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5 Ways to Be More Successful with Facebook Live Videos

At RebelMouse we obsess about keeping pace with the ever-changing digital landscape and passing along best practices to content creators everywhere.

Today we're focusing on Facebook Live, which is now available for any user on the social network to leverage. While live broadcasting is not a new concept (platforms and publishers, like The Huffington Post, started live broadcasting years ago), Facebook Live is a game changer. Here are three reasons why:

  • Everyone is on Facebook + they all watch video: In 2016, Facebook reached 1.6 billion monthly users and reported 8 billion daily video views.
  • You have to take your content to where your audience lives: 63% of Facebook users leverage the social platform as a source for content.
  • It's crucial to keep up with the almighty algorithm: Facebook is now making Live videos the #1 priority in the News Feed.


What Is Facebook Live?

Facebook describes Live as the ability to easily "broadcast to the largest audience in the world with the camera in your pocket." You can use your smartphone to share a moment in real time with the people you care about the most. Your friends, family, or fans can be there with you, and you can respond to their comments and see their reactions.

So whether you're promoting a company or yourself, you now have the capability to connect with your audience using the effective video format in an instantaneous, authentic, and engaging way.

Five Facebook Live Tips from RebelMouse

We've been experimenting and have come up with a few early best practices that you can start adopting:

Be Strategic, but Embrace Spontaneity

Pick an interesting topic ahead of time and plan a rough outline to maintain focus. For our recent broadcasts, we recruited two fabulous RebelMouse hosts to introduce our latest product, Rebel Discovery, in a light-hearted and personable way.

But this is live video where anything can happen ... if you're lucky. :) At the 0:50 mark, our VP of Product, Megan Berry, walks by and quickly drops brand new stats that support Rebel Discovery: timely, seamless, and not staged (we swear!).

These awesome, impromptu moments tend to resonate with viewers and help your brand come across as more authentic. So embrace them!

Keep It Dynamic

As you film, try to keep the camera moving — viewers will drop off if it stays on the same shot for too long. Change angles or use the front and back cameras to switch up POV. In our videos, we move from host to computer screen to give viewers a quick product demo.

Create a Compelling Status Update

The description in the status update is what will go out in the News Feed and notifications. Include the details but also have fun with it — try to catch the eye of your audience.

While Facebook Live videos are hard to miss in the feed (they take up more real estate vs. the average post and automatically play as users scroll), use strong language to concisely introduce what viewers can expect.

Constantly Engage, in Real Time + Anytime

Facebook designed Live to be interactive, allowing you to engage with commenters and viewers in real time. And it works: People comment 10x more on Live videos vs. regular videos.

So take the opportunity to:

  • Introduce a Q&A section during the live broadcast.
  • Actively "like" comments or answer questions as viewers watch and engage.
  • Include a CTA at the conclusion of the broadcast. Facebook allows you to easily customize a short + sweet CTA that links to a page of your choice.

Whether they're tuning in live or catching a replay, viewers always like to feel like they're part of the action. Create opportunities to keep them engaged anytime and at all times.

Distribute Your Videos Everywhere

Once your broadcast is done, you now have fresh content in your library. At RebelMouse, we believe in maximizing content amplification, so go ahead and distribute your content everywhere. Feature it on your web property, share it on other social media channels, or weave it into your own Facebook Live blog post. ;) Embed your video to get more views, which all roll into your Facebook view count.


Start Testing!

Facebook makes it easy to get going, so don't worry about making the perfect video or leveraging all the tools. Broadcast a 1:1 interview, make it a hosted series, or just shoot an interesting event that's important to your brand (like one of our clients, The Dodo, did with this animal video). Gauge the audience response, review the analytics, and use the insights to optimize your next Facebook Live video.

Happy live streaming!

Social News

Facebook Dark Posts: Why + How to Use Them

Here's a great little throwback fact: When Facebook advertising first began, the only way you could target by interests, locations, etc. was through dark posts. Now, those features are available with every ad. So what are dark posts in 2017?

Dark posts, or "unpublished posts," as Facebook calls them, do not post to your Facebook Page's wall or appear organically in the news feed of your current followers. The perks of dark posting are pretty obvious for big brands and e-commerce Pages, but every advertiser can benefit from experimenting with them too. But if you're new to the Facebook ad game, it can be a little abstract to learn. So, if you're a rookie or just need a refresher (like I sometimes do), let's shine the light back on the benefits of dark posts and how to create them.

Why Create a Facebook Dark Post?

Good question. The short answer is two-fold: you'll reach new people and learn more about your content. Here's why:

It's your chance to get super targeted and super personalized. Let's say you're a publisher who focuses on Hollywood gossip and entertainment news. You've got a great piece of content about Lady Gaga. You could put ad spend on this post, targeting your current followers in addition to other celebrity bloggers, entertainment sites, and fans of Gaga. In fact, that's probably what you are doing. But what if you wanted to create a post about that same piece of content that was only directed to Gaga fans and the entire Little Monsters fanbase?

