It was only a matter of time. On the heels of Periscope’s wildly successful run as pretty much the only game in town over the course of the last year or so, Facebook has finally released its own live streaming app, Facebook Live.
While Twitter’s Periscope basked in the glory of having grown to more than 10 million users after only four months in business, Facebook Live promises to be even more popular.
Never mind the fact that Live works almost the same as Periscope – seamlessly, easily, instantaneously – its potential user base and audience of over 1.5 billion casts more than a large shadow over any predecessors and competitors in the live streaming app space.
How do you use Facebook Live? It’s simple. Just go to Facebook on your phone, tap the “What’s on your mind?” field and hit the icon to the right that’ll ask you to describe your live video before clicking on the big honking “Go Live” button. Boom. You’re on the air.
That’s not to say it’s easy to use this new app effectively for business purposes, though.
After all, how do you as a personal or professional brand stand out among all the clutter of competition in the News Feed? What do you say to command prospects’, customers’, client’s or even your friends’ attention? How do you keep your audience begging to see more of you no matter what you have to say?
Here are 10 ways brands can use Facebook Live and win over their audience at the same time.
1. Go behind the scenes
People are curious. They want to know what goes on inside the boardrooms and behind closed doors. Take them around your office.
Give them a tour of your warehouse. Invite them to join you the next time you sit down with your colleagues to discuss business. Share the secrets of your success with those who are willing to watch.
Here’s an example from American Idol.
2. Give pep talks and provide inspiration
There’s a reason the hashtag, #MotivationMonday, is so popular on social media.
Everybody needs a lift. Facebook Live makes it possible for you to easily jump online and share a few quick words of positivity and power with your audience, encouraging them to seize the day seven days a week.
3. Share news and information
Talk about a no-brainer. Be like a reporter and talk about the day’s top stories. Schedule a time when you will appear regularly in the News Feed.
Condition your audience to be looking for you on Facebook like they tune into their favorite shows on TV, enthusiastically and faithfully.
4. Offer opinion and commentary
Just the facts will only get you so far on social media. The more you show your true colors, the more you’ll be trusted and respected.
Live streaming video enables you to tell it like it is in real time. Don’t be afraid to editorialize and opine.
Think like a talk show host and act like a star. You are the expert witness to the top stories in your field.
5. Take questions from your audience
Access to you and your brand is a big reason why people follow you on social media. They want a pipeline to the source.
Nothing makes them feel more empowered than having their questions answered promptly. Like a virtual town hall, take questions from audience members and answer as many as possible.
Their loyalty and commitment to you will intensify and increase.
6. Share tips, tricks and tactics
What can you do for others? How can you help them? What do you know that will help them get more out of either their personal or professional lives? This is your forum. This is your chance.
Streaming live video to an audience that has already indicated they are interested in what you have to offer puts you on a pedestal as a thought leader, role model, stander-bearer, influencer, ambassador and advocate. Take full advantage of the opportunity.
7. Deliver presentations, demonstrations, speeches and soliloquys
Anytime you or anyone in your organization has something notable to say, whether it’s a prepared gig in front of a large audience or an extemporaneous piece of advice for anyone who will listen, consider streaming it live on Facebook.
Share a short snippet or the whole kit and caboodle. If for no other reasons than the immediacy and authenticity of the content, you will stand out among the clutter of crafted, pre-written regularly scheduled updates.
8. Be humorous and entertaining
As I wrote here on ClickZ :“if people are smiling, they’re usually less guarded and more agreeable.”
That’s why you want to try to open a conversation with something positive and lighthearted, no matter how serious the subsequent topic.
Tell a good joke or engage in lighthearted banter. Don’t be all about the hard sell. Be funny, witty and chill. Market your brand softly with humor and entertainment to the point where fans crack a smile and hang on your every word.
9. Profile employees
Anytime you use social media is a good time to put a human face on your brand. Authenticity is a key contributor to the effectiveness of your updates.
Facebook Live makes it incredibly easy to put the spotlight on your people. Give them a starring role in a short Q&A and viewers will start looking at your organization with greater interest and trust, not skepticism and doubt.
10. Speak impromptu and off-the-cuff
Not everything you do on social media has to be scripted, choreographed, planned and scheduled. In fact, some of the most popular content you share is likely the most candid.
Even if you don’t have anything important to say, go out on a limb and just say hello. No, it’s not that easy to win friends and influence people using Facebook Live, but you don’t want to overthink it, either.
The more you hem and haw over how you’re going to use it, the more likely it is that you’ll never use it at all.
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