In 2016, Facebook launched Facebook Live, a live video streaming service which allows individuals and pages to broadcast from their mobile devices straight to their Facebook News Feed. And almost immediately, people started wondering how they could use Facebook Live for business.

It might have taken a while for marketers to really start utilizing Facebook Live, but now, with millions of users live-streaming on Facebook around the world and Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm favouring Live videos, business owners are looking at the best ways to make the technology work for their brands.

Done right, Facebook Live is a great way to communicate with fans, tell brand stories and build engagement on your page. Done badly, it’s basically car crash tv.

Let’s take a look at how to get the best out of Facebook Live for business and some golden rules you should be following along the way. So, what makes a great Facebook Live video? Let’s take a look at five scenarios that might work for your brand:

Five ways to use Facebook Live for business

1. Provide a demo

I love demos and the more enjoyable the better for Facebook Live! Demos work if you have a product or service that you can actually demonstrate on camera. For example, a new kitchen device, gadget or a beauty product. A good demo will show the audience how the product works whilst also answering questions along the way. If nobody is answering questions, then have your co-presenter ask some.

PRO TIP

When you are running a demo, your camera shots may be close up so you should pay attention to the details. Are your hands clean and manicured? Is the background spotless and free from distractions?

Take this video, which was showcasing a delicious recipe. Unfortunately, viewers were distracted by the state of the man’s fingernails!
Facebook Live for business video example

Pay attention to the details as you don’t want anything to distract or detract from your product.

Click to see the whole thing if you're interested

Brie wrapped in bacon

Brie wrapped in bacon is everything I never knew I wanted! 🙌

Posted by VT Food Envy on Monday, October 2, 2017

2. Show people behind the scenes

Fans love “behind the scenes” videos because they show a real insight into your company’s culture and the human side of your organisation. This is social media after all!

Behind the scenes videos work really well if you are having a company event, for example, a charity day or perhaps an expo. They also work well for the fashion industry which can show the real makings of that stunning catwalk makeup. Behind the scenes videos are really effective at making your international community feel like they are there with you. Bonus points if you can actually answer your fans’ questions as they come in.

Check out Jason Carr, a former news anchor for FOX 2 in Detroit, taking Facebook Live viewers on a behind the scenes ride. Bonus points to Jason for turning this into a fun series that kept viewers guessing!

Hey!

Posted by Jason Carr on Monday, May 23, 2016

PRO TIP

I know from experience that in big organizations it can sometimes be difficult to get approval to run “behind the scenes” videos as part of Facebook Live for business purposes. This is because in many cases, your CEO doesn’t really understand how Facebook works and is worried that you will appear unprofessional. This is where planning is key. Your video will be behind the scenes but it will still be planned. The benefits of behind the scenes include improved brand perception and an increase in new employee hires so your HR team will love you! Present the benefits and the plan before you announce that you’re going Live.

3. Answer fan questions

Some of the best Facebook Live videos are the ones that answer fan questions. AMAs (Ask Me Anythings) have become really popular and for good reason. Your community wants to feel that you are listening to them and what better way to do that than to actually listen to them and address them by name when answering their questions!

Check out this great video from Contentworks where Niki answers fan questions about cryptocurrencies.

#AskCW How Do I Market Cryptocurrencies?

In this week's #AskCW Niki answers your questions about marketing #cryptocurrencies

Posted by Contentworks on Thursday, October 5, 2017

There is no product, no behind the scenes footage and yet the engagement and fan response to the video was really high. In order to successfully rock a Facebook Live stream answering fan questions, you have to do a very important thing first… ask them! Be sure to promote the upcoming Q&A on all your channels and compile a list of fan questions. You should also prepare your answers in advance to avoid waffling or freezing.

PRO TIP

When planning to use Facebook Live for business, speak to your customer support team and ask them what questions they are receiving. Be sure to address these and let the audience know that your support team has received the question. This shows that you are communicating with other departments and really listening to your customers.

