How to use Facebook Live to reach your audience and build your following
Facebook Live is an incredible way to directly engage with your audience. Building a following is all about making a genuine connection, and there are few better ways to do that than by talking to them in an unedited and interactive format.
Facebook Live is a video service within Facebook that lets you stream whatever you want. It’s a great way to make an immediate connection with your audience, as you show things that are actually happening in real time, This also allows them to have a genuine interaction with your business by adding comments.
It’s also something that is available for businesses of all sizes. Facebook Live can be streamed through a smartphone, with no extra equipment or set-up needed. It’s great at capturing impromptu moments, as well as providing a format to get across prepared content in an immediate manner.
Facebook Live videos also go straight to the top of people’s feeds when they are on - so it’s great way to get prime position on your existing followers feed without having to spend money.
Live videos that are actually happening are also a great way to get people to share content - so they can experience the same thing at the same time - rather than just a simple shared image or post.
So, how can you use Facebook Live to reach your audience and build your following?
Behind the scenes
Facebook Live is a great way to show the wizard behind the curtain, to demystify the process and let your audience see the people who actually make your business work.
It can be a series of ‘meet’ videos, or even following through the process of making one of your products or an end-to-end overview of one of your services. If you are a restaurant, for example - showing where your produce comes from and how it is prepared can help display some of your unique selling points and answer customer pain points in a way that doesn’t seem forced.
From a service perspective, a complicated process can be broken down into a simple series of steps. If you work in a legal firm, for example - a process that may mystify the clients can be made clear and also be made less intimidating.
Once the Facebook Live video is done, it can also be used in other posts - or to populate a video playlist that can be referred to or even embedded into a homepage to help people understand and want to use your business.
A recent addition to Facebook Live has been the ability to cast a screen onto Facebook Live. If you have an online service, this can be a great way to create tutorials to guide people through some of the benefits, and hidden ‘tips and tricks’ that your service provides.
You can also show people excellence in your work. If you work collaboratively online to create a project together - then you can do a mock piece of work to show the level of effort and co-operation that goes into a project. If you were a graphic design firm, for example - you could show the creation of a mock logo, and show off all the research and discussion that goes into its creation.
If your business is product based, you get to show off the skills that set you apart from other people in the industry. If you go the extra mile to make sure the product you create is the very best - Facebook Live is a great way to show off that ‘extra mile’
One of the great things that social media offers is genuine testimonials from people who are happy with your product. A video where you can actually see their reaction and tell that it’s genuine is even more impressive.
If there is a queue of people outside your shop - then that’s a great thing to stream. If someone has an emotional reaction for something that you have managed to do for them, then it’s a great thing to stream (with their permission).
The aim of a good business is to solve people’s problems and make them happy - or provide relief. If you can capture that on Facebook Live - it will help other people to visualise themselves in that situation. A picture can be worth a thousand words - but a video which shows genuine emotion can be worth a thousand pictures.
If you do pro-bono or charity work, then Facebook Live is a great way to show that off. On a business side, it shows off the caring side of your corporate identity. More importantly, you can show the good that your chosen charity or cause does - and give your followers an opportunity to support them too.
Talk to your audience
Facebook Live is a great way to talk to your audience. It could be that you have a ‘thought of the day’ that you want to share with your followers. Or, it could be a prepared question and answer session with a moderator and people asking questions live through the comments - although that has to be prepared long in advance.
When promoting a business, you are trying to solve your customer’s problems and alleviate their pain points - things that are stopping them from converting with you. A Q&A is a great way to answer specific questions that one person has - but they will most likely be questions that many of your potential customers have.
It’s a good way to generate content for the FAQ section of your website, or even to edit down into a short video post that directly answers a common question that consumers have. If people know that they can get honest and open answers, then they will come back to you - and will be more confident in becoming your customers.
Whether it’s a mock play, store opening or even a company celebration - building up to an event is a great thing to do on Facebook Live. People who follow you and take the time out of their day to watch a live feed feel like they are an insider at your company.
If you are launching a new product, for example - then having a simulcast on Facebook Live makes your faithful audience feel that they are part of your inner circle. You can even have a live unveiling on Facebook Live first before you release the news on other media.
Julien Rio, Digital Marketing Expert, Author of the Trade Show Chronicles, recommends:
" Using Live video on your various events is a great way to extend your audience. There certainly are people who could not attend yet would be delighted to have a sneak peek at your event."
Even something as simple as using Facebook Live for a staff birthday can make you seem more approachable as a business. Even though it may not be directly selling your products and services, it is selling your company’s brand image as one that is friendly and cares about others.
You can even have competitions as an event on Facebook Live - as an incentive for people to ‘tune in’ to your show, and also to increase interaction. If there is a prize - or the reveal of an exclusive offer code - then it’s more likely that people will share your stream and grow your following.
There are many ways you can use Facebook Live to reach your audience and build your following - but the best way to do it is by forging a genuine connection with your audience.
If you become more than a business, you become a collection of people that your audience wants to be friends with, then they will consider you over other businesses. Just like you may end up going to the same barber or hairdresser for years because you know them - your audience gets to know you over Facebook Live.
There are lots of ways you can use Facebook Live, choose the ones that best suit your audience and your brand. The focus should be on how you can solve your audiences problems, and to try and do that in as genuine a way as possible.
Experiment with Facebook Live. It’s free, and people are forgiving of a format that is based around spontaneity. Also, it doesn’t cost anything and can create great content to be used in future posts and campaigns - even outside the Facebook network.
Zachary Jarvis is a Digital Marketer with one thing on his mind: results. Uninspired by the never ending talk of ‘vanity metrics’ in the world of digital marketing, Magnate was founded - the ‘Social-First’ marketing agency.