3 Ways to Benefit from Facebook Live Videos
- April 14, 2017
- By Adam Preston
Our Facebook newsfeeds have never been so populated with useful, actionable content as they are today. Users are becoming more savvy — and fickle at the same time — with what they post, what they view and, most importantly, what they act upon. Live video is one of the latest trends, almost to the point of oversaturation. Still, businesses and brands are using it very efficiently and effectively to not only separate themselves from the pack but to turn likes, shares and comments into monetized efforts.
Is Facebook Live video right for you, your brand or business? It can be … IF you keep it simple and stay true to your purpose of being on social media for reasons other than goofing off during work hours.
Here are three simple yet successful strategies for using Facebook Live to move the needle:
1. A Good, Old-Fashioned Q&A Session
It seems as though we all just want to be big rock stars (cue Nickelback song) when it comes to any type of social media presence, especially when it involves video. Don’t fall into this trap unless you are a bona fide media business or have employees, sales reps or other staff that are truly recognizable (and embraced) within your segment of your industry. Remember, you are in business because of your fans and followers, not despite them. Engaging this consumer base regularly isn’t easy, well, unless you actually do have the time to type out written replies to all of their comments on your social posts.
Facebook Live is an excellent forum for holding a Q&A session. Set aside a specific amount of time (15 minutes is plenty) once or twice a month, and allow your fans to pepper you or a company representative with questions. Field them live-time on the Facebook video. This simple acknowledgment is a sure sign to them that you truly care about they think. Tip: You will want someone in front of the camera who is comfortable and well spoken.
2. Announce Special Sales and Upcoming Promotions
You’re having a 20% off sale on all crossbow accessories on Columbus Day? Go live and tell your fans about it! You’re opening a new store in St. Louis later this year? Go live and tell the about it! You’re giving away free packs of broadheads every Friday for all online purchases? You get the idea …
Live video generates excitement. Capitalize on that excitement by telling your followers something exciting. But be careful here: Some things you might find exciting might be completely annoying to your fan base. You’re walking around with a pal at your local deer and turkey expo? Good for you, but unless you truly have something exciting to report, keep your finger off the “Go Live!” button unless you’re tuned in enough to actually engage the audience.
A walk-and-talk live broadcast shouldn’t be a “Hey, look at me!” event. Rather, it should be “Come along for the ride and participate in this awesome event!” There are many ways to do that; you just need to plan them out and always keep that customer’s interest first and foremost.
3. Reward Your Fans and Followers
Live video is the perfect medium for rewarding your best customers (or mere fans) for their loyalty. Go live with a simple message, question or request, and then ask your followers to interact on the post. At the end of the day throw all of the names in a spreadsheet and randomly pull a winner or two. Announce their names in a follow up post and send them something from your goodie closet. Another effective reward could be a custom code for 10% off all online orders that week. Such simple “we appreciate your business” gestures go a long way to brand and customer loyalty.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to reward your fans. You can think of other ways to reward them. How about sharing their content with your Facebook page’s fan base? Or how about giving loyal followers a shout-out on a Follower Friday post? I’ve said this many times before in my blog posts, but social media is about social interaction. You might not be “friends” in real life, but your actions on your brand’s page will indicate you are a friend indeed when it comes to reciprocity.
A Few More Tips
If you have yet to use the Facebook Live feature, be 100% sure you know what you’re doing from a technical aspect before attempting a prime-time event. First and foremost, be sure your smart phone’s settings are aligned properly; you have completely reliable cell service; and your power reserve (battery) is capable.
Do a test run during an off-hour, and have a few friends or coworkers monitor the broadcast in a nearby room with their mobile device. You will know within a couple of minutes whether or not the broadcast is operating properly.
It is perfectly acceptable to have that dummy test be a simple, “We will be going live tonight, so be sure to check back!” type of message. This will allow you to make sure audio is working and video framing is appropriate.
Again, don’t just do a live video just to do it. It turns people off and almost sends a message to them that you really don’t have anything better to do than waste their time.
Make sure your overall live video strategy is actionable. You don’t need to script out video presentations (that’s why it’s called “live”), but you do need to have some kind of plan. Map out that plan, and plot your progress. Then, at the end of each month or fiscal quarter, analyze the results. Traffic reports and (for you retailers) sales will tell you how you’re doing and what you should be doing more of in the future.
Above all else, have fun with it!