7 Smart Ways to Start Using Facebook Live for Your Business

01 December 2016

At the risk of sounding like a Grandpa complaining about kids today, we have to ask: remember the early days of Facebook? When it was called “The Facebook” and was only available at Harvard? When your parents didn’t know about it and you weren’t even able to post photos?

That was 2004, the year Napoleon Dynamite made tater tots cool again, TRL was still a thing, and Mean Girls would become the thing we referenced for the rest of our lives.

 

It’s been 12 years since Facebook arrived on the scene. Though we have yet to see a “dislike” button, Facebook has been through numerous redesigns, facelifts, and additions to our favourite OG social platform. And this year, we saw yet another.

 

Before you roll your eyes in exasperation at the idea that you have yet another thing to add to your brand’s social platform, breathe, resist the urge to bang your head on the wall, and take comfort in the knowledge that at Indaba, we are nothing if not social media savvy.

Here are seven smart ways that you can start using Facebook Live for your business.

 

Host Webinars and Events Directly From Facebook

Oyster shucking; Who would have thunkit? But thousands of people tune in every day to watch someone shuck oysters. The heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes the heart wants to watch pearls being harvested live directly from the oyster.

 

Thanks to Facebook Live, event hosts can reach out to an even wider audience. Sure, this is an extreme example, but take oyster shucking and replace it with whatever your brand may be and use it as a catalyst for inspiration. Facebook Live is an ideal medium for hosting live webinars and other events. Just make a social media announcement, promote the event with your scheduled time and date, send direct invitations to your most engaged followers, and encourage people to invite others.

 

When it’s time to start your event, don’t forget that this is an interactive platform; people are tuning into your webinar for a reason: to learn something from your brand. Pay attention to their questions and comments. You’ll also see various emojis floating across your screen, which will give you an indication of how well your audience is responding to your content.

 

Spotlight Employees and Industry Influencers

 

Businesses include employee profiles on their websites for good reason and it’s not because they should. People are more likely to feel comfortable doing business with you and your brand when they see a face behind the name. It creates relatability. You can leverage this familiarity by interviewing or highlighting various employees during live streaming sessions to show your audience just who is behind your brand’s name and what behind the scenes looks like.

 

There are a few ways to do this. If you are working with someone who is particularly savvy and comfortable at being in front of the camera, it may be best to simply let them speak. If they are comfortable enough, they should be able to shine without being overly scripted. On the other hand, some may be more forthcoming if you use an interview format. Whatever you decide for each employee, letting your audience get to know your team better is always beneficial.

 

As far as influencers go, the benefits are the same as getting someone who is respected in your audience to write a blog post for you, to review one of your products, or to provide a testimonial. The difference is that not only do they get to share their thoughts with your audience, your audience can engage with them in real time. As well, you can find help at writing sites and check top writers reviews to select the best influencer for your project.

 

Create Live Customer Service Experiences

The upsell is a beautiful thing. You have a customer ready to make a purchase and you get them to add on a premium. This not only increases your profit; it gives your customer a little something extra. The key to upselling lies in illustrating to your audience what’s in it for them and why they’re getting a lot of benefit for paying a little more money.

 

What does this have to do with Facebook Live? The platform provides users the ability to create private Facebook Live sessions. These can be used to provide VIP customers to premium content and information. For instance, offering a six month ‘subscription; to a weekly Q&A or best practices session or sharing exclusive announcements with VIP groups.

 

Facebook Live can also be used to turn negative experience into a positive one. If you have a disgruntled customer who is frustrated with your product, you can quickly schedule a private session to help them in real time. If multiple people are having difficulties, invite them to a group, and use live streaming to help all of them at once.

 

Host a Live Ask Me Anything Session

FAQs are boring; there we said it! They aren’t dynamic. They don’t target specifics or may not answer what people want to know now. It’s also impossible for frequently asked questions to reflect your branding or personality. On the other hand, a live streaming, ask me anything session can be used to accomplish all of these things under one umbrella.

 

Essentially, you make yourself available to field all kinds of questions about your company. Expect your audience to ask about your products, your background, future plans, and to bring up a variety of other topics that may not even be brand related. Your job is to answer these questions and generate lots of positive engagement with your audience. Say hello to your commenters by name and respond to their comments; they’ll be thrilled to hear you mention them and answer their questions when you’re live. When executed properly, a live ask-me-anything session can create lots of positive buzz about your brand.

 

Feature a Product

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to take one of your products and really drill down to what’s at the heart of it. Whether that’s a how to guide or different ways you can use your brand’s product, you can present your audience with very specific education that is both engaging and informative. It’s also a great way to provide them with new information on potential uses, and lesser known features. This would also be a good time to explain product maintenance, discuss concerns, and address frequently asked questions on that specific product.

 

Yes, you could do all of this by simply recording product videos and uploading them to YouTube or Vimeo. The only problem is that you don’t get the benefit of having a live audience.

 

Provide Project Updates

What is your audience looking for? Do you have a new product that will be launching in the future? Have you broken ground on a new location? Will you be moving to a new website? Whatever newsworthy/shareworthy/must-know-now information you have lurking around the corner, it’s a good idea (and good manners) to keep your customers interested and excited. Unfortunately, it’s easy for customers to forget about what is coming up (we’re all just a bunch of digital savvy humanoids with the memories of goldfish these days). Keep your audience excited by using Facebook Live.

 

In a Facebook live session, you can update customers, investors, and other interested parties on any issues or updates that may be relevant. You’ll increase confidence and trust if you are willing to be transparent about your progress and answer your audience’s questions.

 

Take Your Audience With You on New Experiences

 

What’s on your calendar? We don’t necessarily need to know about your dog’s half birthday party, but if you’re attending any conventions, festivals, conferences, or related events, you can implement Facebook Live to bring your audience with you. For instance, if you develop apps for gamers, take your followers with you to an eSports event. If you are trying to appeal to your local audience, show up at local music, food, and art events to help create enthusiasm for your company and for your community.

 

Facebook has come a long way since it’s conception. And in the media-hype video world that is our modern day digital society, leveraging the latest from Facebook to amplify your brand has never been easier. I stream, you stream, we all stream because we can!

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