How Companies Can Successfully Use Facebook Live

How Companies Can Successfully Use Facebook Live

First introduced in the summer of 2015, Facebook Live has since become an extremely popular way for users to create videos and engage with their friends and family.  Although in the beginning, it was only an option for celebrities, nowadays anyone with a Facebook account (and a decent internet connection) has access to Facebook Live, and they’re using it in a variety of fun and creative ways. 

Entrepreneurs are some of those people who have found Live to be a great way to promote their business to new and existing audiences, and their successes speak volumes. Read below to learn more about best practices when using Facebook Live as well as ways to incorporate it into your small business marketing plan.

The Benefits of Facebook Live and Best Practices Not to Miss

Facebook isn’t the first company to provide live video streaming to their users; Periscope, MeerKat, and YouTube have been doing it for much longer. So what makes Facebook Live different (and better?) for businesses? 

  • Facebook has 1.84 billion daily active users. Facebook also shared in a blog post that people are three times more likely to watch a video if it’s live, so you’re reaching a huge audience.
  • Facebook’s algorithm gives priority to live videos in the newsfeed, making your video more likely to be seen by your friends and family (and other followers) than a regular status post or photograph.
  • Unlike Periscope and MeerKat, Facebook Live has customizable privacy filters.  This means you can choose who gets to see your video. This is great for business owners who want to create specific videos to target different audiences (which we highly recommend).
  • Also unlike Periscope and MeerKat, the video doesn’t disappear when you’re done filming.  When you’re finished going live, it’s posted on your timeline and will stay there permanently (or until you choose to remove it). This gives consumers a chance to still view the video even if they missed the live session, and it gives you the option to continue to share and promote your video on your blog and other social media sites.
  • In general, people have short attention spans (you may be familiar with the goldfish statistic), so live streaming is a good way to attract users and keep them engaged, even if it’s only for a short period of time. 
  • Live videos can (and should) be edited. Definitely include an engaging headline and a detailed description. Don’t be afraid to incorporate keywords and then post your video to your blog or website and use it to boost your SEO.

Before you jump in and start filming, consider the following tips for live streaming best practices. 

Plan What You’re Going to Say Ahead of Time. If you don’t, you might get distracted or lost during the video, and this is a good way to confuse (and then lose) your audience.  Plus you don’t want them to get the impression that future Live videos will be disorganized and not worth watching.

Promote Your Video Beforehand. Most likely you won’t have a giant audience your first-time live streaming, and that’s ok. But if you don’t promote the fact that you’ll be going live, it’s going to take much longer to achieve a big audience. Post status updates ahead of time alerting followers that you’ll be going live, and let them know what topic you’ll be discussing. It doesn’t hurt (especially in the beginning) to give them some kind of incentive to tune in as well.

Practice Your Video First. I can’t stress this enough. Practice, practice, practice.  Eventually, you’ll get comfortable with the format and won’t need as much practice, but in the beginning, definitely give yourself a dress rehearsal before going live. The last thing you want to do is panic in the middle of one of your first videos. This has the potential to alienate future audiences and will be difficult to recover from.

Make Sure the Video Quality is Good. Check the lighting, make sure there’s no background noise, and check that the camera is at an optimal position (hence another reason why you should practice ahead of time).

Don’t Forget to Ask Viewers to Subscribe (or implement another call to action). You’ve made a tremendous effort to garner an audience—don’t let them sign off without asking them to do something! Subscribe to see future videos, leave their email address, check out your website, etc. 

So now that you’re an expert on how to create an exceptional Facebook Live video, how can you incorporate it into your business plan?  Here are some possible ideas:

Give a “Behind the Scenes” Look at Your Business 

Consumers are generally fans of transparency, and taking them live behind the scenes of your business shows them that you’ve got nothing to hide.

Host an Interactive Q&A Session

Look at frequently asked questions posted on your website, blog, or Facebook page and then let consumers know you’ll be going Live to address some of them. Most likely they’ll thank you by tuning in to see what you have to say!

Promote an Event

Whether it’s an event related to your business or just a fun event that you plan to attend, go live! Those people who don’t have the opportunity to attend will appreciate you streaming it so they can get involved as well. And maybe next time they’ll make an effort to get out and participate in person. This works well for benefits, fundraisers, etc.

Advertise a New Product and/or Explain How to Use It

One of the best ways to get the word out about a new product is to go live and demonstrate it yourself. Show your audience its benefits, and let them ask questions about it. It never hurts to provide a tutorial (whether for new products or old). Users might be more apt to buy something unfamiliar if they feel comfortable with how to use it ahead of time.

Host an Interview

Consider interviewing employees, customers, or influencers in your industry. Let them speak for your brand; your audience will appreciate hearing what someone new has to say.

Now that you’re a pro on how, why, and what to stream, how are you going to begin?  How do you plan on incorporating Facebook Live into your business plan? Comment in the section below!