To LIVE or not to LIVE? 3 Reasons to try Facebook Live.

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In April of 2016 Mark Zuckerberg has announced that one of Facebook’s newest and hottest features – Live video, will now be available to everyone. If you do marketing on social you know the speed with which things change in this field. What were best practices yesterday are nothing but a memory today. Yet, more than a year later Facebook Live still feels new somehow. Ever wonder why?

In my practice I found that way too many businesses (and individuals) are stuck on the idea of perfection. Perfect video script, perfect background, expensive camera… The list goes on and on. So when something like Facebook Live shows up, it completely destroys our idea of how we should be interacting with our audience. Now, instead of a perfectly scripted video shot in our expensive studio we are forced to stare at a cellphone camera and respond to viewers in real time. Facebook Live leaves a lot of space for mistakes, it cannot be reshot and edited (at least not in the moment you are live), and naturally it makes a lot of us feel vulnerable.

This vulnerability, however, is precisely what you need to humanize your business. By going Live and interacting with your fans you allow them to get to know you and your brand on a much deeper level than any article or staged video could ever do. Going Live is the closest you can get to actually sitting down with your fans over a cup of coffee and explaining to them why they too should fall in love with what you have to offer.

If this fact alone is not convincing enough, here are three more that will hopefully get you excited to try Facebook Live for your business:

Free engagement, anyone?

Do you remember the time when Facebook posted all of your content on all of your fans timelines? Ah, the good old days. Today if you want to get in front of your fans´ eyeballs you have to

     A. pay

     B. create killer content and spend years of building a highly engaged follower base, or

     C. create killer content AND pay.

Most small to medium sized businesses were late to the game when it came to social media marketing and were not able to build that essential engaged audience prior to Facebook’s changes. Today, if you are on a none to very limited advertising budget and don’t have a solid content strategy you are pretty much dead when it comes to social. The good news is Facebook is working really hard to promote their Live video feature and will send notifications to most of your fans a few minutes into your broadcast. On top of that, Facebook users are 3X more likely to watch a Live video and actually interact with it. All you need to do is grab your cell phone and come up with a fun subject to discuss. Not bad for an almost zero investment!

Live makes you stand out

For all the reasons stated above plus a million more, most of your competitors are not going Live today or anytime soon. Why should you care? Well, if they are not going Live but you do, that automatically makes you different in the eyes of your potential customers. You become a thought leader with a bold and customer-centric approach. You signal to those who are interested in your product that you are open to conversations, suggestions and are ready to help them solve whatever problems they may be facing. While your competition may be spending thousands of dollars trying to come up with a new marketing tool that will help them understand their audience, you can do it all by yourself right this second by simply asking your customers what they want while you are Live. And for now, it is absolutely free.

Live saves your time

If you are a business owner or an executive or even a mid tier manager, how much time do you have to come up with content for your Facebook pages? I am not talking about reposting an industry report. I am talking about coming up with something fun, engaging, that will take up resources from your graphic team (given that you have one), your copywriters and, potentially, videographers? Unless you have a huge team of content creators at your disposal, coming up with unique, interesting topics for your social day after day can prove to be a very long process. For example, writing a 1000 words blog can sometimes take one a 2-3 hours to accomplish. Going Live on Facebook can take 30 minutes of your day and produce content ideas for a whole week. Once your Live session is over, you can save the video that you’ve created, edit it and post this to your Instagram, YouTube or send it in your next email blast. Questions that you will receive will spark ideas for your next blogs and even next Live videos. The true potential here really is only limited by your imagination.

Facebook Live is an amazing tool to bring your business in front of those very people you are trying to reach. Using it as a part of your content strategy will help you develop an authentic brand voice that will set you apart in today’s noisy social.

Have you gone Live before? What was your experience like? Let’s chat!