If you have't heard (or noticed as you've browsed through your Facebook newsfeed), the social media giant recently introduced Facebook Live, which allows people to broadcast live videos from their mobile devices directly to their Facebook newsfeeds.
Previously, Facebook Live was only available to celebrities, but this service is now open to everyone as of April 2016.
So what's so cool about Facebook Live?
Imagine being able to use your phone to share live moments instantaneously with the people that you care about. Facebook Live can offer you this capability, as well as allow your fans to be right there with you in the moment. You can even respond to their comments in real-time and see their reactions.
As a marketer, Facebook Live is a powerful vehicle to communicate your story and build authentic relationships with your target audience.
How can you use Facebook Live to build connections and deepen relationships with your audience?
Since Facebook Live is still very much a new feature, let's take a moment to walk through the steps of how you can create your very first broadcast with this tool:
Step 1: Go to your company's Facebook page and open the status bar as if you were going to create a new post.
Step 2: You will then see a "Live" icon, which looks like a human silhouette.
Step 3: You'll be prompted to allow Facebook to access your camera and microphone. Once you accept, you won't be asked again.
Step 4: Click on the blue "Continue" button on the Facebook Live introductory page.
Step 5: Select a privacy setting. If you're a business using Facebook Live to promote yourself, you'll probably want to choose "public" for anyone to see.
Step 6: Provide a compelling description for your broadcast. This headline will appear in your fans' newsfeeds like a status update above a video.
Step 7: Find the right view for your camera. The background of the setup screen on your mobile device will show you what view the camera is currently offering.
Step 8: Click the blue "Go Live" button and begin recording. You can create a live broadcast up to 90 minutes long.
Step 9: Interact with viewers. You can respond live to their comments during your broadcast or have someone else monitor and respond to comments.
Step 10: Click "Finish" to end your broadcast. This will allow your broadcast to stay on your Facebook page for future views, just like a video.
As you can see, creating your very first Facebook Live broadcast is really quite simple.
You can evaluate the performance of your Facebook Live broadcasts.Another beneficial feature of Facebook Live is the ability to review analytics on your broadcast. These details can be found in Facebook Insights and will provide you with metrics such as peak live viewers, people reached, minutes viewed, and reactions.
Hopefully, this post has you excited about giving Facebook Live a try as a way to promote your business and strengthen relationships with your customers. As a best practice, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the tool first by choosing the "only me" privacy setting to create a live broadcast that only you can see. This will help your real first live broadcast via Facebook Live to go as smoothly as possible.
For additional ways to use Facebook to build connections and deepen relationships, read our recent post about the Facebook Messenger app for business.