We all know how important it is for businesses and brands to get on Facebook and create a verified Business Page, but have you ever thought about creating a Facebook Group to help you more easily interact with your clients and followers?
Creating a Facebook Group for your clients, particularly if you run a social media marketing agency or digital marketing agency, offers you another avenue of engagement with your customer-base. It can help increase engagement and make your brand more reputable and invaluable to your clients.
As Facebook Groups are such a helpful tool, it should come as no surprise that Facebook has come up with a free feature called Watch Party that can you build more engagement in your Facebook Group.
In this article, I’m going to take you through what you need to do to set up your first Facebook Watch Party and tell you how you can use it to help grow your brand or business.
What Is a Facebook Watch Party?
Facebook Watch Party is a feature available in groups that allows admins to hold a live screening of pre-recorded videos that are publicly available on Facebook. Any Facebook user who is a member of the Group can watch, comment, and otherwise interact with the videos at the same time, creating a shared viewing experience.
During the Watch Party, members are able to interact with not only you, but other users as well. As your main content for the Watch Party is pre-recorded, you can act as the host and stir up lots of engagement. A Watch Party is essentially an easy, interactive, evergreen webinar that you can create about any topic that relates to your niche.
Watch Party is a great tool if you’re an admin in a group that has decreased or stagnated in your growth or engagement.
Create a Watch Party Post
Creating a Watch Party post requires just a few easy steps:
- Open the page for your Facebook Group and select start a new post. You’ll find the Watch Party option among the other options such as Photo/Video, Poll, and Live Video. Select Watch Party.
- If you plan to share a series of videos on a particular topic, make that clear in the description box. The more detailed you can be in your description, the better, as this information will help group members decide if they’d like to join in.
- It may look like you’re doing a regular update, but before moving to the next stage of starting your Watch Party you need to publish the update. You’ll see the pop-up window change to say [your name] Watch Party. Click Post.
Tip: To promote your Watch Party prior to streaming, post in your group announcing when it will take place, and/or promote your watch party outside the group. This promotion may lead to more watch party viewers.
After you’ve posted the update about the Party, you’ll then be greeted by a large black screen that says, “Your watch party is about to begin.”
Select Videos to Watch
Now you need to choose videos to add to your Watch Party queue. These are the videos that your viewers will see during the Party.
First, select a video source on Facebook. These are your options:
- Search – Use this to find a video on Facebook.
- Pages – Select a video from a Facebook page you manage.
- Watched – Choose a video you’ve watched previously.
- Group – Opt for a video that’s been uploaded to the group.
- Live – Choose a live video.
- Saved – Select a video you’ve previously saved.
- Suggested – Pick from a list of recommended videos.
Using one of the above methods, select the first video for your group to watch and then click the blue Play Now button to start it. The video will begin playing immediately in your watch party.
Control Video Playback
Once your Watch Party is live, you’ll have a lot of control over the videos playing. You’ll be able to add more videos to the watch party queue at any time, and you can also fast-forward through parts or skip videos altogether.
This can help you be even more interactive with your audience, as you can easily fast-forward or skip through to relevant clips or videos that address comments or questions the viewers bring up. Just remember that when you fast-forward the viewers are seeing what you see.
Chat With Viewers in Real Time
We’re been talking a lot about how Facebook Watch Party is so interactive, and the real-time chat feature proves that. On the right side of the video, you’ll see a panel that shows your Watch Party playlist at the top. Below that, you’ll find options to add more videos and a chat/comment area.
This is where viewers can comment on the video in real-time as you all watch together. You can also comment and reply back to viewers. Viewers can also react to the video by clicking one of the reactions at the bottom of the screen.
Although you can’t create the watch party on mobile yet, group members who are viewing from a mobile device can comment and react accordingly on their preferred device.
Invite Group Members to Watch With You
In the bottom-left corner of the screen, you can view which group members are in the party with you, as you and your guests appear along the bottom in small avatar circles. You can hover over an avatar to see the name of the participant.
If you want to invite other group members to join your watch party, you simply click the avatar circle in the far-left corner. In the ‘Invite Others to Watch’ window that appears, you can select which group members you want to invite to your party.
If you see a group member you want to join, click the Invite button to the right of their name. That member will then receive a notification inviting them to join the watch party. You can also use the search box at the top of this window to find specific people from your community to join in.
This is a great way to reach out to members of your community to get them to tune in, especially as users start to get used Watch Party streams.
End Your Watch Party
At the end of the watch party, you’ll be able to see the attendees, but unfortunately you won’t be able to see any of the comments. To avoid missing important questions or comments, ask viewers to message you privately after the Party, because the comments or videos won’t be available for reading or watching later
What Are the Benefits of Watch Parties?
Watch Parties give your Facebook Group members a sense of community, while also giving you more insight into your audience. If you can find one thing that most of your group members have in common, or a similar area of interest, you can tailor your Facebook Watch Party to suit their collective needs.
Watch Parties are a great way to re-energize your Facebook Group members and get them interacting with you again by providing them with interesting, relevant content. It is also a great opportunity for you to seek your viewers’ opinions on your brand and to ask for topics they’d like to see in future Watch Party broadcasts.
Overall, Watch Parties are a great way of adding value to your client experience. Instead of just regular blog posts or videos, hosting a Watch Party allows you to supply your clients with content in a very hands-on manner that shows them that you are truly dedicated to hearing from them.
So why should you host a Facebook Watch Party? Here are just a few reasons:
- To hold discussions with your group about a training or video
- To talk about a promotion or event
- To replay a live video or a published piece of content
Facebook Watch Parties offer limitless potential for you to further your connection with your followers or clients, and it is a free, easy-to-use tool that is already built into a feature you should be using. There are many different ways that Facebook can help you promote your brand or business, and Facebook Watch Parties are just one more.
If you want to learn more about how you can grow your presence online, then enroll in our Personal Branding & Influencer Marketing course today! You can also follow us on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to ensure you never miss out on any of our helpful FREE Training!