4. Tease new products

There’s nothing like a bit of hype to promote your upcoming products and Facebook Live is the perfect place to do that. By giving your viewers a “sneak peek” into what’s coming, you are creating demand before your product is even on the shelves. This will work for any new product but the key to your success here is to show enthusiasm and create excitement. That means that you need a perky presenter and plenty of information about what the product will do and why it’s going to be so popular.

Check out this Facebook Reveal from Callaway Golf which is one of the most comprehensive product explainers available on Facebook Live. Note how the presenters describe every aspect of the product creating a need in the viewers. You can see from the comments that viewers are demanding to know where they can buy one!

Limited edition Oakmont staff bag and headcover reveal! Join us and ask questions. #USOpen #FBLive

Posted by Callaway Golf on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

PRO TIP

Be sure to include a sign up or “buy now” link on your video. If your product isn’t out yet, then create a waiting list to further hype the demand. Use words like “limited stock” or provide a small discount for the first 50 purchases.

5. Host an online party

I just love Facebook Live for online parties. Get it right and your viewers will all be hanging out with you, discussing your products and probably buying them too!

Take LuLaRoe, a brand that sells a variety of women’s clothing (especially leggings). The key to their recent success lies within Facebook Live as they sell their products through exclusive Facebook parties held by their network of 35,000 independent sales consultants. WOW! These tactics propelled LuLaRoe to become a billion dollar company. The brand even partnered with Disney for new prints.
LuLaRoe Facebook Live party

If you’re planning on promoting and hosting a Facebook Live online party, you really need to nail down your plan. First you need to make an event and promote it or you will be the only person attending your party. Then, you need to think about what you’re going to talk about and how you’re going to present yourself. Women attending Facebook Live parties with LuLaRoe are encouraged to pour themselves a drink and join the presenters as they showcase their items and chat about them.

PRO TIP

Don’t be too salesy or you’re going to turn viewers off in the first few seconds. Yes, you want to sell your products but this is also a party! Chat with viewers, have some fun, talk about the latest celeb news and be natural in the way you present.

Before you go live

If you’re using Facebook Live for business then you really need to get the basics right before you start streaming. After all, you are live, right? Here are five actions you need to take before you do:

#1: Promote your Facebook Live
There’s not much point in doing a Facebook Live if your fans aren’t online and don’t know it’s happening. After all, you are doing this for them! Be sure to promote your Facebook Live ahead of time (at least one week) and offer a few reminders before the event. In my experience, asking for your fans for input ahead of time really helps to get them involved.
 
#2: Plan, plan and plan some more
Of course, you don’t want to sound scripted but you should have some sort of script or game plan before you go live. Who will speak first? Who will ask the questions? What topics are you going to talk about? You should also have your Facebook Live video title and caption ready so you can just press live when it’s time to begin.
 
#3: Consider the viewer experience
Before you go live you should be thinking about the viewer experience. Will the sound be good enough? Have you thought about your background or the props you will use? Are you going to be providing a video that people will want to watch?
 
#4: Test the technology
You don’t need a fancy tripod, camera and mic to be able to run Facebook Live (although many big brands do have those). Even if you’re just using a phone camera, you still need to check your technology. Be sure that your internet connection is stable and strong, your sound is good enough, background noise is minimised and that you are setting your posts to public.
 
#5: Have a contingency plan
What will you do if the live feed cuts out? What about if viewers are asking awkward questions? How about if a passer-by interrupts your broadcast? Discuss your contingency plans and remember that it’s LIVE so you will need to keep rolling whatever happens!

Facebook Live presents many exciting opportunities for businesses, so if you haven’t ventured there yet then it might be time to do so.

Are you inspired to experiment with Facebook Live for business? Which tip will you run with? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.

5 ways to use #Facebook Live for #business + 5 things to do before you go live Click To Tweet