If you’re a serial Facebooker, then you might have noticed this new feature on your feed called Facebook Live, and if you’re like most people, then you probably didn’t think much of it… If it’s anything like all the others, you might use it once or twice and never bother with it again, right?
Not this time.
Facebook Live has enormous potential, especially when it comes to business professionals, entrepreneurs, and public figures. It’s not connected to a partner application, and it doesn’t force you to log into another website. Facebook Live is built directly into Facebook – which means significantly more people will use this feature on a regular basis.
In essence, Facebook Live is a live stream of whatever it is you or someone else is doing – which sounds quite a bit like Periscope; however, they have their differences. With Facebook Live, anyone watching an ongoing stream can interact with the presenter – ask questions, like the video in real-time, and experience an event from the eyes of the presenter.
Celebrities like Stephen Spielberg and Kevin Hart have already taken a stab at Facebook Live and received excellent results – a huge audience with impressive levels of engagement. But this addition to Facebook isn’t just for celebrities. Public figures and entrepreneurs – like astronauts, fitness instructors, and innovative startups – have also experienced success with Facebook Live.
For now, streamers are limited to 90 minutes – but as Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, explained during his live stream, this will most likely increase in the near future. If you want to present something from your business page, all you have to do is tap on ‘More’, then click ‘Livestream’. You’ll need a webcam to get going, but if that’s not a possibility, you can stream directly from your phone. As an individual, you can also go live after accessing the “Go Live” icon that can be found in the status section.
Going live is exciting for all parties involved – the presenter and the audience. As Cox describes it, Facebook Live is raw and unproduced and can reach many people in different ways. But how can you, as a small to medium-sized business, benefit from Facebook Live?
If you’re not used to being onscreen, it’s a good idea to watch a few live streams before you start one for yourself. You can view any ongoing live streams here, but if you’re looking for more business-friendly streams, befriend a few larger companies or public figures. You’re bound to come across a live stream (as a helpful tip: live streams can be made accessible after the stream or they can only be made viewable during the stream – so you can sometimes see previous “live streams” from people or businesses you follow).
You can adjust the privacy settings just as you would with any other post on Facebook, which means you can send a stream directly to a group of people or one individual, or you can post it on your feed for all of your followers to view. Use this as an opportunity to take your clients behind the scenes, to meet the team, or to explain a new product. Answer questions, openly ask your viewers to like your stream and tell everyone when and where your next stream will be.
The key is to get on this ship now before it sets sail. In other words, don’t wait to use Facebook Live until more businesses adopt the feature. If you wait, you will drown in the sea of stream-frantic businesses. Build your audience now before it’s too late.