In this episode, I’m going to share with you how to nail FB Lives for business.
We had this come in as a reader question, and I want to break it down into some really tangible practical strategies so that you can make sure that live video content is doing its job in your business.
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Given that most of this is based on social media buyer psychology, meta algorithms and viewer buyer behaviour, this will also apply to Instagram Lives as a strategy (in most cases).
But full disclosure from me: I’ve never once watched an Instagram Live. Nor have I ever posted an Instagram Live.
There may be some nuances that I don’t cover because I’m going to focus mainly on Facebook, but a lot of this will apply.
Let’s dive in!
Today’s question came from the amazing parent coach, Jodie Thornton. You can find out more about Jodie on Facebook: facebook.com/jodiethorntonparentcoach
If you would like to ask me a question for the podcast, you can also do that at tashcorbin.com/question.
Jodie asked a question about what the current tips and strategies are for both pre-recorded and live video content on Facebook.
Before we dive in, I wanted to say that I always recommend a mixture of pre-recorded video and live video. That being said, if it’s both or nothing – you’re going to be a perfectionist about it and do nothing if you haven’t got both nailed – then I’d rather you just do what you can do most easily.
If it’s far easier for you to do pre-recorded video content for now, and creating this hard and fast rule that you have to do a mix of both is going to stop you from doing either, then just do pre-recorded video content for now. Alternatively, if it’s the other way around and you can’t do the pre-recorded but you can show up live from time to time, then do FB Lives for your business.
A lot of this will apply to everything. But all I recommend when it comes to live versus pre-recorded, is to have a mix of both where possible. Do what is the easiest for you to do, and do that very consistently.
Here are the tips and strategies that we need in order to nail FB Lives for your business.
1. Recognise that FB Lives for business have different jobs to do
It’s not the same rules for every Facebook Live that you do.
If we get clear on what job we need this Facebook Live to do, then we can be far more strategic and effective in it doing that one job well.
If we break it down by your client attraction process, then we can be clear on whether this Facebook Lives job is:
- Lead generation
Even just breaking it down into those four parts of the client attraction process, I’m sure you can start to see how FB Lives for business would be done differently for reach compared to conversion.
The number one question I get asked when I talk about Facebook Lives doing their job is: can’t I do all four jobs with one Facebook Live?
Sure, you can do all four… very poorly. Or you can get each one to do one job very well.
Guess which strategy is going to get you the fastest results… It’s actually having one job per Facebook Live and doing that one job really effectively.
Once we know what job we need it to do in your client attraction process, we can move onto the next part.
2. Make the key decisions about your Facebook Live strategy and details
For example, how long should that video go for?
If the number one job of that Facebook Live is reach (ie. it’s going out to colder audiences), then the content needs to be much shorter.
How much attention span will you get on Facebook for videos? How much attention span have you earned from the individual?
If you’re doing a 37-minute-long Facebook Live intended for a cold audience, then they will most likely scroll on and not watch it. Do they know, like and trust you enough to give you 37 minutes of their time? In most cases, no.
When you’re clear on the FB Lives job for your business, you can then clarify strategic decisions, such as the length of time that you’re going to aim for.
For colder audiences, I’d be aiming for 3-7 minutes because that’s about all you’ve been able to earn from those people at this point in time.
For nurture, you could have long-form video content that’s more like a live 30-minute masterclass, or you could have short-form really tangible nurture content, such as:
- Showing people behind the scenes
- Giving people short, sharp things that they can do
- Sharing your screen and letting people follow along while you show them how to do something
Those things are clearer once you know what job that Facebook Live needs to do.
It can help you clarify how long the Live should be, and what topic you should speak about.
If the job of that Facebook Live is cold audience reach and nurture type stuff, then it’s going to be more the outside of your messaging ecosystem.
The topic needs to be what they say they want and what they say the problem is, and then it needs to help facilitate that light bulb, so people can see what’s going on underneath the surface.
Even the topic is driven by what job you need it to do.
If the job of the Facebook Live is to get those final conversions into my Take Off program at the end of a launch, then the topic of the Facebook Live is simply going to be frequently asked questions about the Take Off program, and six key reasons why you should join now not later.
It’s all talking directly at the Take Off program.
If I was doing that Facebook Live focused on reach as well as conversion, then I would not be speaking to the right audience. It’s not going to go out to a cold cold audience, because that audience doesn’t know what the Take Off program is.
They’re not in the consideration stage of buying because they haven’t heard from me before.
That then also allows me to take the pressure off trying to sell directly to strangers because I’m trying to skip all of the stages of the client attraction process just to have an offer reach as many people as possible and hope they magically want to buy it.
Remember: That’s the exception, not the rule.
We want to make sure that we’re making those key decisions based on what job it needs to do.
That then also lets you know what the call to action should be.
For most of my reach-based Facebook Lives, I don’t have a call to action.
If it has a call to action, especially towards the end of a Facebook Live, then it can almost be perceived as me only doing the Facebook Live so that they would do X or give me Y.
Instead, if it’s for reach, I just want people to enjoy it, get value from it and share it.
People are less likely to do that if I’m showing up with calls to action and being in business boss mode. Compare that to me showing up and just giving them really helpful advice, walking them through how to do something really simply and easily, or having a rant about what’s wrong with some of the ways that we’re taught to sell in the online business world.
About 80% of the time, I don’t have a call to action if it’s a colder audience.
If it’s a Facebook Live for conversion, the call to action is to come and join the Take Off program or to send me an email and let me know about their business so we can make a decision on whether it’s the right fit or not.
