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November 2016
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Use Facebook Live to Build Your Brand

As a small business, the Facebook Live feature can provide viewers with a humanized experience of the business

Manny Mandrusiak

Manny Mandrusiak,
Executive Director, Q College
and Q Academy


Contributing Editor


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I was recently asked to be the keynote speaker at the Nova Beauty – Going Rouge event. I was to conduct an hour presentation about how to leverage social media to build business for stylists and hairdressers.

The event took me back to the basics of why we use social media to increase our brand awareness and how we leverage social media to improve our customer bases ultimately, and close sales.

The main point of being active on social media is to be where the people who are looking for you are at and engaging them.  Everyone who reads this article has a smartphone in their pocket or sitting next to them on a table.  The invention of that smartphone essentially put the internet directly in the palm of everyone’s hands.

There were some cool style demonstrations that I got to watch, and they would have been awesome if those sessions were streamed live to customers and followers who could not attend the event in person.  Facebook Live would have enabled distant  views with the ability to participate in the demos and potentially purchase products.

We are a society who is accustomed to instant gratification.  We can search for what we want when we want and get instant answers if we ask the right questions.  If we can’t attend an event, we naturally look for an online solution.

We also have the ability to be entertained by apps and videos right on our smartphones.  Who has not randomly browsed their Facebook feed on their phone during a lunch hour?  We all have, and it is in that “browsing” that the opportunity for marketers to creatively viral market products and services to customers via visual marketing.

Social media has embraced this opportunity by establishing more visual marketing application to enable users to engage with followers and new customers. Essentially one picture can be worth 1000 words and live streaming events could be worth millions. 

Leveraging Facebook Live to Boost Your Brand

Live Streaming is looking like it is the next big thing for social networks thanks to apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Meerkat and Periscope. What these apps do is provide users with the ability to live stream directly from their smartphones.

Facebook was, of course, one of the pioneers of the live broadcast functionality.  It was created for celebrities but has now been rolled out for use by the general public. 

The practical business application of the Livestream event feature on Facebook is a very cool one.  Essentially it enables a company to very informally, invite their Facebook followers to engage with them.  The event feature has tremendous power in building hype for an upcoming product launch or media release.  Followers could be invited for a live look at the manufacturing process of a product, or the installation of a new HVAC system, for example. 

It is based on the same principle as “reality television.”  People enjoy seeing “real” people doing cool things that are unscripted.  Announcing on Facebook that you will be “going live” at Ken Sinclair’s education session at the AHR Expo at a given time, or you’ll be hosting a Facebook Live event at the AHR Expo at a particular product demo, how many people could you possibly engage?  The answer could be 100’s to thousands depending on how many of your followers share the feed. 

A friend of mine is promoting her personal training health and fitness routines and is effectively leveraging the Facebook Live functionality of Facebook to hold free 10-minute exercise feeds.   She has gained a number of followers and converted some of them into paying customers for her classes.

Reliable ControlsWhat is the benefit of Facebook Live for my business?

  1. Appearing higher in news feeds – Facebook has adjusted its algorithm to place videos at the top of newsfeeds, and that means that your followers will see your Live Feed before anything else in their newsfeeds.
  1. Give Customers a sneak peek- As a small business, the Facebook Live feature can provide viewers with a humanized experience of the business.  Your staff can talk about specific features of a new product or new features in a facility.  It is also an awesome way to announce a sale or product launch.
  1. Crowdsourcing- The live streaming feature in Facebook can be leveraged, just like a working group, to get feedback on features for a new product line or improvements on existing products.
  1. Run live online training courses- A company manufacturing a smart thermostat could offer online courses that teach customers about the value of energy efficient homes that leverage smart technologies.  The course could be set as open to all followers and fans so that a potential sales funnel could be created.
  1. Product launches and demos – Live streams are awesome tools for giving your followers a sneak peek into current projects.  This type of insider look at your processes let them feel like part of your company, and this turns them into champions for your brand.
  1. Promote Live Events – Businesses today have customers all over the world, and the live streaming of events lets people in other areas view your event.  Facebook used to have a 90-minute time limit which has recently been lifted.  This means that a live streaming event can extend the reach of an event to a much larger audience.

In conclusion, the ability to live stream on Facebook is another tool in the toolbox for marketers, and businesses, to expand their customer base by providing a convenient way of interacting and participating in an experience that increases brand awareness and customer loyalty. 

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