Since launching in April of 2016, Facebook Live has been a top priority for the company. They’ve unrolled a mobile broadcasting app, launched the facebook.com/live portal, released an audio-only version of the broadcaster (great for podcasts) and are adding the ability to broadcast from a desktop soon.
Mark Zuckerberg has been on record saying it’s one of the things he’s “most excited about”. Facebook has also very clearly (and publicly) prioritized live video higher in their algorithm so you have a better chance at ranking higher in someone’s newsfeed if you’re streaming.
If you’re looking to access a completely new demographic for a relatively low cost then you should give streaming a go. The exposure that Facebook Live could potentially offer a smaller business or entrepreneur is also worth noting. We caught up with a few Facebook streamers to chat about why live is so important to them and even got some tips.
Seeing the benefit
Elijah Rutland is the head artist for Fix My Sole, a sneaker customization and restoration company started in July of 2014. He uses Facebook Live to broadcast the painting process which in turn shows his creativity and also markets the sneaker for a potential buyer. Through his work, he’s amassed almost 8,000 followers and regularly attains at least 30,000 views per video.
“Facebook Live has improved my business because sneaker customization is a field that many people don’t know about believe it or not. I can broadcast my work to hundreds of thousands of people across the world and they’re able to put a face to the work that they see which helps build trust with the client.”
Since sneaker customization is a niche market, Elijah needed to come up with a creative way to let people know of his business. Static posts on Instagram with relevant tags used to be one of the best bets but now live streaming is quickly gaining steam in terms of exposure possibilities.
Another business that has seen growth is Kim’s Oyster Bar. She regularly opens up oysters on her streams, runs giveaways where all you need to do is share the stream to enter (very smart), and promotes and sells jewelry made from the pearls on the stream.
“I’ve been to trade shows and it didn’t compare to the interest I have received because of Facebook Live.”
We’re not downplaying the importance of events (in fact we even recommend attending them) but streaming is surely a lower cost alternative if you can’t make it to one of them. Both Kim and Elijah are just a couple examples of the many other streamers on Facebook who are already seeing a lift in their business just from the exposure.
Keep this in mind
You may now be wondering, “Alright, I see the benefits but how do I get started?”. Before you go live, you’ll want to be aware of one major pointer. Trevor James is a musician for the Royal Caribbean and regularly uses Facebook to talk to viewers and play the guitar.
“I would say the number one thing is to focus on being engaging and to keep the live stream interesting. Keep the audience wanting and waiting for you to do another live stream.”
What Trevor is saying is that the communication between himself as the broadcaster and the viewer is always at the forefront above all else. Remember that streaming has essentially torn down the barrier between viewer and broadcaster due to the ability for both parties to interact with each other. There really is no other medium like this where the viewer has this much opportunity to talk to the broadcaster.
A different musician to echo that same sentiment is DJ Billy Daniel Bunter. Having just hit 100,000 likes on Facebook, Billy regularly streams various sets to his followers. He now sees Facebook Live as a great way to improve his radio shows.
“I just go with the vibe, get in the zone and feed off the comments as they come in. Live streaming has given a fresh angle to my radio shows.”
Once again, the idea of engagement and interacting with the stream comes up. We can’t (and nor can these musicians) stress this enough that you must be cognizant of whatever is coming through in your chat. Remember: it doesn’t matter if you have 3 viewers or 30 viewers, do your best to accommodate any inquiry that comes through.
Now that you know that streaming does help your brand and you know that engagement is paramount, all you’ve got to do is start. Depending on your needs, the Facebook mobile app may be good for on-the-go streams but we also recommend a streaming service like ours for streams that are looking for a little more polish – like adding your logo or different scenes. We’ve got an easy tutorial that you’re presented with upon signing in or even a short video course if that’s your thing.
Either way, good luck out there and happy streaming.