In my eyes, Facebook Live was the biggest feature released by Facebook in 2016.
You can use it to achieve just about anything, and the best thing is you can stream from something as simple as a cell phone.
In this article, I'm going to tell you why you should use Facebook Live and give you some real-life examples of businesses using it to achieve sales and brand-related goals.
Why you need to get on Facebook Live
The reason I believe Facebook Live is the biggest feature released this year is down to one thing: reach.
For the first time in years, you can reach the bulk of your Facebook fans without spending a cent. If your Fan Page has tens of thousands of followers, you can be at the top of their newsfeed for $0.
Facebook is pushing their Live feature to the point where I'm receiving notifications each time a friend or page I follow is streaming live.
It will also show the live video in my newsfeed at the very top. If a fan likes or interacts with your Facebook Live video, it's shown in their friends' feeds and is prioritized over text, images, and URL posts.
With the right strategies you can absolutely destroy your competitors on Facebook using Facebook Live.
Here are a few examples and best practice tips.
Run a live auction
Just the other day I was going through my newsfeed and a friend in Thailand interacted with a Facebook Live video which then appeared on my newsfeed.
The video was by an individual who was selling women's bags by auction through Facebook Live. She asked viewers to name their price in the comments and the highest bidder got the handbag.
The live stream reached more than 14,000 people and lasted over 3 hours. Buyers were asking questions about the items in the comment box which were answered by the lady showing the item.
Note: Before you run an auction online, please read up on the laws in your city to see if it is permitted.
It's also not the most automated way to run an ecommerce business, so I wouldn't suggest selling hundreds of products this way, but to sell a few or to use this model to give away items is awesome.
Pre-launching a product
Got a new product or feature that is about to be released? You should let all your fans know by hosting a Facebook Live video detailing the new product or feature.
Place a URL link in the description to a landing page where people can sign up to your list for when you release it. This type of stream can be fully automated from the backend if you collect their email addresses.
A quick 15-minute product demonstration or a Q&A to generate buzz works well too.
Reminding people of an event or sale
With the holiday season coming up, you may have some huge sales or offers planned.
Run a Facebook Live video the day before and during your sales period to let your fans know. Remember, each time you host a Facebook Live video, all fans receive a notification which they will interact with. Even if they are not on Facebook during your stream, the notification will still appear and they can watch it.
These videos are a great way to remind people of what you have coming up without sending too many marketing emails or burning ad spend.
Host your own weekly show
Retail brand Benefits Cosmetics LLC runs a weekly 30-minute show on Facebook Live which consists of its team members giving fans make up tips, showcasing a few of their products, and doing a Q&A.
This is the ultimate branding tool to build stronger relationships in your community, and the best thing is you don't have to spend thousands of dollars hiring out a studio or camera equipment.
You can do it from your office with just a few team members. Facebook Live has opened a new avenue of selling and branding for brands, and you have to make the most of it.
Record when fans are online
You want as many people as possible watching your Live stream because with every engagement, your stream will be served to more people. To make the biggest impact when streaming, visit your Page Insights tab, click on Posts, and see what time and date most of your fans are online.
You don't want to be recording a Live stream at 2am when the bulk of your fans are asleep or 2pm when they are working.
Don't make excuses – go live
Whenever it comes to video content, many ecommerce brands literally shy away from filming. Your organic posts most probably aren't receiving any substantial amount of reach, especially with the amount of work you put in.
A 30-minute Facebook Live stream once a week with the right strategy can take your ecommerce store to the next level. Mix up your blog posts and Facebook ads with a few Live streams and take it from there.
People follow your brand on Facebook because they want to keep up with your brand and engage with it. Facebook Live has made it so easy for you to do that.