Live Streaming Tips for Small Business

Going live on Facebook lets you connect with your fans, friends and followers by sharing real-time video of what you’re seeing and doing.   It allows you to create your own production simply by using your Smartphone.

Virtually anything your business does—including events, celebrations, contests, instructional videos, promotions, and sales can be shared with a live stream for followers to see. It has never been easier or cheaper to produce high quality, compelling video content.


Facebook for Business on a smartphone

Facebook Livestreaming can be seen live by people who follow you but if they missed it  live it will appear in their News Feed and on your timeline. When you’re watching a live video or a video that was live, you can tap or click Subscribe to get notified the next time that Facebook account starts a live broadcast.  So tell your followers to subscribe if they are watching to keep them in the loop.

Setting up a Facebook Live video is pretty easy – from your FB page click the ‘’LIVE”  icon and then describe your live video – you can use letters, symbols or emojis which is your title and what other’s will read in the News Feed


Tips to Get Started

1. Practice!

If it’s your first time, practice, practice practice!  Test out your smartphone and try a few recordings with different angles to ensure lighting is balanced and sound is audible, with background noise as low as possible. Facebook has a  “Who should see this?” privacy setting, so select “Only me,” so that you can record a few trials to see the clip exactly as your audience will without sharing it.

Remember, a big benefit of live video is that it’s a more realistic and casual which makes it more realistic for audiences. Your followers won’t expect a feature film and they know you’re live but what matters most is being authentic.

2. Use a tripod, mount, or stable setting if possible.

The shakier the video, the tougher it will be to watch. Use a tripod mount or a stable setting so that people watching feel like they are in the “front row” of your video and not watching a shaky video unless you are moving or walking through a venue, use a handheld tripod to make it steadier as well.

Make sure wherever you’re broadcasting from has a strong Internet connection, and mute or forward any calls to avoid distractions during your event.


3. Choose the right format

This is part takes practice, but make sure you livestream in the proper format and ratio. One of the most common mistakes is filming vertically (depending on your device and social platform), since black bars could appear on each side, shrinking the size and quality of your video.

Most social apps can render video without black borders, regardless of how it was recorded. When it comes to watching live video, viewers holding their phones vertically (which they normally do) can comment and react in a way that’s more natural. Since more than half of all social video content is viewed on mobile, make sure your broadcast doesn’t miss the mark.

4. Keep it simple.

Start with something simple.  Try streaming a contest drawing or do a walkthrough of a new location, maybe an unboxing or reviewing a new product.  You can also offer a demonstration on how to use a product, or a simple shot of something happening in or around your business. Be creative, see what other businesses in your industry are doing, then brainstorm ideas for what you could share with your audience.

5. Timing matters.

When it comes to livestreaming, less is usually more when it comes to length of (non-live) online videos, but there’s a bit more flexibility with live broadcasts. Facebook suggests live videos should last at least 10 minutes but they can be as long as 90 minutes.  Unless you’re streaming a detailed, well-planned, informative content, be careful not to broadcast so long that people are bored and tune out. The time you choose to go live also matters, so you might want to pre-announce your schedule to get the most possible viewers.

6. Let people know in advance.

Use your other social media networks, your website, and your email lists when preparing to go live, and be sure to invite any customers or followers who might be interested. A simple post or email stating, “Tune in at 6 p.m. EST on Thursday as we go live to…” will do. You might want to include the topic of what you’ll be featuring and give reasons why they should watch.

Remember, live video unless you delete it will still exist on your channels after you stop recording, so your followers can still see what happened after it ends. It’s common for archived views to outnumber live views.

7. Inform and Engage.

Live broadcasts are one of the most engaging ways to interact with your customers and followers. Standard pictures and posts are nice, but live video outperforms them both.  Before you tap the icon to go live, include a short, catchy description in your post about what’s going on, and be sure to tag your location and anyone who’s participating.

8. Be yourself—and your brand.

Once you’re live, be personable. You want your audience to like you and enjoy watching, just like you want them to like your brand and enjoy shopping.

Relax, smile, introduce yourself and your business and clearly outline what you’re going to cover. Thank people for joining, respond to comments, answer and ask questions, and try to make it as much of a two-way experience as possible. You’ll be able to see when people join and how many are watching and address them by their name.

9. Call to Action at the End.

Make sure when you finish leave them with a call to action. Don’t end your live video randomly or abruptly. What do you want the audience to do? Visit a location? Follow up with questions? Contact your business about a featured product, service, or sale? Ask viewers to share the archived video and give them information on how to follow up with any questions.

10. Analyze and experiment.

Once you’re finished, be sure to assess your results. You’ll be able to see the number of people who watched at least some of your video, and you’ll have counts of how many viewers you had at different periods. For your next broadcast, try a different time of day or day of the week, go longer or shorter.

The great thing about live video is there are many different ways to approach it. Find what works for your business and audience and build on that.

Let’s Chat : Are you using Facebook Live for your business and if so, do you have any tips to share?

3 thoughts on “Live Streaming Tips for Small Business

I want to know what you think, please leave a comment and share with your circle.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.