5 ways to use Facebook Live for your small business

Editor’s note: This post comes from our Constant Contact UK office. You can view all the posts from our UK team here. Or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Another day.

Another marketing platform.

Another way for you to connect with your target audience.

Facebook Live is the new extension to Facebook that, pretty soon, you will be hearing a lot about. But what is Facebook Live? And — more to the point — how can small businesses like yours use it to supercharge your marketing?

On 30th September 1929, British media changed forever. It was the day the BBC aired the world’s first live television broadcast. The operational feat of sharing live sound and vision with the nation in real-time was enormous and incredibly technical.

Today all you need is a smartphone. Facebook Live will do the rest for you.

A (micro) introduction to Facebook Live

Facebook Live is a tool for sharing real-time video, straight from your smartphone. What your phone camera sees, anyone tuned in on Facebook sees. Think of it as your own live television channel — albeit one where you can broadcast as frequently or infrequently as you like.

The technology works as seamlessly as a video call. The main difference? You can’t see or hear the people on the other end of the line. (Although they can type messages — more on that in a bit.) Select Facebook accounts were given access to the Live extension in August 2015. But Facebook is in the process of rolling out Live to all users.

So what should you broadcast?

If you are interested in live broadcast, it makes sense to fetch a fresh pot of coffee, pull up a chair and spend some time considering how to create video features that suit your business, your target audience and your desired ambitions. The best starting point is to think about your audience’s needs, desires, ambitions, fears, and doubts in relation to your products or services. Then work outwards.

To stoke your creative fires, here are five different types of live broadcast you could incorporate into your marketing arsenal.

1. Behind the curtain. Under the hood.

Whatever you call it, there will always be people interested in taking a behind-the-scenes look at your business — especially if they are already familiar with your products or services. This is your opportunity to break down the traditional boundaries between business and customer and show some personality. It’s not about selling; it’s about sharing what makes you, you.

Some examples? If you run a restaurant you could give viewers a quick glimpse at where the magic happens in the kitchen. (Best ask the chef first, hey?) Design agency? A tour of the office. Brewery? A quick run through of how all that machinery makes your lovely, lovely beer. The great thing about behind the scenes videos is they are uniquely yours — and can never be imitated.

2. Get interactive with live Q&As

Facebook Live isn’t just a one-way channel. Anyone tuned in to your broadcast can type a message that will appear on your screen. That makes Facebook Live a great channel for question and answer sessions. Your audience get their queries resolved — and the live element of the feature reinforces the connection between you and your audience.

The learning goes both ways too. Q&A sessions can teach you a lot about your audience and how they think. Hey, you might even stumble across the idea for your next marketing campaign.

3. Showcase your latest and greatest…

Got a hot new product? Show it in action! A well written product description will never go out of fashion. But a live product demonstration gives your audience the kind of insight into your wares that a product description simply can’t rival. Offer services rather than products? It’s still possible to show off your handiwork — with live case studies and testimonials with existing clients, for example.

4. Fetch your professor’s hat

Some products are easier to get to grips with than others. For the latter, tutorials can go a long way to helping your customers get the best from their new purchase. Of course, your videos don’t have to be product orientated. Let’s say you have a design agency. You could run a series on the most influential figures in design through the ages. A knowledge database beckons.

5. Your take on developing news

It might not be the most fun job in the world, but it’s necessary to stay on top of the latest developments in your industry. You could make that job a lot easier (and, whisper it, fun) for your clients and customers by providing weekly or monthly news summaries that give them everything they need to know in a bite-size format. It establishes your authority on your area of expertise and adds extra weight to your credibility.

Ready to get started?

With a little planning and a splash of creativity, you will be streets ahead of the competition when it comes to Facebook Live. It’s important to note that there’s no obligation to use it. If it doesn’t sit right with your business, that’s fine. But there’s a big chance to engage with your audience in a whole new way with Facebook Live.

Once you get into the swing of things, it can become a key part of your content marketing strategy. Product demos can be repurposed on your website or YouTube. Q&As can be written up as blog posts. Your news summaries can be distributed through email bulletins and social media. You are limited only by your imagination. So what are you waiting for?

You can find more social media marketing tips on our Social Media Quickstarter Page

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