Using the Facebook Live platform to build your brand
Learn how to leverage Live as your next Facebook marketing tool.
Facebook Live is Facebook's answer to the recent influx of live-streaming services. Having seen what current and past platforms were able to do with live video, Facebook took the concept and made it their own — and it turned out to be a perfect platform for this feature.
The live feed video service has taken off for a few reasons:
It's free to use — for both the business and consumer.
It streams right from the Facebook app on your mobile device or desktop computer, letting you go live wherever and whenever you want.
Because people want to watch live video while it's actually live, Facebook has adjusted their news feed algorithm to place Live videos higher in news feeds.
Facebook Live is great for business owners, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who wants to share live video with their target audience, build a community, and reinforce their brand.
Though it's easy to run your own live stream (Facebook breaks it down for you here), you should still ensure your Live videos are just as well planned and monitored as any other marketing technique you employ.
1. Decide the basic details of your strategy
Plan Facebook Live sessions with the same care as other content:
Choose a topic that makes sense.
Pick a day/time to stream.
Determine upfront how long you want to stream (up to 90 minutes per session).
Promote the session on social before, during, and after it happens (for anyone that missed it).
2. Prepare a flexible outline
Have high-level talking points, but don't overdo it. This may include questions that you are asking and answering or the steps you want to cover when using your product. The Live video should feel natural, not like you're reading from a teleprompter. Also, be sure to prepare an introduction and closing.
3. Test the quality
Before going live, always do a quick test with the "Only Me" privacy setting to ensure everything looks good: you, your backdrop, lighting, sound, Wi-Fi connection, etc.
4. Stay relevant to your audience
Share news and information related to your industry or other areas of expertise. While it might be interesting (and possibly controversial) to talk about the latest political debate, that's probably not why people are following you. Stick to relevant topics that your target audience will find useful.
5. Include entertainment value
Use these live videos as an opportunity to extend the positive relationship and brand identity you've established with your customers. Ideas for keeping streams entertaining include:
Interviewing a customer or partner
Giving a behind-the-scenes tour
Showing what a day-in-the-life looks like
Demonstrating how your products or services work
6. Provide opportunities for your audience to engage
This is your opportunity to get personal with your audience and help them find ways to connect with you on a genuine level. Make it count.
Share personal insights and give helpful tips, but also request audience comments.
Have someone on hand to monitor and respond to them.
If you answer the questions during filming, be sure to mention the person by name.
Always include a call-to-action: "Like this post." "Follow our brand on Twitter." "Let us know what your favorite product is." "Share this video."
7. Analyze viewership
Review your video's stats afterwards to see how it performed. Then use that information to plan accordingly for the next one. You'll be able to see how many viewers there were and how many people watched the full stream, as well as how many interactions you received. This might encourage you to stream Live more often or scale back, try different formats, or explore new topics.
By providing genuinely helpful, engaging, and perhaps even entertaining live video to your audience, you may be on your way to having new followers and eventually, loyal customers.
Get more quick tips on establishing a social media strategy, such as following an 80/20 rule: 80% information-based content, 20% promotional content.