Facebook live for small business

How to Use Facebook Live to Grow Your Business

Facebook live for small business

by Donna Amos

Since being launched in April 2016, Facebook Live rose to overtake YouTube as the #1 video streaming service on the Internet. Facebook also has 2 billion monthly users as of June 2017. That’s more than any other social network. So, using Facebook Live to grow your business seems like a no-brainer.

Most businesses recognize the importance of video. By 2019 it’s anticipated that 80% of the Facebook news feed will be video. Perhaps you thought about using video in the past, but the high costs and complexity turned you against it. True, storyboarding, writing, shooting, and editing a professional video can be extremely costly.

That’s the beauty of Facebook Live video. All you need is a smartphone and an idea. The online marketing world is praising live video like crazy because of its simplicity and versatility. Opportunity can meet innovation at any moment to produce a live video stream to promote your brand in any number of ways. All on the largest social media platform available. And FREE.

Video Storytelling

The essence of all good marketing is storytelling, and that is the prime focus of video. Storytelling applies to any business or industry, no matter how large or small. Anyone can tell a good story. We tell stories all the time as we talk about our product or service and the people with whom we interact.

Four primary types of storytelling:

  • Informational: Drop knowledge bombs and tell people what you know.
  • Inspirational: Speak to the heart, stir emotion, and motivate others.
  • Entertaining: Engage with people, make them laugh or cry.
  • Experiential: Show people who you are, where you are, and what you are doing.

As you tell your story, remember these important tips:

Always Be Authentic

The hook of live video streaming is the connection with a real person. This doesn’t mean you don’t want a clear idea of what you’re doing or want to say. It does mean you show authenticity. Be real. Speak to the camera as you would speak to an individual in front of you. Reflect real emotions. If what you’re talking about upsets you, it’s OK to appear a bit upset. If you fumble a word or two, keep going. It’s live, remember? It’s supposed to be real and not completely scripted.

Engage with Your Audience

Another great hook with live video streaming is the ability to engage with your audience, and for them to engage with you. This is more than acknowledging when participants join the broadcast or comment. Ask questions for your audience to answer and interact with them as the video continues. The unscripted nature of live video is one of its huge drawing points, so capitalize on that and have fun.

The engagement doesn’t have to end when the video ends. Leave an offer at the end of the broadcast and include an engagement button on the post so viewers can get more information or simply connect with you. Leave the live post available on your Facebook feed for more users to view and engage with later.

Promote Live Events in Advance

Covering a live event for your brand is huge, and you want as many people watching as possible, so advertise the live video in advance. Set a time and location when you will be streaming live and promote it on every social media channel and your website. Invite local fans to come and be included in the live video audience.

Consider giving away some freebies to the live audience and allow one of them to choose a remote viewer to win as well. Encourage interaction from your streaming audience and share that with the live audience. This is especially helpful if you have regular online events, like auctions or product showings.

Brand Your Content

Always have a purpose in going live on video, and tie that purpose to promoting your brand. You can produce a moving live video session about the homeless in your city that engages thousands of viewers without benefitting your brand in any way. Always tie your video to your brand. What are you showing? Why? How does your brand connect to that event, project, or need?

As you tell your story, include the why. Why is your brand showing this? What makes it important? Why should viewers care? How can they connect your video to your brand? Live videos don’t always have to be about promoting your business; but they should always promote your brand values and showcase your brand.

Do you currently use Facebook Live in your business marketing efforts? What are some of your best tips for using it successfully? Share your suggestions and stories with our readers in the comment section below.

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