Did you know that you can schedule Facebook Live videos ahead of time? We’ll show you how to promote your live streams so you’re able gather your audience and have viewers as soon as the camera starts rolling.

If you didn’t already know, Facebook Live video scheduling, scheduled broadcast sharing, and pre-broadcast lobbies have already been rolled out to Verified Pages. These features make it easier for publishers to share quality content directly with Facebook audiences using live broadcasting. Rather than starting a stream on a spur-of-the-moment basis, or pre-announcing it without a link to share, you can create a link up to a week ahead of time. And since people can plan for live streaming, it makes it easier for you to draw bigger audiences.

Planning a broadcast generates a News Feed post that allows potential viewers to opt-in to receive a one-time notification reminding them about the broadcast shortly before it begins. The scheduling process for page admins is simple; start by going to “Publishing Tools,” then “Video Library,” then “Live.” Once you’re there, copy your stream’s credentials, such as the Stream key or server URL, and then write an announcement post for the broadcast. Lastly, publish the announcement to the News Feed so that viewers can set reminders.

Promoting live streams before they happen eliminates the frustration of trying to share the links on other social media platforms while also on camera. In addition, you can embed the links in blog posts, allowing you to include live videos with breaking news. Even better, you no longer have to kill time until more viewers tune in. The waiting room feature allows publishers to let viewers into the lobby up to three minutes before they start recording. While there, people can connect and interact with other viewers who are also interested in your content.

Before these features were rolled out, it was difficult to build excitement and generate a buzz about videos prior to going live. The spontaneous surprise of unscheduled live videos usually leads to less viewership than those that are planned, causing misconceptions about the quality of the content. Now, however, you can hit the ground running with an audience that is already assembled and eager to watch the videos that you’re preparing to shoot.

Isn’t it annoying when you’re already halfway through shooting a live video when most of your audience just started watching? With these features, you’ll have the confidence of knowing that you have already given people a heads-up, increasing the size of the crowd you’re likely to draw. Next time you plan on using Facebook live, schedule the broadcast a few hours or even days in advance so you can see for yourself how it can help increase the number of viewers watching the video.