There are five great reasons you should start using Facebook Live.

When it comes to creating content for social media these days, a video will always outperform images and the written word. As a small business owner, you may wonder how you’re ever going to be able to afford to make a video, and you’re not sure where to start? A great solution to this is Facebook Live.

Facebook Live is Facebook’s live streaming tool where you can broadcast a live video to the people who like your page, their friends and beyond. Right now, Facebook is competing with the likes of YouTube Live, Periscope and Twitch to be the go-to platform for live streaming, so it’s giving anyone who uses Live a little push which for us marketers equals free reach. This is a once in a moment opportunity, and as a smart business owner, you should jump at it. 

Don’t worry – you don’t have to be all ‘slick’ and professional to get Facebook Live right. The raw and unpolished nature of Facebook Live is endearing and means that dodgy camerawork is accepted, at the moment anyway.

facebook live guide

Images and text just don’t cut the mustard anymore 

We are all guilty of scrolling past images and text in our feeds, and we do pay attention to a video.

●    95% of viewers absorb the messages of the videos they watch – Insivia.com. 

●    According to SocialBakers.com, the average video post generates 135% greater organic reach to photo posts. 

●    Even emails that include “video” in their subject lines have a 19% better chance of being opened, generate 65% higher click through rates, and unsubscribe rates also go down by 26% when videos are included in the content. – Brainshark.com. 

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, everyone else is doing it, so you should too. Surely you don’t want to get left behind?

–    Facebook Live is growing – 81% of Internet and mobile audiences watched more live videos in 2016 than in 2015.

–    By 2019, 80% of online content will be primarily video (Cisco.com), so now’s a good time to get started.

–    People prefer live video – 80% of people choose to watch a live video rather than read a blog. 82% of individuals prefer live video above standard content. (LiveStream.com). 

facebook live

Five reasons why it’s worth getting your head around Facebook Live

1.    Facebook Live will raise awareness about your business. Just get on there, see what the magic algorithm will do for pushing your video out there. And the more engagement and comments your Facebook Live gets, the further it will travel. 

2.    Create a sense of community and loyalty by engaging with your viewers in your broadcast getting to know them on first name terms. Reply to their questions and comments. People love to hear their name being read out and feel like they have input. This is much better than television for viewers and is another reason why Facebook Live is so popular.

3.    New product announcements and offers can be highlighted instantly via Live, and create a sense of immediacy. You could record a video in the morning and upload it to Facebook. With little engagement and no sense of immediacy – it is now a piece of history. Facebook Live shows the viewer what is happening right now and if it looks fun or interesting, they’ll want to be there, and they’ll keep watching.

4.    It’s easy. All you need is your smartphone and an internet connection. Currently, Facebook Live is free but don’t be shocked if Facebook starts charging for it in the future. Take advantage now. You have been warned. 

Irish businesses using Facebook Live

The Happy Pear uses Facebook Live to host Q&As, and the response has been massive. The twins from Greystones are naturals for the medium. They make it look easy. This particular live stream gained over 57k views

Arnotts the department store uses Facebook Live to create hype and allow fans to sample live fashion shows, product demos, and makeup tutorials on Facebook. Here is a makeup tutorial from February. Here they kill a flock of birds with one stone. Not only is it a makeup tutorial, but they also run a competition and announce a new product. This Facebook Live gained over 122,000 views. The high amount of engagement came from the competition to comment below and like the video which boosted Arnott’s reach. 

Hairspray Ireland uses Facebook Live to demo how to apply its product. In this example, hair extensions are being applied, with an offer of buy-one-get-one-half-price.

Californian fitness guru, and infomercial queen, Chalene Johnson said in her keynote at Social Media Marketing World that ‘we are living in a microcosmic moment’ about Facebook Live. We will look back at this time when we can hop on Facebook Live – for free – and get rewarded with a push from Facebook for doing so, with rose tinted glasses. This is an incredible opportunity to promote your business, and it’s free.  

If you are to try one thing to promote your business this month, make it Facebook Live. 

There are so many things you can do with Facebook Live. You could host a discussion, run a Q&A with your key people, or another thought leader, announce a new opening, product, news item, or just have fun and hang out with your audience. 

It’s easy to do. The results are impressive. 

You can find out how to get started here.

Just try it.

Written by Maryrose Lyons, the owner of a social media agency and the founder of the Learn Social Media Like A Pro online course.

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