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The Real-Time Revolution: Is Facebook Live Right For You?

Facebook, with its 1.1 billion users worldwide, is not a universal channel, but it’s a must-have to interact with your customers. Since Facebook Live launched in 2016, it’s become a fun and free marketing tool that businesses of any size can use to help build buzz and raise your profile.

To access Facebook Live, all you have to do is access the record button on your business page, and the action is beamed live to all your followers. Those who missed the event can watch your video later.

How can you use Facebook Live?

Product announcement: When that collectible comes in or your new batch is ready, turn it into a happening with the enthusiasts. Film the grand unveiling, whether it’s a first taste or first look, and capture the delight and surprise.

Interviews: Share your industry expertise and earn in the trust. Host a “Ask Me Anything” segment with one of your key players and invite clients and customers to submit questions. (Just in case, have a few questions in your back pocket and keep it flowing with an interview segment.)

Challenges: This is where you can take your brand to fun and lighthearted places. This video of melting ice cream, for example, earned millions of views last summer! Announce a creative challenge, and have customers send their own videos. Make everyone’s efforts worthwhile and memorable by keeping a ready supply of prizes imprinted with your brand and logo. For the winners, give away something special, such as a camp chair, a Moscow mule mug or a hoodie. A big T-shirt giveaway to everyone who tries will also go over well.

Demos: How-tos are not just for YouTube! Facebook Live is starting to get a piece of the action. Creating a live how-to video positions you as an industry expert and builds trust with your customers.

Pro tips for the best-ever live event

Announce your live event well ahead of time. Give it a catchy title, and sprinkle in a few announcement posts starting a few weeks before the event.

Prepare ahead of time. Everyone should have a handle on what’s going to happen and what they’re going to say. Once a gaffe or long silence gets out, you can’t take it back. When possible, do an on-camera test run (not live) so you have ample time to fix sound and lighting issues.

Interact with the commenters in real time by designating someone to stay on Facebook and answer any questions. To spice up the comments, surprise them with something special, such as a discount. Giveaways for the next visit will also go over well, so be ready with pens, sports bottles or key chains with a handy car charger.

Track the analytics. What’s key here is looking at how many people watched, and how long they tuned in. If the average viewer stayed on for only two minutes of a nine-minute video, for example, make the next video shorter.

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