As a small business owner, Facebook is definitely not the hot place to be. With less than 5.5% referring traffic for our own site, Facebook was never the platform that made sense for us to invest our time on. Until they changed the live streaming landscape in August 2015.
Now, it wasn’t until February of 2016 that all accounts were able to use the streaming capabilities on their own pages. From August to February the only type of accounts able to use live streaming were celebrities and journalists. But it’s interesting to note that these two (very different types of people) were using Facebook Live in the exact ways that would be helpful for small business owners (see, our obsession with Amy Schumer was for research!).
So, before we can get into the amazing impacts that Facebook Live can have for your small business, let’s squash some myths, and give you some tips.
Periscope is practically dead. Although there are still some diehard ‘scopers out there who refuse to leave the platform most everyone else has jumped ship. The idea for the two are the same: you open the app and go live. The ease of going live is tremendously easier inside Facebook (one app for the win), there are next to 0 spammers and creepers (especially if you are Live in a group vs. a page), it’s easier to go back to type responses to comments (once the video has ended), and it can live forever if you so wish.
Speaking of going live in a Facebook group...this is the only way we use the Live features. Facebook gives you the ability to go live on your personal page, your business page, or within any group you’ve created. Way back when we started our business we created a Facebook group so we could easily converse with our audience, let them know about new things coming, and provide support. It’s now grown to almost 4k members (and growing on average by about 431 members per month). It makes the most sense for us to converse here because these are the people who are truly invested (not only in their business, but in learning). If we’ve already got an eager audience why wouldn’t we cater to them?
If you’ve been thinking about going Live, but don’t know where to start, it’s okay. Our first couple of Live streams didn’t have much of a plan or an audience. Until your audience starts to see that you aren’t just going Live for the heck of it they will tune in. Our views and engagement go up every time we go Live. We recommend having some talking points ready so you’re not a blubbering fish on live stream. Even if no one shows up, remember that your audience can watch it later, and you’re getting good practice!
Just like any other platform if you aren’t being consistently present it won’t work. One Facebook Live won’t make you 6-figures on your next launch, but you can build the relationships with your audience to build on the goal.
Okay, so now that we’ve got that out of the way and we’re all on the same page, let’s move forward with The Super Duper Facebook Live Strategy for Growth Plan (did you read that like a gameshow host?).
At the end of the day what anyone’s audience wants is a closer connection, and more scoop. It’s why we follow celebrities on social media platforms and it’s why we’re addicted to their Live streams. We feel like we’re taking a peek behind the curtain and we love it. Now, don’t confuse this comparison with the idea that we want you to celebritize your business. We’re not asking you to chase that status at all, but what we do want you to mimic is the purpose. So how can we make that happen?
This is one of the biggest benefits of going Live, hand’s down. Right now (depending on your other social media efforts) you might just be digital biz with no real human-ness to you. Going Live solidifies that you are in fact a real person, with real feelings, opinions, and personality traits. Showing these off gives your audience brand new ways to connect with you.
Oh, you have the same Ikea rug in your living room as me? TWINS
Oh, you talk really fast and use your hands to make a point? ME TOO
Oh, you sit in the Target parking lot to catch a quiet moment before browsing the dollar spot? I DO THAT ALL THE TIME
See now how we can begin to feel like we relate, and know each other on a different level? Yeah, this is business gold. This is the turning point where people will buy because they either kind of like or need your products or services to the point where they will buy just because you are kinda their internet BFF.
Give Sneak Peeks
Creating a new product? About to launch your new website? Have new packaging to show off? Let’s see it on Live! These are all great opportunities to give your audience on Facebook Live the VIP treatment. We all love to see something or find out something before “everyone else” so consider teasing whatever new thing is happening in your business as a Live stream.
Tell them how excited you are, ask for feedback, as for beta testers, show the new thing off even if it isn’t finalized. Guess what this will create? An eager line of people ready to buy whatever new thing you just teased. Boom.
We’d all like to believe that we live in these Pinterest-worthy offices, in our HGTV ready house, and we’re always wearing pants. That just isn’t the case and that’s okay. Don’t let perfectionism hold you back from showing some behind-the-scenes action.
Maybe your audience wants a tour of your office or workspace? Maybe your studio is a hot mess with a huge custom order that is about to go out? Maybe you’ve got a wild set up for those new course videos that need recorded?
These are perfect opportunities to show your audience what it takes to create and make in your business. Once we get the big picture (you mean those watercolor tumblers don’t just make themselves??) we begin to understand and appreciate the hard work it takes to make the final product. This leads to a better understanding of your time frame, price or quantity. Customers who “get it” are the best customers.
Give, Give, Give
When all else fails (as in you don’t think any of the above examples will work for you) then you can focus on giving. Educating, inspiring, helping, strategizing, whatever works for you, do that. In our business model we’ve found that the more we give the more that comes back to us in outstanding ways. The better experience we can provide our audience the happier and more fulfilled they’ll be.
If we can establish our expertise enough in some Facebook Live videos that you go buy #AllTheCourses, great. If we show off what we know and it helps you right then and there, great. It’s a total win, win.
Consider taking the topic of an old blog post and dive deeper in a Facebook Live. Or maybe you learned something in biz/life this week that your audience could benefit from? Maybe you came across a quote that you just needed to hear so you talk about it on Live?
Now for your homework (homework in a blog post is kind of how we roll). We want you to pull out a calendar right now. Pick some dates that you could go Live on your page or in your group. Set it in stone. Then go through this post and brainstorm what you could chat about and provide on camera. Assign topics and a few bullet points to your dates then tell your audience that you will be there LIVE! Build up hype around your videos so your people know that you’re even doing them. Then just do it, hit live, take a deep breath and go for it.
P.S. We like to use this iPhone tripod while Live streaming to avoid shakiness.