Written by: Andy Ogg – Editor for Travel Professional NEWS
Just a few years ago, it seemed like such a technological accomplishment to have the ability to shoot Hi Definition videos on a smartphone and SHARE them to the web instantly. Fast forward to current day and sharing HD videos is a thing of the past, the new wave of going “Live” is here and it’s taking the social media community by storm, leaving many wondering what it is, how it works and if it’s worth learning.
In April of 2016, Facebook released their new offering conveniently named Facebook Live. The purpose of this new addition was to enable users of Facebook to share their experiences with their following, and all of Facebook if they wish. The feature was added to the Facebook application and users engaged instantly. With a reported 1.6 Billion users on the social network, Facebook has continued to pave the way for advancements in the way we share, interact and communicate. At this time, Facebook Live is only available on mobile devices using the Facebook official application.
So how does Facebook Live apply to you? Is it something you should be doing or is it just another social media time sink? Well the answer is up to you entirely, however, the possibility of reaching new clients and branding your agency further is more than there utilizing Facebook Live.
Let’s look into 5 possible benefits that Facebook Live can offer your business:
- Organic Reach: Your Followers get a Notification of the Live stream and engage
Facebook has publicly stated that the organic reach of a Business Page on Facebook is down to 1% of Organic reach. That means if you aren’t paying for it, they aren’t seeing it. With Facebook Live you have the ability to reach all of your followers with your Live event with a touch of a button. When a Live stream is initiated on Facebook Live, a notification is sent out to your followers, if selected, and they can choose to engage or ignore your Live feed. All of those Followers you worked so hard for in the past years may not have been a waste after all.
- Live streams are viewable by ALL active Facebook users
Sounds a bit overwhelming to think that 1.6 BILLION people can view your Live stream doesn’t it? If you decide to share your stream publicly in your settings, any user of Facebook can view, engage and ask questions during your Live stream. The potential for customers at this level is literally endless.
- Building relationships by showing you, your personality and your life
One of the largest marketing challenges is to gain customer trust and loyalty, showing your followers a bit of you during your Live stream can be a fantastic way to begin that relationship. Viewers of the stream who can hear your voice, see you and engage with you via reactions and comments. The initial “introduction” to you and your business has been made and now it’s about the conversion from a viewer to a client!
- The Aftermath of your Live event lives on!
So you’ve been Live on Facebook, now what? Well the recording of your Live event is automatically converted to a Facebook video so your work isn’t quite done yet. Facebook offers the ability to title, add a description, and even promote your recorded Live event. Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of this tool and use your recording to further promote you and your business.
- Ahead of the trend? Possible
As we know with Social Media as a whole, things come and go. Remember myspace? Many Social Media platforms have hit the market hard showing huge potential but only a few have really made an everlasting impact on users. Many Social Media marketers are confident that the “Live” offering is the next big trend that will not only stick, but last. Although it’s nearly impossible to know anything for certain, companies like YouTube, Instagram and others have either already released their Live program or will be doing so shortly. Being the first on the trend won’t guarantee a viral success, but it will never hurt.
Facebook Live is most definitely a viable marketing opportunity to those looking to diversify and try some new things. Of course, the quality, content and execution of your Live event will ultimately decide it’s reaction from viewers so let’s look into 3 tips that will help you execute a successful Live event for your viewers.
- Plan, Prepare and Execute
Plan your shoot and experience. Whether on the beach in an exotic location, on the streets of France or out at sea on a beautiful cruise ship, think ahead and plan your shoot. Think about the shots you want to show your viewers and how you can obtain them all with being Live. If you want to shoot the base of a 30 story building and the view from the roof, your viewers probably won’t stick with you as you climb up the stairway to get there. Plan an effective Live stream by thinking ahead and doing your best to communicate your message.
Prepare for the odds and ends that can happen when streaming Live. Whether it’s a protest on the street or a trash truck driving by, try your best to facilitate an enjoyable experience for your viewers. Of course you can’t stage the world for the best Live experience but you can think ahead and work toward achieving the best experience you can.
Execute! Put the plans and preparing to work and hit that Live icon! Enjoy the reality that there are people all over the world watching you and have fun. Make sure to include your information for your Agency and what services you offer in your Live feed so if anyone wants to be exactly where you are or have any questions, they can find you and contact you. A well planned Live stream will could make the difference between potential leads and just viewers.
- Promote your Live stream. Before and After
Referencing the above note of planning your stream, you should plan the event. Here are some examples:
“I’ll be going “Live” Friday at 2 PM EST from the best beach in Punta Cana, join me in the awesome experience!”
“If you are looking for the best advice on what cruise to book this year, join me at 12 PM PST from the port in Fort Lauderdale to get some great Professional Tips!”
Successful promotion will lead to more viewers of interest, which easily could become your next clients. Once your Live Stream has completed, use your recorded video and share it with your followers and friends on Facebook to further engage and promote you and your Agency.
- Don’t forget the viewers
Being in front of a Live stream can take some getting used to but no matter how awkward you may feel, we are our own worst critics. Take a few moments in your Live event and thank your viewers for joining you. Remember, they don’t have to join you, they wanted to.
Facebook Live continues to grow in reach, popularity and engagement as it finds it’s niche in the Social Media gamma. If you are looking for an exciting new way to promote your services, agency and skills, Facebook Live may be a great fit for you. Through the years of working in the Social Media arena, I’m very intrigued to see where this new platform goes and takes us and the entire world as we move forward. The power it holds is endless and exciting. Grab a hold of it and get to work on your Live stream today!