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.
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.
Give your followers a heads-up
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.
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.
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