Facebook Live offers businesses a new, creative platform for engaging customers — here’s how to use it.
You may have noticed a sudden flurry of notifications on your Facebook account, alerting you to a new feature called Facebook Live. Facebook has slowly been rolling out Live since August 2015, making it available to all pages and profiles in December. And while it may be reminiscent of platforms like Snapchat and Periscope, which are popular social tools among America’s youngest users, this feature offers invaluable opportunities for businesses to reach customers in new and exciting ways.
Here is what B2B marketers need to know about Facebook Live.
What is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live lets you broadcast in real time for up to 90 minutes at a time. People who have recently engaged (or who frequently engage) with your page will receive a notification that you are streaming live, and they can go to your page to view the video. Viewers can comment and react during the course of your broadcast, allowing you to read their remarks and respond immediately.
After the broadcast ends, the video will post on your timeline so those who missed it can watch it in full at a later time. You can edit or remove it, just like any other post, at any time.
Why is this good for business?
Video content is wildly popular. The number of videos uploaded to Facebook has increased by 94% over the last year, with more than 50% of Americans who use Facebook daily viewing at least one video per day. B2B businesses have caught on to this trend and have leveraged video quite successfully in their marketing efforts in the last year or two.
Facebook is an excellent forum for businesses to engage with customers, and Live can enhance this experience — or, at least, provide another avenue for doing so. There is something about being on air and uncensored that promotes transparency and offers the opportunity to connect with people in a very real way. Your business can showcase its brand personality, as well as its products and services, and offer high-value content to a wide audience through this channel.
Additionally, Live gets higher organic reach than non-live video, giving you a prominent spot in your followers’ feeds (without having to pay for it).
How does it work?
- Tap “What’s on your mind” at the top of your News Feed.
- Select “Live Video” from the drop-down menu.
- Add a description and choose your audience before hitting “Go Live.” You’ll see a three-second countdown before your broadcast begins.
Note: Live is only available for iOS, Android, and Facebook Mentions.
- Target a very specific audience by choosing location, language, gender or age.
- Choose where you broadcast live (other than your timeline) by posting to event pages and Facebook groups.
- A very prominent “Follow” button at the bottom of your broadcast allows your viewers to opt in to receive notifications when you go live in the future. Viewers can also invite friends to watch live videos with them.
- Edit your video after it posts to your timeline. You can select a thumbnail, select a category, include a URL, and add a call to action (such as Shop Now, Learn More, or Sign Up).
- Filters allow you to adjust the quality and color of your video, and soon a drawing tool will allow you to doodle over it.
- During your broadcast, you’ll see the number of live viewers, which friends are tuning in, and their comments in real time.
- Increase your reach by boosting the post after you’ve concluded your broadcast, or by creating a video ad from your broadcast by using the Ads Manager.
- The Live Map shows you where people are broadcasting around the world.
What kinds of content could B2B companies stream live?
Businesses have an incredible opportunity to engage with customers and partners with Facebook Live. Here are some ideas for the kinds of content your company could broadcast using this tool.
1) Behind-the-scenes glances
Show your audience your eco-friendly facilities, your impressive tradeshow set-up, your whiteboard after a strategic planning meeting, the inside of a fully packed delivery truck, a community service event, etc. There are a million creative ways to say something substantial about your business by offering a small glimpse into your day-to-day operations.
2) Q&As and Interviews
Live is an ideal platform for a Q&A-style broadcast. Invite customers to bring their questions or requests to a Live stream with one of your executives. Or, have a top-of-their-field expert offer insight on a particular topic or event.
3) Customer testimonials
Do you have any particularly happy customers who would be willing to speak about their experience working with your business? Or could someone on your team interview them? Not only is this great advertising for your company, it offers exposure for theirs as well.
4) How-tos, product demos, and sneak peeks
Build excitement for a product launch with previews, or demonstrate how to best use your product or service. Share your knowledge on best practices, tutorials, and processes related to your business.
5) Presentations, annual reports, celebrations, special events
Facebook Live offers a fresh way to present information or to share a special occasion with your online audience. Imagine announcing quarterly results this way, or honoring milestone employee anniversaries. This platform gives you a new format for marking such moments.
How does your company use Facebook Live?
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