the screen from your audience or waste 20 minutes on a live stream that accomplished NONE of your goals.

Am I Effectively Using My Time?

People get bored watching long videos - it's a sad fact of society that our attention spans just are not as large as they used to be. The answer? Shorter=better. Keep your FB Live short and sweet. If you have a lot to put out, do a content series (that also will keep people coming back to your videos) but don't overwhelm your audience by throwing too much at them too soon. This is why a strategy is SO important - making sure you are using your time wisely is the biggest thing you should take away from this post if you take anything away at all. You and your client will be able to see the difference when you keep it short and consistent with videos as opposed to hour-long videos that people get bored of. Facebook is a place where people jump around. I login in with the intention to wish someone happy birthday and log out not only forgetting to leave the message, but visiting several other pages I didn't mean to go to. Shorter is better, case closed.

What are some of your best practices for Facebook Live? What should we avoid?