Facebook rolled out the Watch Party in 2018 and businesses like yours are already experimenting with it. This feature offers Facebook’s 2.7 billion users a new way to enjoy a shared viewing experience where they can watch public domain videos together in real-time. With a dedicated comments reel, viewers’ comments will be visible and not lost in the sea of other comments.
This new functionality now available on Groups, Profiles and Pages, was birthed after live videos proved to encourage more social interactions than pre-recorded ones. As a small business owner, this new engagement opportunity can be leveraged by repurposing your most popular online video content and other public domain videos to build interactive relationships and connections with your customers; encourage sales and rank higher in Facebook video search.
In this article, we’ll be looking at what Facebook Watch Party is, how to start a Facebook Watch Party and finally, some practical Facebook watch party tips for SMBs, but first
What is a Facebook Watch Party
A Watch Party is a Facebook feature that allows you to host a live viewing of pre-recorded videos that are publicly available on Facebook. Similar to a live broadcast, Watch Party provides a shared viewing experience where participants can watch and comment on Facebook videos in real time on a single Facebook screen.
A Watch Party can be created from your News Feed/timeline or old uploaded videos, in your Facebook group or Facebook Business Page or from any video you’re watching on Facebook. Watch Party can be used to host Q&A’s and watch public videos including tips, how-to’s, product reveals, videos from events and more. Also, you can invite special guests such as influencers to join your Watch Party.
Facebook Watch Party features the ability to designate co-hosts who can add and control videos, and crowdsourcing which allows other participants to suggest videos.
Facebook Live vs. Facebook Watch Party
The ability to connect and interact with your audience and customers in real time is invaluable and that’s one evident value of both Facebook Live and Facebook Watch Party to your online video marketing strategy.
While Facebook Live is a new video captured in real time, Watch Party converts an existing Facebook live, recorded or published videos from your Group or Page and other Groups and Pages to a live experience or session which can be synced so that participants can watch, comment and react in real-time.
How to Start a Facebook Watch Party
- To start a Facebook Watch Party on mobile devices, tap on the Create post area. Then select Watch Party from the list of options. On PC, go to the Create post area. Then click on the three-dot icon and select Watch Party. The steps are the same for profiles, Pages, and Groups.
- Add and edit the title and description for your watch party. it will help others to know what they will be watching without joining the Party. The title isn’t permanent as you can edit it anytime even once the Party is live.
- ClickAdd Video. You can search for a video or click a tab such as Watched, Group, Live, Saved, or Suggested to view additional videos. The Page tab will show videos from your own Page.
- Click Add to Queue next to any videos you’d like to add to your watch party.
- Optional: click View Queueto view your playlist before going live.
- Click Done.
- Click Post. You’ll see a message saying “Your Watch Party Is About To Begin.”
Your Page’s most engaged fans will automatically be invited to join your watch party via direct notifications or a post in their News Feed.
After your watch party
Once you finish your watch party, a recap will be saved to your Page as a post, which will show all the videos watched during the party. Also, comments made during the watch party will be visible as part of the watch party recap post. Users can also add comments directly to the recap post as well.
7 Practical Facebook Watch Party Tips for SMBs
Plan Your Watch Party Video Content
Plan and choose your watch party video(s) ahead of time. Choose interesting videos that will capture and engage your target audience. Make your videos as authentic and as personal as possible. Also, if you want to watch videos from other pages, copy the URLs in a text doc for easy copy/pasting during searches.
Get Creative With Your Facebook Watch Party Cover Photo
Design a good cover photo for your Watch Party that builds curiosity and piques the interest of your audience. You can do this using Canva.
Announce/ Promote Your Watch Party in Advance
Create a buzz around your future Watch Party to arouse curiosity. Let people know what it is, when it will be hosted, how to participate and any other specific benefit like an expert available to answer questions or facilitate discussion. You can also have people promote it on their profiles. This will help to drive more people, prospects and customers into your Facebook Page or Group Watch Party.
Engage Your Fans or Followers During Watch Parties
However long your Watch Party is, schedule the same amount of time to interact and engage with your audience. When you answer people’s comments, Facebook will notice the interaction and will push your Party even more. Also, encourage viewers to ask questions and share insights in the comments so everyone can learn from each other. By answering these questions, encouraging and requesting feedback, you can forge valuable personal connections with your customers that will keep them coming back.
Invite People to Join Your Watch Party
After the Watch Party starts, you can invite people to join in real time! This is a great way to get the attention of prospects you’re targeting in a non-salesy way.
Keep your watch party super simple with videos of around 8-11 minutes long. This is to avoid your Watch Party running too long and people losing interest.
Rate Watch Party Performance
A recap of the Watch Party is saved on your Page or Timeline. Rate the performance of your Watch Party and use the insights gathered to create a better watch party experience for your audience in the future.
Facebook Watch Party provides an opportunity for the shared viewing experience, fostering a sense of community. Use the Facebook Watch Party tips for SMBs above to connect and build relationships with your target audience to boost your online business.