If you’ve visited Facebook, there’s a 50% chance that you’ve watched a video for at least 10 seconds and a one in five possibility that it was live. It’s easy for anyone to turn on their mobile phone or computer camera to stream live video on Facebook. There have been 3.5 billion live broadcasts on Facebook Live since its launch in 2015. With a potential audience of 2.8 billion people, and the ability to sell products online to live audiences using Facebook Store or other e-commerce websites, it’s not surprising that Facebook video marketing has become irresistible for businesses.
Why Live Video Is So Popular
According to 82% of social media users, live video is more entertaining than recorded video or social media posts because it offers these experiences:
- Spontaneous, surprising, or unpredictable content.
- Live product demonstrations and tutorials.
- Behind the scenes at events.
- Immediate answers to questions in a Q&A or “Ask Me Anything” format.
- Live performances, sports, and contests.
Another reason live video is compelling is the personal touch. When retailers engage with their audiences during a Facebook live stream, they have the opportunity to create relationships with visitors who become repeat customers.
Retailers who use CommentSold with Facebook have reported that repeat customers are spending up to $1,200 per year with an average order value of $32 per sale, which equates to 37.5 sales.
How to Stream Live On Facebook
Streaming live to a Facebook Page or Group is as easy as letting Facebook access the camera on your mobile phone or computer. When the live stream is complete, a replay of the video is posted to your Facebook page. If you’re using CommentSold, you can stream from your CommentSold Dashboard to Facebook and process sales through your mobile app or Webstore.
Here are some tips to get you started and keep your audience engaged:
- Most Facebook users prefer watching videos with a vertical layout in “portrait” mode.
- 85% of videos are watched with the sound off, so it’s beneficial to turn autoplay off and turn on Facebook’s auto caption feature.
- The most-watched live videos are at least an hour-long.
- If you are live streaming, make sure you or someone else are always in front of the camera.
- The most successful retailers keep audiences watching and engaged during the entire live stream by promoting giveaways, new products, specials, and sales, all available at the end of the stream.
- Ask your viewers to like and share your video. You can also post the replay on other social media channels, emails, and websites.
- Post frequently and on a regular schedule. If you’re posting daily, at the same time of day, or if you’re posting weekly, post on the same day of the week.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Live Selling on Facebook
Here are a few of the benefits:
- Live streaming on Facebook is inexpensive.
You can reach new and existing customers for as little as the cost of your laptop, mobile phone, and an Internet connection. You can invest a little more in a professional camera and lighting. However, you’ll still come out ahead of radio and TV ad media and production costs.
- It’s a great way to create lasting relationships.
Since Facebook Live enables retailers to communicate with audiences in real-time during live streams, they have the opportunity to have personal conversations and engage viewers by asking and answering questions.
CommentSold Pro-Tip: Build credibility by encouraging your customers to share their experiences with your products in the comments section. Monitor these comments, and respond to questions and replies on camera.
- You can re-use the video from your live broadcast.
Facebook saves live video as a replay that you can share or post on other social media accounts, websites, and emails.
Though Facebook’s algorithm is constantly changing, its cornerstone is still “community.” Retailers can connect with and build stronger relationships with their audiences through Facebook Live video streams, and newer retailers can create a larger following.
Online sellers can stream to live audiences on their Facebook Pages or to “VIPs” in Facebook Groups that they create and manage. Video hosts can develop, build, and strengthen relationships by interacting directly with followers by asking questions and answering comments during live video feeds.
Some common drawbacks and solutions are:
- Lack of engagement.
If you’re going live and not seeing any users, are you promoting your live stream to the right audience? If so, are you notifying them a few times before you go live and up to an hour before your event?
- Creating entertaining live videos can be time-consuming.
To avoid burnout, pre-plan video content. It may be a good idea to consider posting weekly instead of daily to start. Depending on the type of business, you may want to consider going live to interact with customers to build your brand, introduce new products and answer questions before hosting a live sale.
- Tech problems.
With live streaming, anything can happen. Before going live, test everything to make sure it’s working correctly, including your Internet connection, computer, laptop, mobile phone, lights, and anything else to broadcast your video. Ensure you have a backup plan if something isn’t working, and remember to make the most of your live stream by having a sense of humor.
Facebook uses artificially intelligent code that learns which content to present to its users over time. As users engage with content, the algorithm adjusts the order and type of news items, posts, and videos that automatically appear on its users’ Facebook feeds, prioritizing content that appears to be posted by family or friends.
For live streams from brands to be more visible to audiences on Facebook and appear higher in their feeds, retailers must present videos that Facebook’s algorithms determine to be relevant. To beat the algorithms, show what your audience wants to watch. The algorithm sees how many visitors view, comment on, and like each video.
Which Businesses Have the Most Live-Selling Success on Facebook?
We find that smaller businesses with an engaging, personal selling style—who are live-selling consistently and frequently—are more successful than larger businesses that try infrequent live-selling campaigns with less-than-stellar results.
Customers prefer the personal approach and regular interaction. They like watching the same host and feel personally connected to them. They tune in regularly, as they would for a favorite daytime talk show. Larger businesses often cannot provide the personal feel, and many of them don’t broadcast consistently enough to achieve the same level of success that the smaller businesses are reaching.
Some exceptions are businesses like Target, which has used Facebook Live to announce new product lines, and Sephora, which live streams tutorials and “Ask Me Anything” sessions with hairstylists and makeup artists.
Where to Reach Audiences on Facebook
You have several options to choose from to reach specific audiences on Facebook. To help determine which area is most appropriate, consider your audience and how you can best serve their needs with your message.
- Live streaming to your Facebook Profile Page is suitable for when you want to impart an informal, personal feel. When you’re on your personal profile page, activate your camera, create a new post, and click the video camera icon to start the live video post.
- Your Facebook Business Page is an ideal place to live stream when you want to strengthen your brand. Your audience will see your video on your company or product brand page and automatically associate the video with your business. To stream to your Business Page, click the orange flag icon for Pages from the left sidebar menu. Go to your page and click the blue camera icon next to “Create,” to be led through a sequence of questions to stream your video.
- Facebook Groups are ideal for reaching people who already have an affinity for your brand and products. To start a live stream to a Facebook Group, go to your group and start a post. Then click the three horizontal dots icon. Next, click the red video camera icon to answer a few questions before posting your live video.
Maximize Live Selling on Facebook with CommentSold
By combining live selling and e-commerce on a platform like CommentSold, businesses using Facebook Live can make up to $300 per minute in sales. With CommentSold, Facebook Live becomes more than just a branding and engagement tool.
The platform offers a direct e-commerce integration that lets retailers live stream simultaneously from their CommentSold Dashboard to a Facebook Page and/or Group, a customized Webstore, and a mobile app. With comment selling features, purchasing products is easy and seamless during live video streams. Customers can comment “sold” in the comments section of the retailer’s video to instant cart the items they see in the stream.
Going live on Facebook presents an excellent opportunity to reach new and existing customers, build stronger relationships, and encourage repeat sales. Live streaming can help improve customers’ perception of brands and products, provided that the video content is relevant to the audience and live videos are streamed consistently and frequently.
With appropriate preparation, retailers can avoid most potential live streaming obstacles, making Facebook Live both a marketing and selling tool that most businesses should consider. By putting audiences first when deciding what kind of content to present during live streams, businesses can beat the Facebook algorithm to be more visible to audiences and more successful in their live selling efforts.