Written by Rebecca Hansen
Chances are, if you are running a business, you remember the days when video production was, well, a production. Television was programmed, and home videos lived on tapes gathering dust until someone’s 40th birthday.
Today, however, every kid is a producer (some even good ones) and it’s easy to create real-time video to connect with customers and fans online. Today we are going to talk about how to use these videos to boost your message.
Of course, you can choose to create video content on YouTube or another designated video platform, but today I’d like to convince you to give something a little different a try – Facebook Live Video.
Why Use Facebook Live for Your Business?
Well, for starters, you probably already have a captive audience on the Facebook platform. Live video takes advantage of this in several unique ways.
First, Facebook Live offers real time engagement with that audience.
Next, Facebook also sends a notification to your fans when you begin a live video; even if they don’t drop everything and come watch you, they’ve been reminded that you exist and the video will still be available later (if you so choose) for them to come back to.
Finally, Facebook Live uses both visual and audio as a means of communication, connecting with fans in a different, more memorable way.
Real-time engagement gives you an opportunity to observe the immediate responses of your customers to your message and adapt accordingly. This makes Facebook Live the digital equivalent of an interactive Town Hall, or a meet-and-greet with the head of an organization (or, you know, the social media person).
What is normally a largely one-way communication channel, or a delayed two-way at best, becomes a dynamic multi-lane highway. You aren’t just giving out information, you are receiving as well, and we all know that information is power.
When to Use Facebook Live
You don’t want to use Facebook Live for everything. For starters, it will get mundane and expected, and those handy notifications that let absent fans know you are still around will pop up on jaded eyes.
Facebook live is ideal for circumstances outside the day-by-day – plan to use them for product launches, virtual tours of new facilities, interactive Q&A sessions with special guests and the like.
How do you know when Facebook Live is the right choice? Ask yourself these questions:
- Is this a message that lends itself to two-way communication?
- Is there an interesting visual element that would be enhanced by the medium?
- Do you actually have something new and different to say?
You can also use Facebook Live to broadcast an event, or part of an event, that your fans would be interested in but might not all be able to go to. Share the moment as you cut a ribbon, christen a boat or taste a new cheese.
Now we are ready for the practical stuff. When you have decided to use Facebook Live for your business, here are the things you need to know to do it right.
How to Use Facebook Live for your Business
First, go live as your Facebook Business Page, not your personal profile. You want to reach all those fans! If you are using your phone, make sure you have downloaded the Facebook Pages app to eliminate any confusion. On your computer, simply go to your business page, click where you normally do to share content, and choose “Live Video”
Next, go into the video knowing what you want to say. Don’t worry about the exact words, but know your ultimate message and create an outline guiding you through it.
Be sure to include a brief introduction for those who might be new to your page, state your message (“We have new cheese!”) and give around 3 supporting points for the message.
If this is starting to sound like English class, well, there’s actually a reason they teach that stuff.
End with your message again, and a call to action (CTA) – “Like our page to keep up on cheese,” or “Follow the link to buy your own new cheese today!”, for example.
Make sure you invite your audience to participate several times during the video. You can ask a question, or offer to answer theirs. Make them guess the new cheese flavor. Keep them watching!
How long should a Facebook Live video be? Long enough to give folks a chance to come watch if they were slicing beets when they got the notification, but not so long that you put everyone to sleep. Right around 5 minutes is a sweet spot. Make sure that the first 30 seconds don’t contain any important information you won’t repeat later so everyone has time to get on board.
Finally, make sure you have a partner helping you during the video. Someone who can answer audience questions in the video comments in real time, and know enough to pass on information that would benefit you as you speak without interrupting your flow for every little thing. This person doesn’t need to be in the same room as you, but they do need editorial access to your Facebook business page.
Facebook Live offers a unique opportunity to connect with current and potential fans and clients in a way that is fresh, engaging and responsive. The video that is created continues to reach Facebook users long after the session is ended, and best of all, the whole thing costs you nothing but time.
- Use Facebook Live to communicate with both sound and visuals, in real time.
- Know and prepare your message.
- Aim for around 5 minutes long.
- Have a partner.
Got Facebook Live down? Here are 5 Other Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement. Read more.