How to Use Facebook Live to Boost Your Business
“Video Killed the Radio Star” was written back in the late 1970’s, and 40 years later video is still killing everything that comes across its path! It didn’t take video long to conquer the online advertising world either; in the last 10 years, creating motion content has become a must for small businesses that want to keep up with the industry.
Video content will tremendously help your brand, but it’s only one step on the road to success. Managing a powerful biz means you need to have social media presence, in addition to creating a website, of course. Don't forget to create your Facebook account at the same time. When you’re first starting out, it’s obvious that the cash flow, how can we describe it nicely, isn’t exactly flowing like the Mississippi river…
The true pioneer that gives small businesses the opportunity to expand their online exposure at almost no expense (so you can still save your lunch money for that meaty burrito you had your eyes on) is Facebook. From launching free dedicated company pages, affordable ad plans including Facebook retargeting and their latest release of Facebook Live – this is the platform your biz needs to be on.
Why should you use Facebook Live for your business?
When you develop your business's marketing strategies, if you want to play the game (and be on the winning side), then you’ve got to hop on the trend and use live streaming videos to promote your business. Facebook Live gives you the field to play in, so get your game face on! In order to become a champion, you will need to create content that will reach as many fans as possible and bring those engagement levels (likes, reactions, comments, and shares) to the roof. This is where the fun part comes in because Facebook has been reportedly boosting live videos onto news feeds more than any other content that is being featured. What does that mean for you? Big time exposure for your biz!
Another unique reason for creating live content? People respect transparency, especially when it comes to social media marketing. Facebook Live provides you with an opportunity to show your followers who you really are, communicate with them for as long as you wish and provide a rough, non-edited version of your business. Remember that meaty burrito you were dreaming of? Well, when using Facebook Live you will be able to add that extra guacamole to your dish because it’s completely free! We will discuss later on how you can win this game at no cost, but first, let’s talk about what kind of videos you should produce for your live experience.
What direction should you choose?
When creating Facebook marketing content, remember that developing your live content is a bit different than producing a regular commercials or advertisements for your business. You need to make sure that your content is exciting for a long period of time and encourages engagement from your followers. Sound like Mission Impossible? Hold tight, but no need to fasten your seatbelts because this ride is not as bumpy as you might think!
We’ve gathered the main content ideas to keep your fans wanting more:
Behind the scenes: One thing is guaranteed, your followers would love to see the faces behind your business. Whether it’s a tour of your headquarters, a spotlight on one of your employees or a video revealing how you came up with your product, giving your community a sneak peak inside is a recipe for success!
Tutorial: This is an excellent example of a video that will be interesting and long enough for your followers to engage with. Use this opportunity to showcase how much of an expert you are and impress your viewers with your “hands-on” level of professionalism so they’ll finish watching the Live wanting to know more!
Webinar: Think of this as sort of a live TedTalk, where you present your idea or product. Use visual elements and make it as interactive as possible. Take advantage of the live platform to answer questions regarding the subject you’ve just enlightened your viewers on.
Interview: A perfect example for a successful Live is inviting an important person from your industry for a little Q&A. Your viewers would love the chance to connect with your interviewee (or it can be you they’ll get excited for!). Ready for a mic drop? Facebook has recently launched a tool that lets you broadcast a two-person screen, which means you don’t have to be located in the same spot as the guest you’re interviewing.
Contest: When there is some sort of an incentive for watching, then rest assured everyone will be participating in your Live! The best way to guarantee more views? Offer some killer prizes and watch the views roll in. Click here to check out our crazy giveaway Facebook Live we had for the Big Game.
Event: If you’re hosting a live event or conference, don’t let location restrict you! Facebook Live lets all of your followers take part. Feature your lecture or show your booth and make sure that whatever you get on camera looks like a blast. After all, this might convince those viewers who stayed home this year want to join you for the next one.
Be silly: You’re getting a chance to show everyone who you really are – use this opportunity to make your viewers laugh; whether it’s with you or at you :) Just make sure to stay on brand, so when we do encourage you to color outside the lines… try not to make a mess!
How do you set it up?
Facebook created a platform that is easy for anyone to operate, but if you want to produce the best content possible, follow these steps:
1. Think ahead: Get an idea rolling and decide the purpose of your video. Ask yourself who your target audience is and what you want your outcome to be. Write a script and include a brief that features all the elements you would need to succeed. Oh, and of course, don’t forget to pick a date and a time that will generate the most engagement.
2. Choose your equipment: Facebook allows you to pick which device is best for your production and budget:
Cell phone: to create a low cost and approachable angle.
Desktop: connect a camera and use one of the free software available to create something more advanced.
Real production: if your budget allows it, then bring in the big guns and use a few cameras, shoot in a studio and insert effects in order to provide a full experience for your viewers. Check out our Mortal Kombat’s inspired Live for some inspiration.
Sound: depending on the kind of video you decide to shoot, use your device’s microphone or get an external one (best for interviewing), but know that you can go without sound at all!
3. Go Live! Lights… Camera… Action! Now there are few technical steps you’ll need to follow in order to master the platform. Remember, once you go live you can’t go back :)
Still not sure on how to start? Watch this great tutorial we created on How to go Live on Facebook.
Roll the credits, but you’re not done just yet!
Congratulations! Your business’s video is a part of the online marketing cloud. Now that you are off-air Facebook saves your video to your company page, you can go in and analyze how well it went. You can see how many people viewed your Live, what your engagement was like, review the comments and even reply if necessary.
Are you satisfied with the outcome? If you are, follow that same format and create more great content. If it didn’t exceed your expectations, no worries! Study the numbers and optimize for your next adventure!
By Yoav Schlezinger
Community and Social Media Manager