How to Use Facebook Live for Business
Less than five years ago, the only media platform that had live content was the news. But today, thanks to increased bandwidth and everyone having a camera in their pocket, this has all changed.
Today, both individuals and businesses have the equivalent of a TV studio on their computers and smartphones.
For businesses wanting to engage and grow a following on social media, live streaming can be an excellent method.
Of all the live streaming platforms today, Facebook Live offers the most opportunity for exposure and engagement. In 2018, there were over 3.5 billion Facebook Live broadcasts. Perhaps more importantly, Facebook Live videos get ten times more comments and are watched three times longer than pre-uploaded videos.
In this brief guide, we will look at how to best use Facebook Live for your business.
The Short History of Live Streaming
Live-streaming had been around in some form since 2007, with services like Ustream, Livestream, SocialCam, and Justin.tv leading the way.
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube, started to embrace the medium of live streaming, and it became part of everyday life between 2015 and 2017.
Periscope (owned by Twitter) was the first platform to combine social media with Live streaming functionality. In early 2017, Facebook launched its version of Live streaming, called Facebook Live. This new tool enabled users to go live from their desktop or mobile device and to share their experiences in real-time with their audience.
What is Facebook Live?
Facebook itself deems Facebook Live as ‘the best way to interact with viewers in real-time.’
Using the camera and microphone on your computer or smartphone, you can share your thoughts, experiences, and interact with people watching live via Facebook.
One of the significant benefits of Facebook Live is that Facebook will let your followers and friends know that you are live on the platform. This notification gives them a direct line to you while you are broadcasting. And after the live stream has ended, Facebook will leave share video as a recording.
How to Go Live on Facebook in 10 Steps
Going live on Facebook is a fairly straightforward process. The Facebook app or website will guide you through most of the steps. But in case you want a step-by-step list for Facebook Live, here is everything you need to do.
- Tap the ‘Live’ camera icon on mobile; it is under the ‘more’ section on desktop
- Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone when prompted
- Choose your privacy and posting settings
- Write a compelling description of your video (so people know what you’re talking about)
- Tag friends, choose a location or add an activity
- Set your camera’s orientation, add lenses, filters, or writing to your video
- Click the blue ‘Start Live Video’ button to start broadcasting
- Share your experiences, and interact with your viewers
- Click Finish to end the broadcast
- Save the video to your camera roll (for future content repurposing)
If you are going live for the first time, it is likely not going to be a perfect broadcast. But that doesn’t matter, as people are much more forgiving when you are live on camera. They understand that you are trying something new, and it takes time to get it right.
How Long Should A Facebook Live Be?
How long should you broadcast live on Facebook? The answer, of course, is ‘it depends.’
If you are planning to share something quick, then maybe 5-10 minutes can be a good broadcast time.
The longer you broadcast, the more likely you will have live viewers and interactions online. For more live engagement, Facebook suggests streaming for at least 10 minutes, and you can stream for up to 4 hours at a time.
What Should You Speak About on Facebook Live?
If you are broadcasting as a person, it is easier to share your life and experiences. However, as a business, you need to be a little more strategic. Here are some of the best topics we have learned for broadcasting live on Facebook.
Do your customers or prospects have common questions they usually ask? If so, you can use these as ways to give valuable insights to your followers. Make a list of what people typically ask you in sales meetings, via email or DM, and then answer these questions on Facebook Live.
Announce New Products or Services
Whenever Apple has a new product or service that they are rolling out, they always hold an event to announce it. This idea can be an excellent strategy for businesses of all sizes, and Facebook Live can be a unique way to do it.
Although you don’t want to be too pushy or sales-driven, you can offer the details of what you are offering, and even give a demo via screen share.
Give a Behind-The-Scenes Tour
If you have a cool office or a location where customers visit (e.g., a restaurant, retail store, etc.) you can give people a guided tour. An office tour helps them to see what it’s like to visit before they come in. It also helps them to get a sense of who you are and what to expect.
Introduce New Team Members
Each member of your team has a natural personality and an area of expertise. It’s essential to introduce them to your customers and prospects. Take 10 minutes and interview new team members (or those who have been with you a while) and help your followers get to know them.
Share Company Events or Experiences
Do you and the team ever do fun team building activities? Take time away from the office to visit clients, or to attend a conference? These are all excellent opportunities to go live for a few minutes and share what you are up to. They help to make your team appear more human, and show that you are out in the world doing interesting, exciting things.
Share Industry News or Insights
Your customers and prospects are very interested in what is happening in the industry that surrounds your business. In the B2B industries, this is especially true. You can present industry news or changes via Facebook Live and help everyone to stay up-to-date. This strategy creates a way to keep in front of your current customers and to build trust with prospects.
Repurpose Content From Facebook Live
The final benefit of doing Facebook Live sessions is that the recording is saved by Facebook and can also be repurposed into other content. You can take the best parts of any Facebook Live video and rework them for platforms like Youtube or LinkedIn. Because the content is recorded live, it has more of an engaging aspect to it, as people feel like they are getting to see something they missed out on before.
In conclusion, live streaming via Facebook Live is an excellent way to leverage one of the newest tools on the platform. As the world becomes more connected, it’s important to find new ways to stay in touch.
The algorithm and the people watching will both support you to grow engagement and interest in your business.