Though you’re separated by a screen, Facebook Live can help you create a more personal connection to your audience if you make it a part of your social media marketing.

Facebook Live can help you connect with your followers virtually in a way that’s engaging and true to your brand. For example, Facebook Live allows you to stream video right from your Facebook page, which your followers can watch and respond to in real-time. It’s one of several strategies the platform has rolled out over the past few years and one that small businesses can use as a direct line to their fans.

So let’s dive deeper and discover why this tool should be a part of your digital marketing plan, what kind of content you can broadcast, and what it takes to go live.

Other Benefits of Facebook Live

Video has become most people’s mode of choice on social media platforms. Studies show that over 82 percent of people prefer watching a live stream over reading a post. That’s likely due to the high levels of authenticity and connectivity that live videos offer.

The good news for small business owners is that you don’t need any fancy equipment or polished editing software to start broadcasting. All that’s required is a WiFi signal, a camera and microphone on your phone or computer, and an idea you want to share with your audience.

You can certainly script your presentation, but there’s should be a level of spontaneity in going live! Since you’ll be able to see viewers’ responses in real-time, you can let your audience’s questions and comments guide part of your broadcast, too. And as more and more viewers react to the video, Facebook shares it to more and more newsfeeds, expanding your brand’s reach.

Your Facebook Live video can be up to four hours long, allowing you to engage with multiple groups of viewers as they jump on and off the broadcast. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to stream for that long for it to be valuable most successful broadcasts are about 15-20 minutes.

The videos are also stored as a post on your page after you finish, so followers who missed the live stream still have a chance to watch. After completing your broadcast, you can edit, delete, or share the saved video for other marketing purposes. 

What Should You Broadcast on Facebook Live

The sky’s the limit when coming up with creative content ideas, but here are a few tried-and-tested topics for promoting small businesses on Facebook Live:

  • Product Demos
  • Special Announcements
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tours
  • Team Meetings
  • “Ask Me Anything” Sessions
  • Guest Interviews

If you’re struggling to find a topic, ask your audience what they want. Taking a poll, directly engaging customers, or keeping track of customers or comments on your social media pages is a great way to show customers you hear them.

Regardless of what content you’re going to share, include the following in your video:

  • Introduce yourself and any guests, both at the beginning and throughout your broadcast, as you see new people begin to watch your video
  • Pause to respond to questions or comments from the audience and to give shout-outs to those watching
  • Conclude with a call to action or a reference to your services

Steps for Going Live

Before you go live, do the following:

  1. Remind people in advance of the date and time you’ll go live.
  2. Set up your broadcast area with a visually engaging background, good lighting, strong WiFi, and a working camera and microphone.
  3. Determine everyone’s role—who will be “on screen,” and who will be troubleshooting and monitoring audience reactions.

On the day you go live:

  1. Log onto your page. Under the “Create a Post” box, there are options to create different types of content. Click the “Live” icon on this list.
  2. Choose whether you want to “Go Live” or “Create a Live Event” (scheduled for later)
  3. Choose your video source, describe your video, and invite people to your live broadcast.
  4. Click “Go Live!”
  5. When you are ready to end your video, click “Finish” and select when you would like the video to be posted to your page.

Going live on any channel can be stressful, as many business owners aren’t comfortable being in front of the camera. We get it! Sometimes, though, too much planning and overthinking cause even more reservations. Your best bet is to practice a few times and then keep your first time shorter until you get more confident. After a few live sessions, you’ll find it gets much easier. You’re sure to be a pro in no time.