Despite the reparations Facebook has recently had to make on their reputation due to privacy issues, there’s little doubt most of the platform’s 2.13 billion monthly users will stick around—and that means your business needs to stay on Facebook, too. More than 65 million businesses have a Facebook page and for now, the social media platform can still do a lot for your company.

One popular Facebook tool that helps you attract attention for your business and enables followers to get to know your brand better is Facebook Live videos. These live videos can be used to promote your business and are available to all pages and profiles on the Facebook platform.

Facebook Live video can help your business:

  • Increase brand awareness and engagement
  • Promote your products and services
  • Increase traffic to your Facebook page and your website
  • Generate new sales leads for your business
  • Educate sales prospects about your products or services
  • Increase website and landing page lead conversion

You can see the Facebook Live tool in action by perusing others’ profiles and pages and looking for a red icon at the top left-hand corner of a video that indicates it’s live. You can also set your Facebook notification settings to alert you when people or businesses you follow are posting live videos. Facebook Live allows you to share up to four hours of live video on your page and then publishes your video on your page for followers to watch later.

Getting Started With Facebook Live for Business

facebook-live-logoYou can record your Facebook Live video from your smartphone, tablet or desktop by simply tapping “What’s on your mind?” at the top of your news feed, tapping the Live Video recorder icon, writing an optional description for your broadcast, tapping Go Live to begin your broadcast and then tapping Finish at the end.

Facebook redesigned the upload process a few years ago and added several new features currently available in the Facebook Video API. These include the ability to create secret videos only accessible via a direct URL; to restrict the audience of a video based on location, language, age and gender; and to allow or prohibit video embeds on third-party sites.

You can also use a variety of customization tools to enhance your Facebook Live videos. Customization tools include:

  • Custom thumbnails for videos, using your own image or a suggested thumbnail
  • Labeling videos based on interest categories, including Entertainment, News and more
  • Automatically including closed captioning so people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or unable to listen to your video out loud can understand your video

After your Facebook Live video is completed, you will be able to see specific insights about the video’s performance such as viewer behavior and which of your videos get the most views.

What to Broadcast on Facebook Live

Having trouble thinking of what to put in your Facebook Live video? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Product or service demonstrations. People love to watch demonstrations of a product or service before they decide to purchase. If you own a restaurant or other food business, for instance, why not show your chef creating the featured menu items of the week? Beauty salon owners can showcase a new hairstyle or color. Be creative and have fun with it. Don’t make the video too long or viewers may tune out. Also, if you have any quick tips about your service or business, such as how to use a product for best results, Facebook Live is a great way to get the message across visually.
  2. Customer testimonials. Your satisfied customers are often happy to sing your business’s praises. Why not make them the stars of your videos? Have customers tell viewers how your business improved their lives or solved a problem. Be sure the testimonials are informative as well.
  3. Announcements. Think of Facebook Live as a visual press release. If you’re holding a contest at your business or adding a new service to your offerings, videotape the announcement to share with the world. If you plan on sponsoring a community event (or are actually at the event), jumping on Facebook Live to show your involvement is a great way to demonstrate your support for the community and get others involved, too. (Be sure to tag your videos with the official hashtags from the event so your videos are easily searchable.)

More Tips on Using Facebook Live

The following tips will help you get the most from your Facebook Live activity:

  • If you are using the Live API to publish your video broadcast, Facebook recommends that you schedule your broadcast in advance. This helps to build excitement and buzz around your Facebook Live content.
  • Check the strength of your Wi-Fi signal before you go live, so you know the video will play and load to your page.
  • Although people can discover your live videos right in their News Feed, you should also encourage followers to subscribe. Tell them to tap the “Live Subscribe” button on the top of a live video to get notified when you go live again.
  • Use creative add-ons such as filters and fun visual effects to make your Facebook Live videos interesting and engaging.

The most beneficial aspect of using Facebook Live for Business is being able to engage with your viewers in real time. Facebook Live Reactions allow viewers to react to your video by choosing one of the reactions they would use for regular posts, such as Love, HaHa, Wow, Sad, or Angry. Viewers can also comment while you’re taping; if they do, you’ll be able to see their Facebook profile photo and their comments in real time. Later, when the video is posted to your page, you’ll still be able to see the comments as they appeared. You can achieve real rapport with your viewers by paying attention to comments and building relationships with viewers who return to watch your Facebook Live videos on a regular basis.

As with all social media commitments, if you’re going to start using Facebook Live for Business, you need to really commit to doing it. Build up a following by scheduling videos on a regular basis. Get new ideas by keeping an eye on what other Facebook Live publishers are doing. Facebook highlights popular videos on their Media page.

Finally, be sure to follow the Business and Marketing pages on Facebook, so you’ll always be up to date on the latest and greatest Facebook Live for business tools that are available to help grow your business.