What I Learned From My First Facebook Live

2016 has been the year of video in marketing. It's an incredibly powerful medium that generates a whopping 200-300% increase in click through rate and 80% increase in landing page conversion, according to Hubspot.

One of the newest developments making video marketing accessible to everyone is Facebook Live, Facebook's answer to Meerkat and Periscope, two popular video streaming social channels. The main advantage? Your audience is already there.

I decided to give a tour of the Litmus Cambridge office as an experiment into Facebook Live:

...cringing over. Anyway, here's what I learned:

Promote ahead of time

To fight any possible stage fright from being on camera to THE WORLD, I decided to run this tour less than a day before executing. This didn't allow for a ton of time to build up excitement, and since this wasn't a spontaneous post (such as breaking news) I could have waited a few more days and gathered a few more visitors to tag along with us on our post.

Introduce yourself, often

One trick I learned from my research was to introduce yourself, and often. Just like in a meeting, you need to give people a few minutes to join in on the fun. There's also late comers and those multi-tasking, so re-iterating where you are, what you're doing, and who you are can help provide that extra context.

Ask for engagement

It's amazing what people will do if you just ask. When talking about our recent conference, I finished my bit with "thumbs up if you had a great time at #LitmusLive!"...and consequently, likes spiked during that time frame. There's no shame in asking for engagement. You want to encourage your watchers to interact with you, whether that's commenting or reacting on Facebook in real-time.

Similarly, if someone comments, say hello and call them out! It may be difficult with a large audience (in which case, have someone man your social listening station and respond to them as they come in) but if you do catch it, start the conversation. 

Have a call to action

Like anything in marketing, you have to give your viewers a next step. What do you want them to do next? Is it check out your website, or in my case, submit their resumes? By giving folks a tour of our office, we peeled back the curtain a bit at what it's really like to work at Litmus. (That includes silly robots, bagel day, and remote calls on Bluejeans.) So at the end of the video, I asked folks to share that we were hiring, and take a look at our careers page for more, including the URL.

We had someone email in with their resume in minutes. That's engagement!

Have fun and relax!

This is the toughest part, especially with stage fright, but the most important. Facebook Live is the antithesis of the curated, perfect social image we create every day. 

That's scary.

But the raw, real component of Facebook Live allows you to interact with your customers in a way we rarely get to, especially in the B2B world. Using technology to bring us back to that human connection and storekeeper-shopper mentality helps bring people into the fold. Relax, be yourself, and don't be intimidated by the fact that you're live—embrace it.