It's tempting to get a bit over-excited about Facebook Live for business.
And even if you're not all that excited about it, the chances are that the bosses might be.
After all, here's a free, relatively fool-proof and immediate way of hosting your very own live content online. This was formerly and forever the preserve of Big Telly, and now we can do it all by ourselves.
But hold the phone.
Big Telly has done all the heavy-lifting for us on this one in terms of the purpose and the benefits.
Their many years of rationalising about when to go live, why to go live and how much it will cost relative to that rationale (because no live broadcast, even on Facebook, is cheap), have gifted us a weighty checklist to ponder, before we ever press the big blue button on Facebook Live.
So even if the boss is keen to go live on anything that sits still for five minutes, here is the reality check we need, to prepare and feed back to ourselves and others.
Start by thinking about when you last watched a live TV programme, and what it was.
There are only certain reasons that telly goes live, and they're the only good reasons to use Facebook Live for your business.
REASON Number 1 - BREAKING NEWS
If you're first to a story, you're doing well. It's most likely your own story, because any other big news will be out there already.
Ask yourself if your announcement about a new product or development in the business really warrants a live broadcast.
Is it a headline story, or does it run the risk of aggrandising a non-event?
REASON NUMBER 2 - USEFUL INFORMATION
One of the best reasons to go live - if you can be the bearer of important, topical and useful information. Any business must dig for, and define, what exactly their expertise is, and no matter how niche, if it's relevant and authoritative, it's probably worth a live session.
REASON NUMBER 3 - SPORTING EVENTS
Ice bucket challenges, or whatever came next, don't count. Sporting events are tempting video opportunities, especially for business sponsors, but this one really is best left to the telly. By all means think about going live from the start line of a marathon, but don't attempt to capture more than the atmosphere and flavour.
REASON NUMBER 4 - LIVE FEEDBACK
Telly is always playing catch up with this, and it still feels kind of weird when they read out a Tweet, but they did originate the concept of live interaction with phone calls and ..ahem..letters. This is where Facebook Live comes into its own, but without meaningful content and a good reason for your audience to be there with you, the holy grail of live interaction can get negative and critical very quickly.
Google 'Facebook Live disasters' for further reading.
REASON NUMBER 5 - ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN
There are hardly any live entertainment shows now on telly, and maybe the unpredictability that made them so enjoyable became their downfall.
The commercial pressures on modern television stations means that control is paramount, and often the best we get now as viewers is scripted anarchy.
But arguably, control is crucial for all brands on live output, so learn the lessons of the broadcasters that have gone before. Surefire entertainment does not come cheap, and you'll be needing on-screen talent, scripts and proper funny stuff to go down this road.
REASON NUMBER 6 - HIGH STAKES GIVEAWAY
Incentivising folks to watch the telly is an old trick, and one we have adapted nicely for social media. A great reason to go live is because you have something nice to give your audience to reward them for tuning in. Don't even consider going live on Facebook without a stash of goodies for those who have engaged.
REASON NUMBER 7 - YOU'RE MAKIN' HISTORY
You might well think that what's happening at your business event next week is a historical occasion. But...it's probably not. Leave this one to the telly people.
REASON NUMBER 8 - YOU DIG BREAKFAST TV
Breakfast TV goes live to facilitate a lot of the features above, but largely it's there as background noise, something to have on in the background.
There's a hum of this around many Facebook Live broadcasts, and viewers are going to dip in and out around whatever else they're doing.
If you do intend to go for a long, live, lo-fi broadcast, make sure to signpost it for the audience. Tell them what's coming up over the next few hours, and hit them at appointed times. Like 'At 3pm we'll be giving away those make-up goodies'. Otherwise it's just a muddy vague mumble.
So if telly goes live for these reasons:
We should be going live for these reasons:
If your planned Facebook Live extravaganza (and to do it right, it is an extravaganza) is not driven by any of these objectives, then you should skip it and wait till the time is right.
A whole lot of thought and reasoning goes into the decision to go live on television, and even if Facebook Live allows us to do it easily, we still need to have considered and compelling reasons to do it.
Niamh Guckian is the Director of Go Motion Academy
Providing Training in Video for Social Media & Digital Marketing