It’s no secret that doing Facebook Lives is an awesome way to connect and engage with your customers and build your e-commerce brand. It’s also no secret that when I started doing them I was completely, totally and utterly freaked out.
…you guys, it has been SO worth it! There is no better way to interact IN REAL TIME with people who are interested in learning how to build their e-commerce business. They can see and talk to me AND I can deliver information that they want to know more about while I’m totally being me.
Just doing a Facebook Live generally isn’t going to cut it, though. There are some tricks you can use—from lighting to messaging—that get people to watch you the first time and get them to want to come back and watch you again. In fact, after more than a year of doing Facebook Lives myself, I’ve put together a list of….wait for it…14 things you can do to build Facebook Live engagement.
Who’s ready to have me talk about a few of them right now? Raise your hand! Okay, I honestly can’t see whether you are raising your hand, but I’m going ahead as if you are.
Okay, let’s talk about how you talk to the camera (or your phone or your computer screen or whatever you’re using for your Facebook Live.)
Tip Number One: Check Your Lighting
You’ve GOT to check your lighting so that you look bright and happy instead of something out of the Blair Witch Project. (For those of you who are too young to remember that movie…don't watch it. You’ll be freaked out for days.) If you want to see what I’m talking about, go stand in front of a window with tons of light streaming in. Use the selfie mode on your phone to look at yourself when you’re facing the window, and then when the window’s in back of you.
I’ll wait. Seriously—you’ve got to go see what I’m talking about.
You back? Are you like “Oh my gosh, Alison, that’s insane!”
Because the first time I did it…yeah…I couldn’t believe what a little light could do for my self-esteem.
Tip Number Two: Don't Look Down (into the camera, that is)
The second thing about talking to the camera? Don’t look down at it—look up. When you look DOWN into your device guess what? Your audience is kinda looking right into your nose. And even if you don’t have what a friend of mine lovingly refers to a “bat in the cave,” it’s just not a good look. Seriously—no nose views. (You’re so going to thank me.)
Tip Number Three: Get Up Close
When you're doing Facebook Lives, you need to be okay sitting a little close to your screen. Your viewers should feel like they're seeing you from across the room, but like you're sitting in the chair right next to them. Think about TV reporters and how close they get to the camera. There's a reason. Try it.
But there’s more than just the way you LOOK during your Facebook Live—what you’re saying and how you’re saying it is HUGE.
Tip Number Four: Don't Be the Guy on Ferris Bueller
If you’ve ever had to sit through a class with a teacher droning on and on like the guy in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (yes, I know that’s an old movie, but seriously—it’s a classic!) you know that you would have given anything to get out of that space. Well, on social media, you can lose viewers left and right (or up and down, thanks to scrolling) if you don’t give people a reason to stay with you. Smile, laugh, and FOR THE LOVE OF HEAVEN SHOW SOME ENTHUSIASM! In other words, don't be boring.
Tip Number Five: Acknowledge People
Everybody likes to be shown a little bit of love, right? Well, acknowledge the people who are watching. Encourage them to ask questions…and then answer them. I love it when people ask me questions on a FB Live because then I can interact with them at the time AND look forward to serve them even better in the future.
Tip Number Six: Use Messenger Bots
Messenger bots are taking over the world, and I'm kinda okay with it. You know how I mentioned just a minute ago about being able to interact with and serve my audience? Oh my heck–they make it so easy! You're going to see what I mean when you download the .pdf. A click, a zip and, bam! Something awesome is delivered to you. It's the greatest.
Tip Number Seven: Make it a Family Affair
Want to know what gets me crazy high organic reach on Facebook Lives? When my kids pop on. Especially those cute boys of mine. My audience waves at them, posts emojis and pretty much anything else the littles ask them to do. I think it's because it breaks things up, lets people see my real life, etc. It's kind of the same when my husband Jared makes an appearance. He shares his feedback or answers questions, and I just think people enjoy seeing how we work together. Try having a friend come in or someone who works on your team. It's fun for you and your audience.
Tip Number Eight: Give a Tour
Again, a lot of viewers like real life moments and behind-the-scenes sorts of glimpses. Give it to them. Take a tour of your office to show how you store supplies, ship packages, come up with content ideas…whatever it is. It's just a great way to involve people.
Tip Number Nine: Ask People to Share Your Post
One of the best ways to boost engagement is to get people to share your Live…but how do you do it? The simplest way is the best: ask. Ask your audience to share it with their friends (make sure your settings allow them to.) Or partner with another business to do Live swaps. Facebook loves seeing that people are sharing content, so they'll help more people see your Live.
Okay, now let's have a moment focused on some slightly more “technical” tips:
Tip Number Ten: Go Live Right on Facebook
I have found that when I broadcast directly to Facebook rather than through a third party, I get higher reach, and that leads to increased engagement. Facebook wants you to broadcast live from their platform, so I recommend doing it to get a higher organic reach.
Tip Number Eleven: Repost During the Live
This sounds crazy, but have someone repost your Live right on your page WHILE YOU'RE DOING IT. I go into more detail about this in the video, so take a few minutes to watch, but essentially it helps you capture those people who might be jumping in at different times. It's a strategy that has worked incredibly well for me…and strangely enough, most viewers don't even notice it. Plus, once it's done, you can hide it.
Tip Number Twelve: Remember Your Title
You guys, a title can make or break the long-term success of your Facebook Live. Think short and catchy. Instead of “A few tips” try “4 Tips That Will Break the Doors Wide Open” or whatever. And add an emoji or two. It makes you more human and more interesting.
Tip Number Thirteen: Do a Post-Live Edit
Once you've wrapped up your Facebook Live, edit the settings on it. Go into edit, and you can choose a thumbnail for people to see when they find the (now-ended) stream. But don't just find one that makes you look your best. Find one that will grab their attention. One where you're showing a lot of expression (even if it's not the most flattering.)
And last but not least…
Tip Number Fourteen: Be Consistent
It took me a while to figure this out (translation: I didn't want to commit to it at first) but when I do Facebook Lives every week on a specific day and at a specific time, more and more people show up. Where I was once getting 10-12 people (which isn’t bad when you’re getting started, mind you) that number has grown to 50 or 60 and as high as 80 at any time. With all the post-Live views and sharing, I’m helping more people than ever before to learn about e-commerce, and THAT makes me CRAZY happy.
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Talk to you soon!