Facebook Live is currently one of the internet’s fastest growing platforms.
This high level of engagement is giving small business owners unprecedented marketing opportunities.
Marketers can now do something that they’ve never been able to do before: engage with, and respond, to thousands of potential clients in real time.
From content ideas to advance live features, we’ll help you make the most of the internet’s fastest growing platform in just a few easy steps.
Getting started with Facebook Live
Before we get onto the fun stuff, let’s take you through the basics: getting set up for your first Facebook Live video.
All it takes is 4 easy steps:
1. Find the “Live” button
The team at Facebook has made it super easy to record your first live video.
If you’re using your mobile device, first navigate to your newsfeed. Under the box where you would normally update your status, you’ll see a red video camera option and a “Live” button. (You’ll also see this button on your profile when you open up your status box).
If you’re on a computer, you’ll see the live button above your status update box on your newsfeed. Clicking that button is the first step.
2. Grant camera access
Once you’ve clicked the Live button, a popup will ask you to grant Facebook permission to access your camera.
Click “OK” to proceed.
3. Choose your privacy settings
If you’re going live to promote your business, chances are you’ll want to make your broadcast public.
However, you also have the option to stream only to your Facebook friends.
If you want the chance to test out the platform before going public, you should change the privacy setting to “Only Me”. You can do this by clicking on “More” and scrolling all the way to the bottom of your options.
4. Write an awesome description
Finally, every time you upload a new video, you should write an engaging description- just as you would for an article or image.
This will show up in people’s newsfeeds, so make it count! You’ll want to write a short, yet informative description that will make your followers want to tune in.
Here’s an example of a great Facebook Live description by Benefit Cosmetics
This description is a home run. Why? Very simply, it identifies a problem their followers may be facing and promises to provide a solution.
Offering a useful solution or teasing your readers with a promise of what your live video will deliver is a great way to get them to watch.
Also, notice how they use emojis to make the video look and feel more organic and fun. Benefit Cosmetics want their content, and brand, to feel like your Facebook friend, not a business trying to cold sell.
5. Set location and tag participants
Setting your video location and tagging anyone involved or mentioned is a very important step.
Providing these details will make your live video more discoverable and will encourage people to watch, like and share.
6. Final checks
Before you go live, it’s good to check you’ve got your camera angle right, and that you’re happy with your background and lighting.
The background of the Facebook Live set up screen will show you exactly what the broadcast will show once you go live. Make sure you’re happy with this before you click the “Go Live” button.
7. Go Live!
Once you’re happy with your set up, click the blue “Go Live” button.
Facebook will give you a three-second countdown; then you’ll be live in people’s newsfeeds.
Whilst you’re broadcasting, don’t forget to respond to comments and engage with followers in real time! This is your chance to connect with your audience.
When you’re done, just click the “Finish” button to end your broadcast.
Want to find out how to get more ROI from social media? You might like this article.
Advanced Facebook Live features
Once you’ve nailed the basics of Facebook Live, you can start taking advantage of some of the platform’s more advanced features.
Filters, writing, and animation
Did you know you can also add filters, writing, and drawings to your live video from your mobile phone?
Simply tap the magic wand icon in the top right-hand corner of your screen and experiment with your options before you start recording.
Add a call to action
Facebook Live makes it possible for you to add a CTA button to your videos.
With such high engagement rates, it would be silly not to take advantage of this.
Adding something like “Shop Now” or “Learn More” is a great way to encourage those viewers to become customers.
Edit your videos
Once you’ve finished filming, Facebook gives you the option to edit the recorded version of the live video that will remain on your feed.
Take advantage of this feature by adding comments or custom thumbnails.
Prepare In advance
In 2016, Facebook launched new features which allow businesses and brands to better prepare for a live-stream in advance.
You can now notify followers of an upcoming video by scheduling it ahead of time. You can also create a link for your stream up to a week ahead so you can really ramp up the advance promotion.
Now you have everything you need for the technical side of Facebook Live, it’s time to brainstorm some killer content ideas.
At the end of the day, no matter what filter you use or what background you choose, the winning piece of the puzzle is your content.
1. Give a backstage peek into your business
Facebook Live allows you to give your followers a more intimate look into your business.
A peek behind the scenes of your operation can help your audience understand why they should do business with you instead of your competitors.
For example, you could run a live video of how things work at the office. If your company is preparing for a big event, why not show your followers what goes on in the planning and preparation?
Who’s smashing it?
Dunkin’ Donuts took viewers on a live tour of their test kitchen to show them where the magic happens.
This behind-the-scenes peek offered a unique look into how the business operates and allowed followers to connect with the company in a more personal way.
They also did a great job of tying in this behind-the-scenes tour with a special Valentine’s Day promotion.
2. Host a Q&A
How about hosting a live question and answer session to address the immediate needs/questions of your followers?
Instead of making readers go through customer service, give them the chance to get simple questions answered in real time.
Q&As are also a great way to connect with your customers and help them feel like they know you and your business a little better.
Who’s smashing it?
Sephora is a great example of a business that gives followers the opportunity to ask questions about their niche industry.
By hosting a Q&A on haircare, Sephora responds to the needs of their followers while also promoting their best products and appearing as leaders in their industry.
3. Provide a tutorial
Tutorials are extremely popular on Facebook; just look at the success of Buzzfeed’s Tasty, which now has over 90,000,000 likes.
Live tutorials are particularly useful for businesses, as they show your customers the real-time reality of using your product or service.
Live tutorials are also a great way to showcase the additional features of a product that your followers may not be familiar with.
Who’s smashing it?
Martha Stewart is a tutorial expert with years of experience providing How-Tos across all kinds of media.
Now that Facebook Live is the reigning medium, Martha Stewart has jumped right in with cooking tutorials, organizational hacks, and more.
This particular live video was done to showcase the easy weeknight dinners one can prepare with her meal kits. As you can see by the engagement rates here, this video worked wonders for promoting Martha and her products.
4. Launch a product or service
Facebook Live is an exciting and intimate way to announce the release of a new product or service.
The live component allows you to gauge customer response immediately and answer any questions they have about the new release.
Launching a product or service through Facebook Live also gives you the opportunity to offer a special promotion for customers who tune in; creating suspense and a sense of urgency.
Who’s smashing it?
The blog Living Well Spending Less made great use of Facebook Live to launch its Living Well Planner.
This live video was particularly successful because it included a promotional giveaway for followers that encouraged them to engage with the brand.
Viewers answered live trivia questions for a chance to win a Living Well Planner of their own.
5. Feature an interview
Customers love hearing from the brains behind an operation.
Hosting an interview with an expert in your field or with one of your business partners is a great way to connect with your followers on a personal, honest and more un-filtered level.
Sharing pieces of your personal story also helps boost the unique branding and individual message of your business.
Who’s smashing it?
Airbnb partnered with the cast of The Jungle Book to do a series of live-streamed interviews.
This video focused on the real-time, in-person discussions but was created to promote Airbnb’s Live There campaign.
An interview series like this is a great way of offering your followers exclusive content while still promoting your brand.
Key takeaway – what you can do today
Starting today, log into Facebook and play around with the live feature with your settings on private.
Experiment with the platform until you feel comfortable speaking to the camera and are happy with your set-up.
You can also start by brainstorming some content ideas specific to your business. Think about how you can take the suggestions above and translate them into content of your own.
Finally, watch a few Facebook Live videos, whether they be currently streaming or archived, and take notes on how your competitors engage with their viewers.
Do you have any other great content ideas for Facebook Live? Have you tried the platform already and discovered any tips? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
And don’t forget to read our recent post on what kind of Facebook content gets the most likes and shares.