“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.”
– Craig Davis, co-founder and CMO of Sendle.com.
Small business owners have a variety of marketing tools and tactics at their disposal. Two of the most powerful options are content and social media.
In the social realm, Facebook is the obvious frontrunner with more than 1.3 billion daily active users.
As far as content is concerned, nothing comes close to competing with video anymore. While blogs, infographics and other content formats still have their place in the ecosystem, today’s consumers crave video content and engage with it at insane rates.
This means that platforms like Facebook Live can be potential engagement juggernauts for business owners.
Since its release in April of 2015, Facebook Live has exploded in growth, with search popularity skyrocketing by an astonishing 330 percent.
No matter if you own a digital storefront or a local boutique, you should be leveraging Facebook Live to generate awareness, engagement, traffic and sales because this tool makes all of the above possible.
But if you are going to outshine your competitors, you’re going to need to get clever about your content.
Here are six smart ways your brand can flex its creative muscles on Facebook Live.
1. Get to Know the Staff
Unfortunately, so many businesses seem to treat customer service as an afterthought. Just ask anyone who’s recently been on an airplane.
This is a preposterous notion considering that when customer service is done right, it can elevate a brand’s following to cult-like status; Zappos is the epitome of building a diehard following on the platform of stellar consumer experiences.
If your business has a team of employees, you can craft that personal connection between consumers and staff members by introducing your customer base to them. This allows people to become familiar and friendly with the people on the other side of the screen or counter, instead of seeing them simply as a business drone.
You can do this in an employee of the month format, or just walk around the office and see who you run into. These videos don’t need to be long either; anywhere between five and 10 minutes is plenty of time for a few key questions.
2. Make Every Friday Black Friday
If there’s one thing that consumers are hard pressed to pass up, it’s a good deal.
Using Facebook Live, retail stores and digital shops alike can highlight special sales only available to those who tune in.
With this method, you can walk through your store showing off items that you are slashing prices on just for the day. If you have an online existence only, you can (using Facebook Live for desktop) display screenshots of sale items from your store with special discount codes.
To help generate the most viewership possible, be sure to build some buzz before you start the broadcast by posting a cryptic update or sharing a custom image post that let’s folks know that discounts will only be available through the Live broadcast.
If you do this on a consistent basis, people will start to catch on to your weekly sales bonanza and start tuning in.
3. Teach Your Followers a Skill
Facebook Live doesn’t solely need to be used as a tool for directly promoting your business; it’s also a powerful platform for positioning yourself as a thought leader within a community.
Provide your followers with substantial value and show off that big brain of yours by teaching viewers a useful skill via live courses.
Courses vary from industry to industry, but a few examples would be:
- A music shop giving a free series of guitar lessons.
- An artist teaching basic drawing tips and tricks.
- A blogger showing how to design a website.
- A life coach teaching people to meditate.
During these free courses, you can engender engagement by asking your audience if they have any questions, problematic areas, and to share the video with someone they think would benefit from the free knowledge.
4. Address Blog Comments
If you have a website, it’s fairly likely that you have a blog too, because content and SEO are intrinsically linked.
A great way to deepen your relationship with your audience and expand upon blog topics is by answering user questions or comments through a Facebook Live broadcast. This provides those who have read the blog with a reason to tune in, and can pique the interest of viewers who have yet to read your blog, effectively driving them to your site.
5. Grab a Group’s Attention
Back in April of 2016, Facebook added the ability for users to Live stream video to Groups.
If you have a Group that you manage, this is a much more engaging form of content than just another text-based post. You can also spark conversations in other Groups this way, though if you are not the owner, you will need to gain permission from the admin.
6. Recap an Event
If your business held a local event, it’s always a great idea to broadcast Live during the big moments because this can generate a lot of interest around your brand.
As a small business owner, however, you likely don’t have time to stream the entire event — you’re too busy running it. This is when broadcasting a recap video can prove to be engaging and fun for viewers.
If your event had anything to do with fundraising or another noble cause, you can share how much money was accrued. If your business was holding a learning-based event, you can share the top three lessons from the day.
Facebook Live is a beast of a tool considering the fervent nature with which people are consuming video online. Select a few of these tactics to apply to your business’s social interactions and you can likely drum up enhanced amounts of engagements, website traffic, sales, and new followers.