How your brand can connect, engage, and inspire through Facebook Live video streaming
By Amy Quinn
Effective social media strategy depends largely upon knowing what the “next big thing” is going to be in the social space, and how to leverage that trend to impact your brand’s reach and social presence.
Forbes Magazine says that among 2017’s top social trends, authentic content in the form of live video will drive engagement on Facebook more than ever before. And according to Social Media Examiner, more than 50 percent of marketers plan on using live video services to engage their fans in social spaces. Finally, native video receives more engagement on Facebook than video that is uploaded or shared via YouTube.
So what does this mean for your brand’s 2017 social strategy?
Why Facebook Live?
Facebook continues to be the top platform for fan engagement, with more than 1.86 billion active users according to Statista. With an audience this diverse and tuned in, it’s no wonder that Facebook Live is gaining momentum in the advertising market.
However, if stepping into the live video broadcast limelight feels like stepping into the great unknown, there are steps you can take to set yourself—and your clients— up for success.
Set the stage
As with any marketing strategy, you’ll get the best results with a little prep time under your belt.
- Practice makes perfect – Stage fright? Take a practice run before you go live for your audience. Just like any other Facebook post, you can choose who sees your Facebook Live post – so go incognito by choosing ‘only me’ in privacy settings and test out your best Facebook Live spiel before taking it before a live audience.
- Write the script – No matter what the goal of your live session might be, have a plan in place. Ask yourself what message you want to send, how you want to send it, and what the important takeaways are for your fans.
- Gather your audience – Your best Facebook Live efforts will all go to waste if your audience isn’t tuned in for the action. Let your fans know when you’ll be on and what they’ll be watching well in advance of the event to get the best return on your investment.
- Get connected – Make sure you have a reliable wifi connection, or at least a 4G connection if wifi isn’t available. If you don’t have a strong enough connection, you’ll find your ‘go live’ button grayed out and then you risk disappointing your fans.
- Get descriptive – Write an engaging and compelling description before you go live to set the mood for your audience and create interest in your broadcast.
- Take your time – Plan to spend at least 10 minutes on your first broadcast, even longer if you are broadcasting from an event. The longer you are live, the more fans can join the audience to hear your message.
It’s show time – now what?
Now that you’ve got your plan in place and you’re ready to hit record on your first live session, here are some tips for making the most of your broadcast:
- Introduce yourself. And then do it again – Let your audience get to know you by introducing yourself and what your video is about. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll have fans joining your live stream throughout the broadcast, so don’t forget to introduce yourself a few times and share what your viewers may have missed with a short recap.
- Acknowledge your audience – Once the comments and likes start rolling in, acknowledge viewers by calling them out by name and thanking them for tuning in. The more comments your video receives, the higher the relevancy rating Facebook will give it, which in turn means more views and higher engagement. And face it – who doesn’t love to feel included in an experience, even if it is only vicariously via a live feed. Your fans will appreciate the feeling that you’ve included them in your experience and will tune in again the next time you go live.
- Don’t be shy, go ahead and ask – You’re in it to win it, as they say, so be bold and ask for shares and likes, suggest they subscribe to live notifications so they won’t miss out on your next Facebook Live session.
- Don’t work alone – Let’s face it – entertaining and engaging an audience is rarely a one-person task. It’s not easy to juggle your phone or other device while filming and keep up with comments as they roll in. Have someone on stand-by at a desktop computer, or another device, to interact with commenters, answer questions, and thank fans for engaging in the broadcast.
- Bid them farewell – When you are wrapping up your live session, don’t dip out without thanking everyone for tuning in, reminding them that the video will be available on your page for viewing if they missed part of the broadcast, and bidding them a hearty farewell. Remind them that you’ll be going live again soon and to stay tuned for more fun Facebook Live sessions.
Tell your story
Now that you’re feeling more confident about showing the world what you’ve got to offer, how should you use your first live experience to promote your brand? Step into the shoes of your audience – what content do they want to see? What can you do to create compelling content that will engage and excite your fans? Go into your first live experience with a plan in place that will create an interactive and interesting experience for your fans:
- Show them what you’ve got – Demonstrate how a product works, how to cook a meal, or just about anything else you can dream up.
- Host a Q & A – Your fans have questions, and you’ve got answers. Use Facebook Live comments to pull questions from the audience and answer them live. It’s a great way to engage your fans on a level that will really impact their opinion of your brand in real time.
- Throw a party – Hosting an event? Go live from the center of the fun and show everyone what’s happening at ground zero.
- Create a series – Whether it’s using your products in creative ways or sharing information on getting the most from your brand’s unique tools, you’ve got the expertise and your fans are eager to learn. Set up a series that shows your fans – live – what you’ve got to offer.
- Go behind the scenes – Let your fans take a peek behind the curtain to see the real people behind the brand.
The ways that Facebook Live can be leveraged to act as an ambassador for your brand are limitless. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. If you find it interesting, chances are your fans will as well.
Putting yourself in the Facebook Live spotlight doesn’t have to be intimidating or feel out of reach. With a good plan, and these simple tips, you can elevate your social strategy to star status in no time.
About Scooter Media
Scooter Media is a full-service communications agency in greater Cincinnati specializing in public relations and social media. For more on current trends in social media, be sure to check out our monthly “What’s Moving on Social Media” series.