A Beginner’s Guide to Using Facebook Live for Marketing

Facebook Live combines the best of both worlds: interactive video and the world’s most popular social media platform.

Live-streaming video isn’t new. YouTube and Periscope’s successes confirm what experts have been predicting for years now — videos drive more shares and consumer engagement than text and image content. In fact, studies show that video content gets 1,200 percent more participation compared to other types of content. Not only that, but Facebook updated their algorithm to push live-streaming video higher up in the News Feed, which helps you capture the most exposure.

This guide to using Facebook Live will outline why you should consider promoting your business via live-streaming and will give you some best practices for your first video.

Live Streaming Is Easier Than You Think

Facebook Live is promoted as a “fun, powerful way to connect with your followers and create new ones along the way.” When you see organizations like the Clemson Tigers, Kate Spade, Martha Stewart, Southwest Airlines, and BuzzFeed using the technology, you know the content tool works. The team here at Bluehost even got in on the action last year.

While people are viewing the live-streaming video, they can react in real time, and you can respond to your audience’s comments in your live video as well. This is a great way to generate massive engagement. Use Facebook live to announce a new product, conduct an interview with someone your audience finds interesting, show some “behind the scenes” footage, or host a short seminar where you go over some frequently asked questions.

It’s simple to set up and you don’t need any software or special apps — just a Facebook account and your smartphone. When you are ready to go live, tap on “What’s on your mind?” at the top of your News Feed and then “Live Video.” Remember to write a brief description, select your audience, and then click “Go Live.” Your broadcast can last for up to thirty minutes and a countdown clock will show you how much time you have left.

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Image source: SiliconAngle

Best Practices for Generating Engagement With Facebook Live

Follow these best practices for interactive video and live-streaming feeds to ensure that you get the highest volume of shares and reactions possible.

  • Relax, speak clearly, and keep the conversation focused on your main topic.
  • Introduce yourself and your topic and let friends know how long your broadcast will last.
  • Make sure you have a strong Internet connect and reduce background noise to ensure a positive viewing experience for viewers. If your connection drops, move to get a better signal if you can; the app will automatically reconnect once you do.
  • Before you start broadcasting, write an attention-grabbing description of your event.
  • Build interest in your live event by announcing it on your social channels beforehand. If your small business budget allows for it, consider using Facebook Ads to promote your upcoming live event.
  • All you need to get started is a smartphone. However, there is some buzz that the social media giant may monetize Facebook Live. So use the best A/V equipment you have to prepare for the anticipated paid options. And start broadcasting now before you have to compete with companies with deep pockets.
  • Use the metrics from your live feed, such as number of views, to learn what your audience wants.
  • Use the Live feature that allows viewers to ask questions during the event. Be sure to respond to comments and questions as promptly as possible and mention the commenter by name!
  • Even if you don’t broadcast for the full thirty minutes, try to stay live for at least ten minutes to ensure that you capture as many viewers as possible.
  • Save the broadcast so your fans and followers can review the content and share with their friends. Social media users are about three times more likely to view live-streaming video, and you don’t want to alienate people who had a scheduling conflict when you were broadcasting.
  • Make it easy for people to stay in the loop with your brand. Mention the subscribe button in the top right-hand corner at the end of your video. By subscribing, fans and followers will receive updates any time you are using Live.
  • Always include a call to action at the end of your broadcast. Let viewers know when you plan to launch new videos and thank everyone for tuning in.

Wrapping It Up

In order to create fun, powerful, engaging content, you must have a message that resonates with your audience. Nail down your message and practice a few times before the big event. Remember: live video is only one part of your overall marketing strategy.

Megan Hendrickson

Megan Hendrickson is the content manager at Bluehost. She draws on more than a decade of editorial experience — and a stint at one of the nation’s top business schools — to write about tech, small business, and marketing for the Bluehost blog.

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