Live video is to Facebook much like Reels is to Instagram.
We used to say a picture is worth a thousand words. 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.
Marketing with traditional video
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 use more professionally created materials.
But this post is about a more spontaneous option for small business marketers:
Facebook live-streaming video
When you do it right, it is another tool 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?
You need a reliable connection
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 if you have at least a 4G connection.
If it isn’t strong enough, Facebook will tell you before you try to broadcast.
Avoid shaky hands
Also, buy a small tripod to hold your smartphone to avoid shakes and provide a better user experience. If you don't have one, use whatever you have to rig your phone stationary as you're recording.
Plan your live video
Next, think about what you’re going to video. Most of us will still want to create videos 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 on helping you provide value to your viewers - if it can be funny in some way, even better.
How to post a live video to Facebook
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. Use keywords that potential customers would use to find you in the 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 my time zone 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, 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.
Pufferbellies unboxing 12 Easter eggs at their store.
Here is an example of Pufferbellies Toy Store, who were on my first live video.
They tried it and have not only lived to tell about it but also have seen their videos do really well.
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.
My interview with Naples Soap Company Founder Deanna Renda.
Here is also a live interview I did of the founder of an eight-store chain in Florida.
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