5 Tips for Going Live

So many retailers FEAR going live. They are nervous to be on the spot, nervous to be on camera and nervous that no one will tune in. But here is the truth: If you broadcast it, they will come.

Customers, that is.

Video is such a strong tool for getting more organic reach as well as building the relationship with your customers.One of the best ways to do this is by going live on Facebook. The process is simple:

  1. Go to the Facebook app on your smart phone.
  2. Go to your business page.
  3. Click on the text box as though you're going to write a post.
  4. Click "Go Live" instead.
  5. Write a short description and BEGIN!

Broadcasting a truly SUCCESSFUL Facebook Live video is also pretty easy as long as you have the confidence to put yourself out there and in front of the camera. While this feature is currently free and easy to access, Facebook evolves with new ways to advertise almost weekly, and you never know when a free tool will be monetized. New advances are happening every day - soon you will be able to go live from your laptop computer via your web cam. Make the most of this feature now with these five tips.

Have a plan.

It's not bad to go live at the last minute. This may actually be a great way to promote that an event is winding down or that a promotion is ending. But in order to get the most eyes on your video as possible, let people know when you'll be going live so that they can anticipate it and make plans to join.

Each month, we hold a member's only Q&A in our Facebook group. We used to do the Q&A through posts within the group, but when Facebook Live launched, we switched to going live each month. The results? We've gone from 3-4 comments and posts during our 1-hour sessions to 60+ questions. And this is in a private group! Imagine the results you could see on your page.

Be yourself.

It sounds simple and silly, and yet so many people struggle with it. People WANT to see store owners and employees on camera. And after they watch a video and come into the store, they want to meet the same person they saw on the screen!

Be authentic to your brand and just as personable as you would to a customer approaching you in your store. If you feel extremely self-conscious in front of the camera, opt to make an employee the host of your videos or do more videos that include a store tour or product demo, where you are not the main event.

Learn for next time.

What did you like about going live and what didn't you like? Were people able to hear you? See you? Did you have more viewers when you went live in the morning or evening? Pay close attention to the analytics given to you after you complete a live broadcast, and use your own observations to improve your next broadcast. One particularly useful insight? You can see how long people watched your video. This is great for helping you choose the right length for you videos.

Rock that description.

Your Facebook Live description is VERY short, but it needs to make a good first impression. When writing it, think, "If I read this, would I feel the need to tune in immediately?" The answer should be yes.

Test your "studio."

It's absolutely fine to do a quick test run of Facebook Live to make sure that people can see and hear you. Find a spot that you plan on doing your broadcasts from each time (unless you'll be walking around your store, at market, etc.) and play with the light and sound in the room. Simply delete the test broadcast when you are done and feel more confident the next time you go live.

Catch Crystal Vilkaitis go live on the Crystal Media page each month by following us on Facebook!

Have you gone live? Leave a comment below on your experience and if you noticed higher reach and engagement than normal.