5 Ways to Use Facebook Live to Grow Your Local Following
Updated: Jan 21
When looking for innovative ways to boost your local following on social media, Facebook live videos are a great solution.
When you go live on Facebook, you can reach and engage with your audience.
Using this tool correctly will attract more customers in the local area.
For example, initial and repeat customers can engage with you in real-time. So how do you use a live video as a marketing tactic for boosting local followers?
As part of your marketing strategy, Facebook live videos are a great way to boost your local following, and here are five ways to make sure you get it right:
1. Create Longer, More Engaging Live Videos
Facebook Live streams are an excellent way to connect with your audience.
However, if you are just standing (or sitting) in front of the camera droning on about products, your viewers will lose interest—and fast!
The key is to engage your viewers and not just speak to the ones watching you live; your video will stay on your Facebook page until you remove it. That way, you are maximizing the number of viewers you will reach.
Facebook is picky about the videos on its platform and urges users to create engaging and original videos at least three minutes long.
In addition, Facebook will boost the videos it views as original and exciting content and limit the repurposed or unoriginal videos.
The idea behind this is that Facebook wants its users to stay as long as possible. Because repurposed or unoriginal content is not engaging, if you create original videos that grab a viewer's attention, Facebook will boost your videos.
As a result, your viewers will keep coming back for more!
2. Mind the Time
If you want to employ a successful marketing strategy that uses Facebook live videos, you need to be conscious of the best times to go live.
Even though your videos will stay on your page indefinitely (or until you delete them), you want to capture the largest number of live viewers that you can.
Numerous studies identify (including this one) the best time to post on social media as being 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
However, the best overall time to post on Facebook is between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
With that in mind, aim to go live on Facebook at a time that falls in those ranges. You will get more engagement, including likes, shares, and comments.
You can better understand your own business's peak performance, page views, and engagement time by looking at your Page Insights. These analytics give you a better grasp of when your viewers are most likely to interact with you so you can plan your lives accordingly.
3. Promote Your Live Video
The last thing you want to do is have a live stream without any interactions, especially if you describe your services or products and ask questions.
And since the whole purpose of your live event is to grow your local following, you want to have a decent viewership to encourage conversation and engagement.
Facebook Live has a fantastic feature that notifies your followers and anyone who checks your page regularly (even if they don't follow you) that you are going live.
You may catch a handful of people without promoting your live video, but you should tell your viewers that you will go live at a specified time for interactions.
To do this, consider social updates, organic marketing, and paid ads.
For example, if you plan to have a live video weekly or biweekly, let your viewers know exactly what your plans are. Then, they will come to expect Live videos from you, especially if they are informative, fun, or engaging.
Use the following methods to promote your Facebook live videos:
Cross-post: Advertise on your other social media platforms to draw viewers that may not use Facebook frequently. You will also draw organic traffic this way.
Email: Email blast your mailing list to tease your upcoming live. Tell the readers about any guests, co-hosts, or launches you will have to draw excitement for the live.
Blog: A blog post that details your live video will drive traffic to the Facebook video, help your SEO, and if you give some facts about what you will be presenting in your live video, you can create a buzz.
Tease: Releasing teasers through short videos and posts will amp up your viewers. Especially if you are offering a promotion or exclusive deal to viewers during the live broadcast.
Paid Ad: Facebook Ads are a great way to have new viewers in your local area find you and alert them to your live video.
The goal of going live on Facebook is to get sales through growing your local following but to get there, you must first connect with your viewers.
The offshoot benefits to growing your business are solidifying your authority and establishing connections that make repeat sales.
Since people take time to watch your Facebook live video, you need to make it worth their while, so they feel appreciated.
A good plan of action that will help you to create an engaging live video is as follows:
Keep an eye on the viewers as they log on and comment, and say hello
Thank the viewers for watching
Ask the viewers to share the video to draw more viewers
Ask for 'likes' and reactions
Ask the viewers to follow so that they are notified of when you go live again
Ask questions that will prompt conversation or responses
Be observant of the comments and respond when appropriate
Address viewers by name
Use the pin feature to highlight select comments
End your Facebook live video with a call to action that will expand your viewership, such as sharing or using a discount code. Encourage viewers to send a message or comment if there are any questions or clarifications.
Get feedback, so you know what your viewers liked and didn't like. If you played music, ask if they could hear you. If you were showing products, ask if they could see or if they needed close-up shots. Using this type of feedback is crucial to your success in reaching a broader local audience.
5. Create Great Content
It can be hard to determine what to do on Facebook Live, especially if it is your first time or you are not comfortable on camera.
One way to ensure that you are engaging with your viewers and don't miss anyone is to have a helper read your comments and feed you names or questions to answer on camera.
As for your content, the sky's the limit. If you have new inventory, you can demonstrate it or show it off to your viewers.
For example, a clothing store can show new summer clothing at the beginning of the season. If you sell a service, use your existing content to broaden your viewership. A guest host such as a current client could add exciting insight into your services.
Some additional ideas are:
Host an AMA (ask me anything) where viewers can ask questions in advance or on the live broadcast.
Show how your product is used or works
Show viewers a behind-the-scenes view of your business.
Get involved in your community
Use a product or products you sell to demonstrate a DIY project
Spontaneous live videos to say hello
When your Facebook live broadcast is over, you still need to optimize the video.
Once the video is posted on your timeline, you need to take steps to choose a video category, determine your call to action and add your shopping link or other relevant website information. You should also add a description and captions.
After you have completed these steps, you will need to promote again.
So, repeat the steps you used to promote the upcoming live Facebook video with a post about the past live. Then, post the video across your various social media platforms by linking it.
Using Facebook live video removes the barrier between you and your potential customers.
Showing that you are likable and providing relevant and interesting content gives viewers an intimate look at your brand. It bridges a connection between you and your viewers so that they feel comfortable asking questions and purchasing from you.
When you create a community connection, your local following will grow, which is the end goal after all.
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