I recently ran a Facebook live for female networking group Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine on the topic of Manufacturing in China. As of writing this post, it has had over 5,000 views, 191 comments and people still mention it when they see me around networking events around Sydney. This has made me realise the impact a good Facebook live video can have and considering that it costs nothing but your time it is something that all businesses should be trying to incorporate into their marketing.
My first facebook live was actually when I was interviewed by amazing Sydney Entrepreneur, Gen George for her Facebook page. I knew so little about Facebook live that I thought that it was only visible to the people who were watching it live. I had no idea that it stays around forever so yes, I swore A LOT! Hey, give me a break, Facebook live was still really new! Either way, I made a promise to myself to do some research before my next Facebook live so I wouldn’t make that mistake again. Based on my experience I have pulled together 5 tips to help you successful run a Facebook live for your business.
1.Get your set-up right
Facebook lives are typically run out of hours to be able to give your following the chance to interact which they may not be able to do during work hours. This can mean there will be no natural light to film in. I ran the Facebook live at 6pm so instead of filming it in our office or at my house I decided to film it at CUB Private Business Club which I am a member of. The lighting is so bright and it is such a beautiful club that it is easy to get a nice background and make the video look semi-professional.
A lot of posts I read in the lead up to doing my event recommended keeping the Facebook live as natural as possible as fans react really well to this but one thing you need to weigh up is making your video natural looking but also filming content that can be later shared on other platforms. A live video on Facebook shot at home with you in your PJ’s with really bad lighting may work well for this medium but if later you share the video on YouTube you may not have good traction as users are accustomed to a higher production quality.
In terms of my set-up I used my iPhone as my camera and that is what I went live on and then I had my laptop in front of me where I was going to read the questions and then my printed notes for my presentation. I just had my phone sitting in a business card holder on top of some storage boxes. Looking back I would have liked to have the camera a bit higher and more straight on as opposed to the upwards angle it ended up being.
2. Start with a short presentation
I had no idea if anyone would even want to watch a Facebook live on Manufacturing in China so I prepared for the possibility of it being a complete flop by having a pre-prepared 10 minute presentation that I would do at the start before I asked for questions. This is a great idea as it gives followers a chance to jump onto the Facebook Live and it may also answer some of the questions people were going to ask. If you jump straight into questions the Facebook Live can be a bit erratic with you jumping from question to question that may be unrelated. Instead, I waited for a lot of questions to come in and then answered them in related topics.
The other thing is that you can take this portion of the Facebook live and upload it on Youtube to get the most out of your content later. The topics I covered were the cultural differences when doing business with China, the pros and cons of using an agent, tips for sourcing at tradeshows and tips if you use a sourcing agent.
3. Ask for questions in advance
Even if you hold your facebook live at night there will still be followers who won’t be able to tune in. So that these fans can still take part you should create an event page for your Facebook Live where people can RSVP to be reminded about the event but also post their questions if they aren’t able to attend. This is also great because again if you are worried no one is going to join you have these pre-prepared questions you can answer during the Facebook Live. It will also help you prepare for the types of questions people might ask.
4. Have an assistant with you to screen questions and group them
I was extremely lucky that one of my best friends Emma who is also a member of CUB decided to hang around during my Facebook Live. Like I said I really didn’t think that many people would tune in so I was really unprepared when the questions started flowing in. It is hard to keep up with them all on your own so she jumped in and started to screen the question for me. She would group them into related questions and then would ask me the question out loud to answer. Once I answered one she would ‘like’ it so we knew which ones had been answered and then would prep the next question for me. I honestly think the Facebook Live would not have been anywhere near as successful if not for this as it would have just been a lot of me fumbling around trying to find questions to answer. So definately have an employee or a friend assist you on the night. One thing I wish I had done differently was had Emma sit behind my camera as I spent a lot of time looking away from the camera while she would ask me the question.
5. Be prepared for more work after the Facebook Live ends
As I learnt in my interview with Gen George your Facebook Live will last forever so that means that just because your live event is done it doesn’t mean your work is done. Many people will find your content in the future and will have their own questions to ask so be prepared to respond to comments in the future.
You also want to make sure that you download your video as I have mentioned previously so you can capitalise on the content and share it on other platforms. If it is a really long Facebook Live like my one ended up being you might want to edit it into a lot of smaller videos even if it is just one question with one response; these could be great for Instagram and your 10 minute presentation at the start would be great for YouTube.
If you need to know the nuts and bolts of how to run a Facebook live you can read our post on How to Facebook Live here.