How to Create a Viral Facebook Live Feed: A Guide for Small Businesses

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Since its launch, Facebook Live has been transforming online video for social media users and businesses alike. Not only can it improve social media engagement — according to Facebook, live video streams have been known to receive 10 times more comments than pre-recorded videos on the site — but publishers and celebrities are proving that Live videos can go viral and rack up millions of views.

While high-profile broadcasters clearly have an advantage when it comes to getting attention, there are plenty of ways that your small business can use Facebook Live, too. Here are a few strategies to create a Facebook Live feed that your followers will flock to, time and time again.

First things first: what is it?
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In essence, Facebook Live allows you to share a live video stream of your business’ activities with other Facebook users. According to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the ability to broadcast live content anywhere you go is akin to "having a TV camera in your pocket" and represents "a big shift in how we communicate." For small businesses, Facebook Live is also an opportunity to connect with customers, guests, and clients on a more intimate level. Whether you use it to capture an exciting event or to take your followers behind the scenes at your store, office, studio, or restaurant, Facebook Live can inform, entertain, and build excitement about your business, making it a valuable addition to your social media marketing plan.
What do your customers want to see? 
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Before you create your first Facebook Live broadcast, you've got to decide what kind of content to share. Regardless of the nature of your business, you've got something to show your followers. The question is: what are they most interested in seeing? You'll find the answer on your Facebook page.  Do you get a lot of inquiries about how to use your products or service? Consider using Facebook Live for a tutorial or demonstration. Do posts featuring pictures of your business regularly outperform other images on your page? Use Facebook Live to take your followers on a live tour. You might also try employing it to introduce viewers to your staff, since exposing current and potential customers to your process and people can build trust in your brand. If you still aren't sure what to post, poll your fans on what they'd like to see. The better you are at satisfying their interests and needs, the more likely they'll be to watch — and share — your Facebook Live feed. Still not sure? Find more tips on what to post on social media here.

Give your followers a heads-up 

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Once you have a plan in place for your Facebook Live video, it's time to prepare. Facebook recommends that you let your fans know about your broadcast in advance. Choose your title carefully and post a description of your upcoming Live video a day before you shoot. This helps build anticipation. Making your followers aware of imminent videos and issuing reminders is also practical in that it gives them a chance to catch your content in real-time. Facebook's research has shown that users spend triple the time watching a Facebook Live video as they do video content that's no longer live.

Here is an example of one of our teaser videos.

Interact, engage, and consider timing 

Ready to go live? Remember to interact with your audience throughout your broadcast. Ask questions of your viewers that they can answer by posting a comment, and consider referencing those comments — webinar-style — while you're live. All of these tactics can keep your audience interested and engaged; they also make your broadcast feel more personal. While you're live, you'll be able to see the Likes and emojis that your viewers select to reflect how they're feeling about your video. Use this information to gauge the effectiveness of your approach, and adjust accordingly on the spot; cute animals and remixes aside, spontaneity plays a major part in making videos go viral, according to Time.

When it comes to video length, Facebook advises users to stay live for at least 10 minutes. "The longer you broadcast," the company writes, "the more likely people are to discover and share your video with their friends on Facebook."

Here is an example of one of our own Facebook Lives.

Include a call to action

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Creating a viral Facebook Live feed is about more than just great content, and one surefire way to expand your reach online is by incorporating a call to action. Let your viewers know they can subscribe to your Live feed in order to get notifications about future Facebook Live events. Encourage them to share your broadcast with friends. This way, you can build your viewership and know that someone will always be ready and waiting to tune in. Facebook Live may still be new, but with other live video tools like Snapchat and Twitter continuing to thrive, the time is right to give it a try. Start experimenting to get comfortable with this form of communication, and check out our Resource Center for more social media marketing tips and tricks.

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