In 2016, Socialbakers reported that the usage of Facebook Live had been steadily increasing for the better part of the year across pages. Celebrity and company pages have enjoyed an increase of 8 percent and 10 percent, respectively, with media and brands choosing to use Facebook Live over other live streaming apps like Periscope.
If this is the continuing trend for live streaming video, then what’s the draw for opting to do it on Facebook versus other social platforms like Instagram? And how can small businesses, which tend to be much more limited on funds and fans than established brands and influencers, get in on the fun?
If you’re not already using Facebook Live, but are curious about getting started, here’s a look at the benefits it can give to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Facebook Live for startups
- Easy to use with a wide, built-in audience
With more than 1 billion active monthly users, the Facebook community alone may be argument enough for a small business to incorporate live video into its social media strategy. If that hasn’t sold you yet, keep in mind that going live essentially allows you to interact with fans in real time.
For example, if you’re conducting a Q&A session, encourage fans to leave questions on your video. Since Facebook Live occurs in real-time, it also spurs a stronger conversation with more than 10 times the comments left behind than non-live videos.
Throughout the broadcast, you may notice thumbs ups, hearts and emojis floating across your screen. These are Live Reactions, which can help you gauge how your filming is going. At the top of the screen right next to the live button, you’ll also be able to see how many viewers are watching your live broadcast at any given time.
Still not swayed by the size of the audience or ease in filming a broadcast? How about the fact that you can go live completely through your Facebook app and not have to film through another app? Head into your Facebook app (or through the Facebook Pages app, if you’re filming from a brand account) and click on the “live” button to start your broadcast.
- These videos stick around so fans can keep watching and engaging with them
While we’re becoming accustomed to filming videos that come with an expiration date (like Instagram Stories), Live isn’t cut from the same cloth. After they broadcast, these videos may be saved onto a page’s timeline, allowing fans to revisit and rewatch them again.
You can also save and post the video to your blog, guaranteeing that the video will reach even more of your audience.
- Go beyond the sale and behind the scenes at your business
Make it a point to use some of Facebook Live’s best practices for filming, including alerting your fans when you’re going live beforehand, writing up a catchy caption for what the viewer is about to watch and broadcasting for long periods to allow more viewers the chance to tune in.
Most of all, have fun with the platform. Give your viewers a glimpse at the real “you” and what your startup environment is like. It’s your chance to be a little silly and creative, while showing your audience the real people that they’re doing business with (especially if your company is based online).
So, go behind the scenes with your business on Facebook Live! Film an interview, host a demo or comment on current events. Celebrate what makes your inner workings and team so special and share this world with interested viewers everywhere as often as you like.