Last week we examined the benefits of Facebook Live to businesses. We also went through the steps of starting a Facebook Live broadcast. We concluded that a business/brand can use Facebook Live to create a deeper connection, build intimacy and authenticity, humanize and personalize their brand. Many new opportunities for marketing business abound with Facebook Live. This week’s article discusses some ways to use Facebook Live to promote your business and connect with customers.
Facebook Live videos can be used in a way that surpasses TV networks. Its potential ranges from showcasing breaking news to capturing intimate personal moments. You can broadcast Facebook Live from just about anywhere in the world, with options to selecting an audience of one to going public. There are various ways you can use Facebook Live to promote your business and connect with customers. These include:
- Breaking the news – telecast an occurrence in real time
- Getting interactive – Let your audience dictate what they want to see. Through ‘comments’ your audience gives feedback and interact with your stream. Keep an eye on comments when streaming Facebook Live, and reply to them when possible.
- Going Live with your events – If you are organizing an event (conference, summit, meetings etc.) consider Facebook Live streaming keynotes and other highlights. Facebook Live video can give non-attendees a glimpse into the event and a taste of the action. You can stream from someone else’s event if the event is relevant to your audience. Ensure you are not violating any rules and you have the event organizers explicit permission.
- Interviews – Interviewing experts in your industry is a great way to add variety to your promotional efforts. By giving an expert (relevant to your audience) a Facebook Live forum for answering questions, you obtain the authoritative information and captivating stories your customers need. You can start your interviews in the traditional one-on-one format, then open it up for questions submitted through social media. To increase engagement, you can also interview your employees or clients. Employees are important in marketing because they are the ones who deliver the service. These interviews will demonstrate the human side of your company besides sharing personal ideas and opinions of clients and employees. See figure 2
- Showing how your product is made – give your audience a feel of how their favourite products are made. Show your audience what goes into the processes of the production from conception to finish. This is particularly excellent for bespoke and tailor made products.
- Giving virtual tours – Use Facebook Live video to give virtual tours. For some businesses your physical structure and facilities are important in buying decisions. For example, most parents would like to see the insides of a preschool before they enroll their kid’s. Give a tour of classrooms. Your can also use Facebook Live to give tours of your boutique, your office or store, hotel rooms, new products on your shelves etc.
- Sharing tips and tricks – Use your Facebook Live video streams to give pointers and directions for using your products. In addition give information, offer self help and how to’s and do-it-yourself assistance.
- Answering frequently asked questions – make a Facebook Live video answering the questions that your customers often ask. Concerns can be clarified quickly as you engage with your customers through the comments section.
- Making an announcement – If you have a big announcement to make, consider making a Facebook Live video. It could be to announce a new product, partnership and initiative.
- Scheduling communication – Depending on your industry, you can decide to interact with your audience daily, weekly, etc through Facebook Live messages. Let it take the form of a programmed show where your audience will be trained to expert your broadcast at a particular time on a set day.
- Behind-the-scenes: Another way to use Facebook Live streaming is to show users behind the scenes of something they normally would not have access to (See figure 1). It can be at your own event or someone else’s (where you have the privilege to do that). Let your Facebook Live streams be a window into your world. Give Facebook Live views from outside your office window or personal videos of your daily life (your own real reality Tv).
- Carrying out training: Most people are keen to learn from content that they find interesting or beneficial to them.You can profit from this by using Facebook Live to becoming your audience’s go-to reference for a particular topic. Conduct Facebook Live streaming training sessions.
Tips: Invest in a small tripod to hold your phone. If the camera is facing you, talk to the camera. Show specific details by using the phone to show a close-up.
Note: Keep your audience in mind when producing your content. Remember that an informal touch typically produces more engagement among viewers. Remember that a lot of people perceive Live videos as more genuine than scripted ones. Use a relaxed approach to connect with your audience. To come across as being comfortable keep consistent eye contact with the lens.
How it can be used?
The success of your Facebook Live videos depends on how you can create ideas around your industry that will echo with your fans. For some specific businesses, Facebook Live can give your brand that big break and shoot you to the top. Let us consider the following professions:
Entertainers: Facebook Live can be used as a platform for showcasing talent. Actors, Comedians and Musicians for example can stream performances with Facebook Live. Actors can display their talent through sketches and can even go ahead to create a Web series. Musicians can use this avenue to stream mass and exclusive performances for their fans.
Journalists: Journalists can use Facebook Live to provide immediate live footage of events around the world, behind-the-scenes from the studio, and report on issues. As Mark Zuckerberg put it, Facebook Live is like TV in your pocket. Facebook Live is also an intimate way for TV stations to reach their audiences. They can stream important shows Live so that those who do not have access to TV at the moment can watch. Breaking news, issues of importance to the general public (like when the national team is playing) etc can also be streamed Live. In addition, news can be made more accessible to people on the go.
Fitness experts: Use Facebook Live to offer some free workout/training sessions, tips, and show how to conduct particular regimens to achieve certain results.
Food industry: Let your audience experience your passion. Put up your own Facebook Live cooking shows and share some recipes. You can also show people’s reactions to your products, and show your set up at an events etc.
Celebrities: If you are already doing something audio, (for instance the celebrities with voice blogs), you can make it Live on your Facebook wall. You can also make on the impulse inspirational videos as a result of an experience. Citi FM launched a road trip tour of Ghana dubbed the ‘Heritage Caravan‘ as part of its annual Heritage Month event in March. Some of the highlights on this road trip included a stop at the Adaklu Mountains in the Volta Region, the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in the Brong Ahafo Region and the Manhyia Palace Museum in the Ashanti Region. Jessica Opare Saforo (a radio presenter with the station) Facebook Live streamed some parts of this trip.
Speakers/Authors/Pastors/Churches: Share your thoughts, ideas and inspirations with Facebook Live. Church leaders can stream Facebook Live church services, conduct devotions and prayer meetings etc. This is an intimate, convenient way to connect with your followers.
A church schedules a Facebook Live session and encourages engagement with their audience.
A few tips for a successful stream:
- As, Steuart Henderson Britt put it, “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.” Inform your audience that you are broadcasting ahead of time. ‘Give them time to prepare and tune in.
- During the broadcast, encourage people to subscribe to your streams. Subscribers are not just friends, followers, and fans. They are the people who want to be notified when you are Live on Facebook.
- Longer broadcasts accrues more viewers, it is advisable to broadcast for at least 5 minutes.
- Broadcast when you have a strong internet connection. The ideal is to broadcast over Wi-Fi but a 4G connection is also good. The ‘Go Live’ button will be grayed out if your connection is weak.
- Capture your audience’s attention with a good and catchy description. Your description is intended to let people understand what your broadcast is about.
- Give acknowledgements to people who join your broadcast, respond to comments, and react to the stream.
Facebook is supporting its Facebook Live video function by making Facebook Live videos rank better in news feeds. Take advantage of this opportunity. It is certainly worth experimenting with just to see if you your audience is ready to view your content. Facebook Live video is still being rolled out and it is not available to all as yet. For now only Apple-iOS or Android devices can broadcast Facebook Live videos.
Are you ready to try Facebook Live? Do you have any questions? Kindly send all your questions and comments to any of the addresses below.