Since its inception, Facebook Live has become a powerful marketing tool for small businesses to directly connect with its current followers and to make personal connections with new followers. In essence, it allows you to create an immediate presentation in real time to anyone, anywhere. Facebook Live married the dream of Skype video messaging with the strength and outreach that Facebook already had.

While hosting a Facebook Live is extremely beneficial to businesses, it also comes with many challenges, and is not quite as easy as having a Skype conversation with your best friend across the country. You’re speaking to dozens, potentially hundreds of clients, you must use your cell phone, and the most anxiety-inducing: you’re live. But like any quality presentation, the key to effectiveness is preparation.

Some best practices to keep in mind while using Facebook Live:

  1. Make an appointment to host your Facebook Live session so people can make arrangements to stream in. The point for the event is for people to watch with you while you’re presenting, but if they don’t have advance notice, they may have to watch it afterward and you both miss out on the interaction.
  2. Facebook Live is a streaming tool, so while this is excellent for a question-and-answer session, you need to come to your live session with a set topic and talking points. Silent periods on the internet are just as awkward as silent periods in regular presentations.
  3. Prepare your talking points by making an agenda in large print and having it next to you out of the camera’s sight. You want to be able to use the agenda as cue-cards to transition between ideas within your set topic.
  4. When you begin your live session, be mindful that there are a lag and delay, so give people at least thirty seconds to join your live. Introduce yourself and then explain that you are allowing some time for people to join the session.
  5. Make people who are watching feel welcome by greeting them as they join. Invite them to ask questions and make comments as they watch.
    1. *Individual greetings by name are ideal but may be cumbersome depending upon how many people are joining your live session. If you anticipate a large number of people joining your live, it is a good idea to ask a teammate to join in and field the comments so the viewers could still receive individualized attention – just be sure to introduce your teammate.
  6. If you’re presenting products or selling items, be sure to have props readily available. Don’t waste time by getting up and searching while your audience watches you fumble around.
  7. Look presentable. You may be streaming your live session from home, or somewhere informal, but people are still watching and judging. Be mindful of your appearance and your audience.
  8. Speak slowly and clearly. When speaking publically, people have a tendency to speak quickly because they want to “get it over with,” but it just sounds rushed and harried. Spend time enunciating your words, minimizing your accent.
  9. Follow up the Facebook Live with photos and text of things you spoke about in a separate post. This gives an easy reference point for people who did join you and don’t want to watch the video again, or for the people who did not catch the video live and don’t have the time to watch the whole video.
  10. Always conclude with thanking the people who spent the time to watch you live and offer to answer any follow-up questions or comments.

How else do you use Facebook Live to market your business?

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