Dark posts allow you to hyper-target those specific online communities without posting the same ad twice on your timeline, potentially causing your fans to see repetitive posts. Since your Gaga dark post is unpublished and specifically targeted, you can alter your copy and accompanying media to be even more Lady G-centric. This kind of personalization increases your chance for engagement and allows you to reach more potential followers.

A/B testing. Dark posts are a great chance to experiment with new strategies. Try out different messaging, imagery, and ad types to see if something performs particularly well. If a particular call-to-action is working well with narrower targets, start threading it into your larger strategy.

So, if the Gaga post is outperforming what you expected, maybe you should think about creating more Gaga content. Or, maybe you should use some of that messaging on other pieces of content. Dark posts can teach you more about what kind of audiences are out there that want to receive your content — and the best way to reach them.

No over-posting. The ability to not overcrowd your followers with the same posts is powerful. Not only can you stretch the legs of your content, but you get more opportunities to learn how that content is received across the Facebook ecosystem. Jon Loomer nicely articulates in this article: "You'll now be able to create multiple campaigns or ad sets that promote the same ad — not just ads that look the same. That way, each separate promotion of that ad will contribute to the comments, likes, shares and other engagement."

Now, let's shine the light on how this all gets done.

How Do You Create a Dark Post?

It's not the most intuitive of processes, but once you've done it a few times, it's easy to remember. Here's a how-to to get you started:

Create dark posts in the Facebook Power Editor. Use the hamburger menu to go to All Tools → Create & Manage → Page Posts.


Click the blue "Create Post" button in the top-right corner. An editor will pop up where you can create your post. You can do multiple formats: link, carousel, photo video, etc. Make sure you only select "This post will only be used as an ad."


Once you have created the post, highlight it in the queue, and click the drop-down menu for Actions → Create Ad.


You will be prompted to choose a new campaign. You could start an entire "Dark Posts" campaign with various ads and ad sets. You can also choose your ad type. Here's more on how the Facebook ad campaign structure works — it can be easy to mix up sometimes.


Once your post is created, copy the post ID.



You will be taken to a screen like the one shown below. You can either click "Create Ad Set/View Ad Set" from here. Or, just head back to the ads manager and click "Create Ad" like you would for any other campaign.


Either way, a familiar interface will open up if you've created Facebook ads before. Click "Use Existing Post."


When you're selecting the media for your ad, that's when you paste your post ID from earlier.

Once you've made it to this step, you can set up the ad, including locations, custom audiences, and interest targeting like normal.

Tip: If a certain ad does particularly well, you can go back to the "Page Posts" tab in the Power Editor and then publish it to your fans (making it no longer an unpublished post).


You may notice that your dark post campaigns have a higher CPC than your traditional ads. This could be especially true if you do a lot of video view campaigns and then switch to a URL traffic ad for a dark post. However, keep in mind that your reach will often be similar to published ads, and your results will often be more meaningful and targeted.

Happy dark posting! Hopefully it brings you plenty of new ideas. 💡

Social News

Facebook Promoted Posts: Less Can Be More

At RebelMouse, we make it our mission to give you back your organic growth. Still, we know the idea of pay-to-play on social media, especially on Facebook, isn't going away anytime soon. The average user spends 20 minutes a day on Facebook and 80% of marketers are investing in social ads in 2017. So having an allocated budget for Facebook is a near-mandatory strategy for content distribution.

The good news is you can make your dollar stretch on the platform. Whether you've already implemented a robust spending strategy for Facebook, or you're just getting started, here's a tip to try:

Spend Less, Frequently

Spending too much on Facebook is actually a real possibility. For example, if you're targeting under 10,000 people per post and spending $500, you'll only fatigue your targeted audience.

Instead, try spending less money, but more frequently and to different audiences. See how it impacts your CPC compared to similar, repetitive ads that run for longer periods of time. Here's how it works:

→ Spend $10–25 on promoted posts

→ Every 24 hours

→ Choose only desktop and mobile as placements

→ Promote native video or super-engaging content only

Watch your CPC turn into fractions of pennies.

Case Study: HooplaHa — Only Good News

HooplaHa — powered by RebelMouse — promotes positivity with engaging content that does most of the viral work for them. HooplaHa spends small monetary amounts (usually between $15–25) on promoted posts every day. The results usually end up in video views around $0.003 and plenty of engagement and reach.

Snapshot of HooplaHa's average CPC:

This promoted post has a reach of 40K with only $11.41 in ad spend so far, and a total budget of $15:

If you want to give this strategy a try, don't forget to:

Mix up your targeting every time — whether it's by interest or experimenting with custom and lookalike audiences.

Differentiate your content promote posts that appeal to different groups.

Try promoting an unpublished post, or "dark post," to reach untapped audiences and experiment with content dynamics.

Sign up for social strategy sessions with our resident content distribution experts, or even get private one-on-one training with our Founder and CEO, Paul Berry.

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