As both a social media and digital marketing authority, Facebook is a major driver of the “next big thing.”
From branded pages and social reader apps to an emphasis on visuals and in-feed videos, Facebook has a stranglehold on the way public figures, celebrities and brands present themselves on its adaptive social network.
The latest groundbreaking installment? Live-streaming, real-time video—known as Facebook Live. With the addition of Facebook Live, however, the rich, famous and popular aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit—so too do up-and-coming startups. How, exactly? Facebook Live makes it possible for startups to broadcast videos of just about anything to a huge, ever-expanding audience.
In recent years, smartphone apps like Meerkat and Periscope have taken to the mobile market, placing live-streaming video capabilities into the pockets and purses of people everywhere. Facebook Live is different, though, because of its reach. With one out of every five people on earth having an active Facebook account, the potential for brand building and consumer reach is bigger than it’s ever been before.
Facebook Live Is for Startups
Startups stand to benefit from Facebook Live’s low barrier to entry. To begin broadcasting, the process is simple. At the top of the iOS or Android Facebook app, hit is the “New Status” button. After that, select the live broadcast option—it’s a head with small waves coming out of it. Write a short, engaging description, then select “Go Live.”
That’s it! You’re now live on the newsfeeds of all of your Facebook friends, though you can modify your audience, limiting it to members of certain groups or events. They can watch and comment as you continue with your broadcast for up to 30 minutes. Needless to say, with this kind of platform, high-growth startups have the potential to see big reward by getting involved earlier than competitors, rather than waiting for Facebook Live to solidify itself as a must-have of digital marketing.
While much of the Facebook Live footage you’ll see in its first few months of use will come from individual users, there are many ways your startup should consider using the innovative tool. Here are five suggestions to get you started en route to building a large, loyal following:
1) Provide an Insider’s Glimpse
Take a look at any successful Instagram for business account and you’ll notice that the brand does an excellent job of giving its fans a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at the company. To help generate inspiration, imagine that you’ve been asked to give a tour of your business to friends and family members—the same things you’d show them are those that could be presented while on Facebook Live.
Don’t just limit yourself to the office, either! Take viewers out into the field, connecting them with customers, warehouse workers, conventions and retreats. The possibilities for this kind of branding are limitless. Remember, what might seem mundane to you could very well be of interest to incoming fans of your startup.
2) Live Q&A Sessions
When it comes to Q&A sessions, planning is of the utmost importance. Using your startup’s social networks and email list, tell people the specific day and time you’ll be using Facebook Live to answer questions. As you start to see success from these Q&A segments, feel free to make them a weekly or monthly occurrence.
Additionally, this is an excellent way to conduct free market research for your startup. Take the most frequent questions, comments and concerns you hear and build blogs posts, infographics and video tutorials around them. By so doing, you use your social media savvy to improve your other content marketing efforts, as well.
3) How-To Videos
The trick here is to find the right balance between a subject that both pertains to your startup’s area of expertise and the interests of those who plan to tune in. For example, if your startup were to specialize in iOS app development, it might be interesting to host a Facebook Live session on the basics of Objective-C.
Don’t choose subjects that are too confusing or complex—stay sweet, short and to the point. When you approach Facebook Live as a means of providing real, genuine value to your brand fans, they’re more likely to come back to you when they’re in need of your products or services. You are passionate about what you do. Use how-to videos to spread this passion through Facebook Live.
4) Product and Service Demonstrations
According to KissMetrics, those who watch a product or service video are 64% – 85% more likely to make a purchase. In addition to placing a demo video on your landing page or website, make one in real-time using Facebook Live.
This how-to can be more authentic and allow you to present the more personal side of your products and services. You could even combine this method with a Q&A session for optimum audience engagement and impact. By putting your customer’s understanding first, you’ll begin to build a solid brand reputation.
5) Breaking News Features
Depending on your startup’s niche, this one can be more difficult. That said, regardless of the industry in which you work, there’s news that’s taking place. By taking to Facebook Live to either break or talk about these kinds of updates, you position your startup as the go-to outlet for up-to-date information.
To help with this, set up an RSS feed on your laptop or desktop. As larger, more authoritative sites publish industry-specific stories, take to Facebook Live to talk about what this means for your startup, fanbase and industry as a whole. Though a startup, you’re the authority. When people need information, they should first come to you.
- Note: Regardless of the method you use to build rapport with your Facebook followers through Facebook Live, always keep in mind that the videos you create should never be solely focused on your brand. Yes, you directly represent your startup, but it’s important to peel back the layers a bit and present your true self. Be personal; people will appreciate it.
Repurposing Facebook Live Videos
For startups looking to use Facebook Live, it’s not enough to use the video publishing tool by itself. Instead, make certain that you’re also repurposing your video content as much as possible.
With a lack of funds sometimes being an obstacle for startups, save yourself some video production fees and use your Facebook Live videos for social posts on other channels or as cornerstone content for future blog posts. Look to stretch the value of each Facebook Live video.
Today, it’s Facebook Live; tomorrow, it will probably be something else. Whatever happens, with social media marketing now solidly a mainstay of the digital marketing world, it’s key for your startup’s success that you pay close attention to what Facebook is doing. Currently, this means tapping into the game-changing powers of Facebook Live.