By: Carrie Vestrand, Retail Services Program Manager
Are You Ready to Facebook Live?
In these unprecedented times there is no time like the present to utilize this free Facebook tool to connect to your followers and even gain new ones. When used consistently and effectively, it could be the missing link you needed to not only strengthen your service offerings but connect to your audience and let them know you are here and ready to serve them now and into the future.
It is important to try and be visible and available to serve them so that months down the road you don’t have to start over in building a customer base. With so many people staying home during this pandemic, they are spending many hours every day on social media and shopping online either via Facebook Live or web stores. Why not make your business an option for them?
Think of your followers, your shop, the products or services you offer. Why do your customers come to you? They have a relationship with you as a business and owner as well as your products or service. Facebook Live allows your followers to see you, hear you and engage with you from the comfort of their own home.
For those that are just getting started or considering Live videos, there are a few things to keep in mind so you don’t get discouraged.
Timing is key.
Be consistent in the time and day you go Live. Over time, your followers will get used to the schedule and plan to join you. Some businesses do Facebook Live once a week; some do it multiple times a week. Either way can work. Be consistent and promote it ahead of time to remind your followers to join you.
Know what you are going to talk about ahead of time. Maybe you just want to check in and say hi and let them know you are fine and healthy and miss seeing them. Maybe you have new product to introduce. Do you have a sale or new service that they should know about? If you are a fashion boutique and want to show new apparel, shoes and accessories, it’s worthwhile to invest in a tripod to avoid a shaky video. This is also extremely helpful for beauty and skincare companies for doing product demonstrations.
Make it easy to pay.
If using Facebook Live to sell product, make sure you are set up and ready to take payment. If you have a website, you can direct them to your site to make the purchase. If you don’t have a web store, consider using apps such as Venmo, Cash App, Apple pay or PayPal so that your customers can pay for products in the moment. You may also request they direct message (DM) you regarding price and payment information. You also have the option of creating a catalog of goods and/or services on Facebook with a ‘Shop’ button on your business page. Make sure the products or services you are speaking about are in that catalog.
If only a few people are watching, so what! Don’t let that number make you feel like it isn’t good enough to continue. Each time you go Live your audience will likely increase. Even if a follower misses the Live post, they can still watch it later. The video will be available on your Facebook page as long as you leave it there. People following you will get a notification that there is something to watch. It is very possible they will share it with their friends as well.
Always be responsive.
As you are broadcasting on Facebook Live, you will see the names and comments of the viewers pop up in your feed as you are filming. Give your followers a shout out individually and welcome them to your Facebook Live. You will begin to see comments and questions pop up. Make sure to answer during the broadcast; this engagement is part of the fun for the viewer. Always thank them for joining and watching your Facebook Live broadcast and remind them when the next one will be so they can join.
The videos you make can make it into the Facebook Live portal for the world to see! This is where Facebook drops your video ‘Next’ in someone’s automatic playlist. People will spend hours watching these video lists. You never know who will stumble across your video and become your next new customer!
Live or Not.
If going live on Facebook is just too far out of your comfort zone, consider making a prerecorded video and later posting it on Facebook. This can also add value to your business.
Facebook gives you the ability to analyze the metrics of your activity. You will be able to see how many are watching and decide what time of day or day of the week is best.
Finally, have fun!
This is an opportunity to connect with your followers and remind them how awesome you are and why they did business with you in the first place — before Covid-19. If you are having fun, people will want to watch that video and the next video you publish.
Want to talk more about your Facebook Live strategy? Sign up for an open office hour here.