Scheduling A Facebook Live + Going Live: The Ultimate Guide

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Facebook Live can be an amazing tool when it comes to honestly and authentically sharing what you're made of with your audience. It also happens to be an awesome way to stay relevant when it comes to Facebook’s updated algorithm of 2018. Because Facebook is geared towards creating more “meaningful interactions”, Facebook Live is a perfect way to not only connect with your viewing audience, but for them to also connect with each other.

In this post I’ll explain how to schedule a facebook Live and how to actually go live through that scheduled post (it’s not as straightforward as you would assume).


Scheduling your Facebook Live Video

1) From your Facebook page, using desktop, click on “Publishing Tools”.

 
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2) In the left side menu, click “Video Library”.

3) From the Video Library click “+ Live”.

 
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4) Enter your video description and title on the right hand side. You’ll notice in the window on the left there are two pieces of information: the “Server URL” and the “Stream Key”. These are important, but not for this moment: we’ll come back to them.

5) When you're happy with your description and title, click “Schedule”.

 
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6) Here you can adjust the date and time you want to go live as well as adding a custom image to the Announcement Post.

Your scheduled Live video must be at least 10 minutes away, but no longer than 7 days away.

7) Once you’re all set, click “Schedule”.

 
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Now your Facebook Live video has been scheduled and your audience will be able to click on the “Get Reminder” button to be notified when you go live!

 

How To Go Live After Scheduling a Live Video

In order to actually go live through your scheduled Facebook Live, you’ll need video encoding software. Facebook suggests the following options:

  • Livestream

  • Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

  • Wirecast

  • Xsplit

  • Ffmpeg

For the following explanation I’m going to use OBS. You can download the software for free at this link and it’s relatively easy to use for the Facebook live stream.

1) Download and install the video encoding software of your choice. As mentioned, I’m using OBS for this example. Launch OBS.

2) In the “Scene” box at the bottom left hand corner, click “+” to add your scene. I just titled mine “Facebook Live Test”.

3) Next, move to the “Sources” box and click “+” to add your video source. Chose “Video Capture Device”.

4) Name the device you’re using. I named mine “Web Camera” because that’s what I’ll be using to film the Facebook Live Stream for this example. Then click “Ok”.

 
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5) Navigate to the lower right side of the OBS window and click “Settings” then “Stream”. This is where you’ll add in the Server URL and Stream Key mentioned earlier in step 4 of Scheduling Your Facebook Live Video.

 
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6) When you’re approaching the 20-30 minute mark away from your scheduled Live time, go back to the Video Library in your Publishing Tools on Facebook.

7) Click on the scheduled live stream you created earlier.

8) You can find the appropriate Server URL and Stream Key by clicking on either the "Basic" or “Stream Key” tabs. Then transfer both of these back to OBS.

 
 

 

9) When you’ve added the Server URL and the Stream Key into OBS click okay.

10) When you’re ready to preview your video in Facebook, click “Start Streaming” in OBS. The video that appears in OBS will then show up in your Facebook Live preview. Your video is now all set-up!

 
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11) To go live, simply wait for the countdown to reach zero and the live stream will automatically start.

 
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12) From your end, it may take a few seconds for Facebook to catch up and show the streaming video, but it will be going live right away after the countdown, so be ready to rock on OBS.

Be aware of the delay that will occur between what you record in OBS and what you see in Facebook. Typically if you go live from Facebook you don’t see the lag because that’s what the viewers see, but in this case, you’ll see you real time streaming in OBS and what your audience sees through Facebook. So in short, pay attention to what you see in OBS, not in Facebook!

13) To end your live stream simply click "End Live" like normal.

 

And just like that, a scheduled Facebook Live video is born! It does beg a certain question though -why can't we just go live through Facebook itself, why is a third-party software necessary? Hopefully we'll have some answers or new ground coverage on that one soon.

Also, don't be discouraged if your Facebook Live stream isn't flawless the first, second or even third time you go live using a 3rd party software, it will naturally take some practice to get used to it! But once you do get the hang of it, there will be no stoping you. Facebook Live forever!