There is no escaping it. If you’re on almost any popular social media platform, you’re going to see video. The videos you’ll see range from companies trying to promote their brands, to Mom and Dad showing off the kids and the family pets.
It used to be that you’d only see pre-recorded videos, but today, things have changed. Now you’re seeing livestream videos, which are simply videos that are broadcast live.
Twitter has Periscope, and, of course, you’re already familiar with Meerkat. And now Facebook has joined the group.
Picture reprinted from Public Domain
Back in July of 2015, Facebook launched Mentions, which is a livestream, stand-alone app, but it was available to verified public figures only. The idea was that celebrities would use it and stir up interest and user engagement.
Well, with more and more emphasis being placed on livestreaming, and the huge success of Periscope, Facebook refused to be outdone. So in December of 2015, Facebook rolled out — to a select number of iPhone users — the beta version of live video streaming right inside your personal profile.
As you can see in the graphic to the right, when you select a status update, one choice you have is live broadcast. You simply press the little icon, and you’ll be just a couple of steps away from going live.
I’ll cover this more in just a moment, but, first, you might be asking…
What does this have to do with my business?
I’m glad you asked.
Even though this feature is only available through your personal page, once the broadcast is complete, it is automatically saved to your timeline.
This means that it can be shared, downloaded or posted on a business page — pretty much anything you can do with a recorded video, you can do with the livestream recording.
Facebook, and any social media, is a place where people come to interact with other people. Sure, they browse cat pictures too, but the main reason people are on social media is to interact with other people.
So, think about this. Whether your business is selling to consumers or to businesses, your customer is still a person. You cannot sell to a business, only to a person (or persons) within a business.
At the same time, those customers, those people, want to do business with you, not your business.
This is where video, specifically livestream video, comes into play.
There are so many opportunities for you as a business person to introduce your human side to your customers and potential customers. Livestream video is “real,” it’s unscripted, and it gives the audience a sense that they are right there with you better than words, and better than images alone.
You want your customers to know, like and trust you. They want to know, like and trust the person they choose to do business with. This is a medium that can quickly build that relationship before the first phone call even takes place.
So, for example, let’s say you’re a chiropractor, and you have had a bunch of patients ask about stretches they can do to loosen up certain back muscles.
You can let your regular patients know ahead of time that you will be doing a live demonstration and give them a link to your Facebook page. Then, once the broadcast is over, you can simply share it with your business page, and let all of your clients, or any potential clients, know the link and they can go and watch it.
This will grow your Facebook Likes as well, because a by-product of having great content on your page is that people will Like it while they’re there.
Who will see my stream?
Just as with any post, you can choose who sees your live video. I’ll cover this more below, but you can choose to post it to:
• The Public, so anyone on Facebook can see it;
• Friends, for just your Facebook friends;
• Friends Except, meaning you can exclude certain friends or groups of friends; or
• Only Me, where it can only be viewed by whoever is signed into your account.
Something else to keep in mind, if you post just to your Facebook friends, they will see it based on how engaged they are with you. In other words, the people you are engaging with regularly on Facebook will most likely see it in their newsfeed, along with people who follow you, and people with whom you are actively exchanging comments.
Friends that are not that active on Facebook, or that do not follow you, or that you haven’t talked to on Facebook in a long time, likely will not see it, unless they happen onto your profile.
Once the live broadcast is over, people can continue to view, like, comment and share your video. You can also share the video with any page that you manage, like a business or group page. If, for any reason, you don’t like how it turned out, you can also delete it.
How do I do it?
It is super simple to get started. As shown in the picture above, go to your personal timeline and choose Status update.
Once you click the little icon,
It will take you to the next screen, where it announces you are about to go live on Facebook and you press the Continue button.
The next screen asks you for a title. Pick something that makes sense and something that will grab the attention of someone skimming by. This is also where you choose who can see your video. Right below the word “Describe” in the image to the left, you see it says “Public.” Simply click there to choose a different audience.
Then, after a 3 second countdown, you are live. You can hold the phone upright or rotate it horizontally, and the broadcast screen will automatically adjust. Whether it is just you in the shot, or a group or crowd, as well as personal preference, will determine which way you choose.
That is all there is to using Facebook’s Live Video option.
If you have an Android phone, it may not be available to you yet. If you have an iPhone, it should be there, if not, it won’t be long. Either way, after the beta test completes, I fully expect this will be rolled out to all mobile devices and become available for all of us to use, share and engage!
Rick Sheninger, CEO of One To One Marketing, has been a sales and marketing professional for over 20 years. His specialty is helping small businesses and independent business people build their brand, build an engaged customer base, and increase revenue, by maximizing the lifetime value of those customers.