Facebook Live may be the right tool to help your business engage customers online.
Since its official launch in 2016, Facebook Live has gone from a simple way to instantly connect with family and friends to a marketing and broadcasting tool that's changing the game for businesses.
Facebook Live videos garner six times the amount of engagement and interactions compared to regular videos featured on the social platform. It's a great opportunity to get your business or brand in front of the eyes of new people in your industry. It's also an ideal way to encourage interactions from your audience that are fun and spark excitement. You can do this by hosting a live Q&A for your followers.
During a live Q&A, your audience asks you questions and you answer them in real time. It's different from other forms of video marketing because the interactions are immediate and each party gets the information they want instantly. You can personalize the experience by getting to know your audience and by them getting to know you.
With more than 1.5 billion daily users on Facebook according to Statista, you're bound to effectively reach your target audience and produce the engagement levels you desire.
If you're trying to figure out how to host a successful Q&A on Facebook Live, here are a few ways you can get started.
Do the promotional work.
It's important that your audience is aware of your live stream well in advance so they can plan accordingly. It doesn't stir up much interest or excitement when you don't provide that to your target market. Sometimes the anticipation is even better than the event itself, and if you can create a promotional strategy for your live stream that sells, you'll get more views and engagement.
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Give yourself at least a few weeks to promote your live stream. You need to treat it like an event rather than a spontaneous Q&A because this will create eagerness and enthusiasm from your audience. State the date and time you’ll be going live and encourage users to subscribe to live notifications so they're notified every time you go live.
Use your social media platforms and email list to spread the word about your upcoming Q&A and why your audience will love it. The more you can explain how they'll benefit from tuning in and submitting their questions, the better the turnout you’ll achieve.
Prepare the main points.
The tricky part about live Q&As is that you can't go into them without knowing what you're going to do, but you also can't make it seem overly rehearsed. The key is to find a sweet spot between being informed enough to host the live stream and letting it run organically.
Create an outline or bullet points of all the main points and subjects you'd like to touch on with your target audience during the live stream. If you're answering questions that have already been sent in through social media or email, have those questions in front of you so you have easy access to them once you're live. If you're answering questions straight from the live stream, consider hiring a moderator to help you pick and choose the best, most effective questions for your Q&A.
Go live prior to broadcasting.
It's important to make sure that every technical element of your broadcast goes smoothly. To ensure this, consider going live prior to your official broadcast. You can change your privacy settings so that only you can see and hear what you're doing. This is the most effective way of making sure that everything runs smoothly when you go live in front of your audience.
Test out your equipment to make sure your tools are working properly. Check your microphone and webcam or camera so people can hear and see you without issue. Make sure you're in a well-lit room with plenty of sunlight or artificial light so you can be seen clearly. Always double-check that your internet connection is sturdy and won't burn out mid-stream. If your setup is in need of a tripod for extra stability, purchase one to test out prior to your air date.
Interact with viewers.
Part of what makes live streams successful is the amount of user engagement they can garner. A great way to boost user engagement is by interacting with your audience as they join and comment on your live stream. Don't be afraid to start a conversation or encourage more questions from users. If they're already watching you, you know they're interested.
Personalize your live Q&A by addressing users by their names when answering their questions. This will show them that you're paying attention to what they're saying and will encourage them to stay on your stream longer. Facebook suggests planning to stay live for at least 10 minutes to increase engagement length, but you can broadcast for as long as four hours.
Go live regularly.
Though it is important to treat your live Q&A as its own event, you need to go back to your goals. With live streams, increased user engagement is usually among one of the top objectives that hosts want to see met. If you've hosted live events and haven't gotten the numbers or traction you estimated, it's time to consider making it a regular part of your work schedule.
Consider live streaming on a regular basis. This will prove your brand to be reliable when you show up on time when you say you will. It'll also increase engagement, because your audience will know what to expect and when they can tune in to your content. Your future live streams will have increased interactions, views and shares if you're consistent with your schedule.
Host a successful Facebook Live Q&A.
Hosting a live Q&A can be stressful. You have to be able to engage with your audience in an interesting way that grabs their attention while simultaneously delivering value. With enough preparation and practice beforehand, your live stream is sure to perform well with users.
Promote it beforehand as much as you can across your website, social media and email. Practice and prepare your main points so you aren't stumbling over your words trying to figure out what to say next. Interact with your viewers so they know you're paying attention to them, and go live on a regular basis to build a loyal audience. How will you host your next live Q&A?