Facebook Live for Small Business 101: A Beginner’s Guide

We have little doubt that you have heard all about the marketing possibilities that Facebook Live can open up for almost any small business, especially a retail concern. And it really can offer a lot. A live stream is a great way to interact with your customers and prospects, to showcase your products and to better build your brand and gain customer trust. A Facebook Live session is also far easier to stage than a more formal video shoot.

 

 

However, knowing all of this many people are still nervous about giving Facebook Live a shot. And this is perfectly understandable, we’re not all cut out to ’embrace the spotlight’ and put ourselves out there onscreen, and live to boot!

With the right planning however, almost anyone – really – can broadcast a Facebook Live session that will serve as an excellent marketing tool. And once you’ve done one, all the nerves should be gone and you can look at making live streams a regular part of your overall marketing strategy. Here are a few tips, tricks and words of advice to get you started:

Before You Go Live on Facebook

To set yourself up for Facebook Live success you do need to plan ahead:

1. Choose your topic and create an outline of the things you plan to cover. As the best Facebook Live sessions are a two way thing between you and the audience you cannot script it completely, but a solid outline will help keep things on track.

2. Promote – Begin to promote your live session a few days in advance. Teaser posts on Facebook are almost a given but don’t be afraid to cross promote on other platforms – Twitter, Instagram, even Pinterest and/or Linkedin – to get the word out to the largest possible audience.

3. Pick Your Location – One of the best things about Facebook Live is that you can broadcast right from your desktop, or even, if you prefer, your phone. But you should make sure that the location is appropriate and there are no ‘surprises’ lurking behind you (an overly messy office, a pile of messy packing boxes etc.).

Step by Step Guide Broadcasting a Facebook Live Session

This brief tutorial will cover broadcasting you live session from a desktop PC but the process is very similar via a mobile device as well.

1. Head to your Facebook Page
2. Under the Cover Photo there are a number of options, you’re looking for ‘Start Live Video’.
3. You’ll be prompted to add a short description of the content you plan to broadcast. It’s supposed to be short and to the point, no longer than 100-150 characters, so plan this out in advance.
4. Allow Facebook to access your video and mic.
5. DON’T PANIC. You aren’t live yet. There is still time to check everything – Internet connection, mic volume, camera angles, hair, make-up, all the important stuff.
6. Once you are really ready to go, take a deep breath and click the blue ‘Go Live’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
7. As you broadcast you will be able to see when people are viewing, who they are and, if they ask them, you will see your viewers’ questions.

FAQ

There are a few other issues that people worry about. Here are the solutions to some very frequently asked questions:

Who can see our company’s Live videos?

As is the case with any other post, you CAN control who sees your Live videos, you just need to take a few extra pre-broadcast steps. To choose your audience before you go Live tap the privacy setting and select the audience you want.

Can I practice going Live without broadcasting?

The good news is that yes you can. Do do a for your eyes only run through adjust the privacy setting to ‘only me’, go live, play back the content and, if you’re happy, go ahead and do it for real!

What happens to the Live video once it’s over?

As a default your live video will be available for people to watch just a few minutes after it ends. It becomes more like a standard video post on your timeline at this point, but you do have a short window of time in which you could, if you really wanted to, delete it.

In Conclusion

So, are you ready to try your very first Facebook Live? We hope so, but as you prepare to, keep the following final thoughts in mind:

The most important thing about any Live video is that it provides value. Use it to solve a problem, share an example, offer a tutorial or walkthrough of your product. And don’t forget, your energy is felt through the screen. Make sure it’s a positive takeaway and not a negative for your audience. In other words, have a little fun with the whole thing and your audience will too.

Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.
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