Live video has come to Facebook much like Periscope came to Twitter last year. There are some big distinctions between the social media sites, not the least of which is that 70% of Facebook users engage with the site daily versus 36% of Twitter users.
We used to say a picture is worth a thousand words. I think a video is worth a thousand pictures, and a live video is worth even more.
There’s something about the rawness of live video. Think of your own behavior when the local news breaks in with a live on-the-scene report. You watch.
While I’ve written a lot about marketing with video, that was about recording videos and uploading to YouTube, etc and then sharing.
And that’s still a really good option, mainly because they can be edited to a shorter length, calls-to-action can be added, and adjustments can be made to the audio. And particularly when it comes to Instagram and Pinterest, you want to make sure to use more professionally created materials.
But this post is about the newest option for small business marketers: Facebook live streaming video. When you do it right, it is another tool how to attract customers and improve your conversion rates on social media.
The cool news is your videos will play automatically in your followers' News Feed as they scroll down. And just like any other post, your videos will have view counts and be shareable.
Sounds good, right?
First thing to know is that this currently is only available via the Facebook Pages app for your iPhone or Android smartphone. It will not work on your desktop.
Next, while you can use it over your cellular carrier, you should have a strong wi-fi signal to avoid connection errors. If you can only broadcast on your cellular network, you want to check to see you have at least a 4G connection. If it isn’t strong enough, Facebook will tell you before you try to broadcast.
Also make sure to buy a small tripod to hold your smartphone to avoid shakes and provide a better user experience.
Next, think about what you’re going to video. Most of us will still want to create video to help our customers do something. You don’t need or want a script but a few bullet points on a Post-it can keep you focused to help you provide value to your viewers. If it can be funny in some way, even better.
When you’re ready to try it, go to your Pages app. Click Publish, and instead of writing an update, look for the four icons at the bottom of your screen: camera, emoji, location, and the live button.
Click the live button.
It will ask you to describe your video. Don’t be coy or frivolous with your description; keywords that potential customers would use to find you should be in your title. Instead of A First Try for a cooking school video, you might title it 5 Ways To Grill Salmon For Time-Pressed Moms.
Be sure to click the icon top right to toggle between your front and back cameras.
You might be asking how I know all of this?
I’ve filmed and posted several to learn best practices.
This is what I’ve learned:
Make sure you tell your Facebook fans you are going live in about 30 minutes. I always make sure to give timezone since I have fans around the globe; for your local business, it’s probably not an issue.
When you do go live, make sure you ask viewers to tap the Subscribe button on your live video so they can receive a notification when you go live the next time.
My initial thought was to go shorter like a YouTube video, but the longer I went live, the more people watched.
That said, the power is in the fact your video is then posted so anyone, any time can see it.
Here is an example of Pufferbellies Toy Store, who were on my first live video, tried it and have not only lived to tell about it but also have seen their videos do really well and also a live interview I did of the founder of an eight-store chain in Florida. You can press play to watch each.
Pufferbellies unboxing of 12 Easter eggs at their store.
By the way, Erin from Pufferbellies reported, "It did seem silly but my customers loved that Easter egg video and we actually sold out of a number of the items we showed that fit in the eggs. It was so fun."
What was really interesting was when I looked at the results of my boost of my live video. Notice that 80% of respondents were men. Look at your own analytics to understand who will respond the best to your live video.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
A fashion show - dog or people would be cute
How to catch a fish in your aquarium
Walking viewers through your store to show what is new
How to set the scene for a romantic dinner
Story time with a favorite book
An interview with a customer after their big purchase
When it comes to choosing which social media platforms you'll utilize, select those that offer the best potential for reaching your ideal audience. Most entrepreneurs can't be amazing on every platform, so instead of having an under-par representation on a lot of sites, be awesome on one.
Like most things new, you have to try different things and try them often to see what works and what doesn’t work.
Stay focused that this tool can help you attract new customers and get those loyal ones to share your content with their friends!
Using Facebook live video can help you do that without spending a lot of money or time.
And when you try do yours, please post a link in comments below.