If it’s a lead generation, that’s going to be different again. The call to action might be to send me a DM and tell me about your business idea and what you’re focused on right now, so I can help you move forward and we can see if maybe working together might be a good idea.
It’s less specific about the program, and more about just getting the DMs.
That call to action will be different based on what job this Facebook Live needs to do.
Similarly, decide whether you answer questions live or not.
Whenever I’m doing reach-based Facebook Lives, I don’t acknowledge the people who are there live.
I’m only going to be there for a few minutes. I want it to go to cold audiences and because they don’t know me, they won’t sit through me saying hi to people over and over again.
I need to just get in and out and do it as quickly as possible, whilst encouraging people to comment but not distracting them by reading those comments out or answering those questions.
I’ll simply say, “If you’ve got any follow-up questions, make sure you pop them in the comments below and I’ll come back and answer them in writing”.
I don’t want the people that are showing up live to feel ignored, so I do still make sure to let them know that I will be replying, just not while I’m live.
Whereas if it’s a Facebook Live for conversion, then I want people asking me questions about the Take Off program, and I want to answer those on that Facebook Live because other listeners are likely to have similar questions or learn from the answer that I give.
So yes, I absolutely would be answering questions live in that instance.
If you’ve got all these questions about the strategy for your Facebook Live (ie. should you set up an event first, should you do it in a group or on your page, etc.), the first thing to figure out is what the job of the live is, and then you can make those detailed decisions in a strategic way.
3. Be consistent
If you want to nail FB Lives for your business and have them be a consistent return on investment for your time, then you need to do them often.
By often, I mean at least twice a week.
This is because we need to train the algorithm that our Facebook Lives are something our audience wants. The more regularly you do Facebook Lives, the more people who watch one will click to be notified, the more trust you are building up with your audience, and the more likely your audience is to watch the replay of your Facebook Live if they’ve missed it.
You need to create that proof and earn that attention span.
That comes from doing Facebook Lives often.
Doing them more often will also mean you feel less pressure for them to do multiple jobs, and you can actually focus those lives on doing the job that they need to do and having one job that they do well.
Do Facebook Lives as often as you can. I would say that even doing a daily Facebook Live is not too often, depending on the business type.
Of course, you wouldn’t do them all long-form. You wouldn’t do them all in the same format. There’d be a big mix-up of what was going on. But given that Facebook Lives are still given a lot of algorithm preference and a lot of reach, it’s an important strategy to really practice and get that nailed.
Some people will tell me that they did a Facebook Live on their page of 150 follows and it only reached 70 of them. That’s almost 50% reach!
When you do a promo post, do you get that level of reach? No, you don’t.
Another thing to note is that if it’s your first few Facebook Lives ever, you might not get a lot of reach because you weren’t strategic in the way that you did it, or you haven’t earned the trust of your viewers yet. You can’t earn that trust by avoiding doing Facebook Lives. You’ve got to get out there and do them…
And do them as often as possible.
4. The copy that goes with your Facebook Live is critical
The colder the audience that you want to watch it is, the more the copy is critical.
We make a decision on whether we’re going to watch a Facebook Live or not based on the first four seconds of the live, and reading the first couple of lines in the copy that goes with it.
If your copy just says “Hurray for sunshine today!” and there’s no information about what you’re talking about in that Facebook Live, then only your most loyal fans and watchers will actually watch that.
And those people are already likely to have bought something from you.
It’s not going to be able to do its job if the copy doesn’t make it abundantly clear why it would be valuable for them to watch that Facebook Live.
Think about what’s in it for the audience. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a bribe. You don’t have to say there’s a free giveaway at the end.
I don’t like that stuff.
I don’t like bribing people to watch webinars, I don’t like bribing people to watch videos, and I don’t like bribing people to watch Facebook Lives. This is because if I do bribe people then I can’t tell whether they’re watching because my messaging has really nailed the value proposition, or they’re watching because they want to win that free thing or get the giveaway at the end.
I could be masking terrible messaging issues and value proposition challenges by having these giveaways, prizes or bribes.
When I say the copy is critical, it’s actually just being really clear on why it would be valuable for someone to watch this in terms of what they’ll learn.
It doesn’t have to be big. It could be something tiny.
Most people look for micro solutions to micro problems, and they take less time to step back and look at some of the helicopter things.
That’s really helpful to understand about your audience. Then you can be confident that doing those little micro-helper things is going to get the viewership and engagement.
Have a think about what the value is, and what the reason is that people are going to want to watch this Facebook Live.
Make sure that that’s very clear in your copy.
Take all the sparkle and shine off it. Don’t make it all fancy. Just be really clear on the value proposition.
Be very clear on why this is something that would be valuable for people to invest their time in.
Regardless of whether it’s three minutes or three hours, it’s still a time investment.
5. Give notice vs. not giving notice of Live
This is a very common question.
There are a lot of people who give hard and fast answers to this, and I think that that’s a mistake.
The answer to this question actually goes back to your strategy decision, as well as where you’re at in your stage of business.
When you’re in the early stages of business, you will probably be more likely to tell people that you’re going live at X time on Y day.
I’d be more likely to recommend that because you want a higher percentage of your audience to come live.
You really need that initial live momentum, and so therefore it’s worthwhile booking that in.
As someone who doesn’t like booking in anything that I don’t have to, these days I prefer not to book it in (because I have such good viewership and such a large audience).
If I book it in, then I definitely have to do that and I don’t like not restricting my flexibility like that.
Instead, in my calendar I have two FB Lives that I’m going to do for my business during the week. If I haven’t done the first one by Wednesday, then I’ll go and do it. And then if I haven’t done the second one by midday Friday, I’ll go and do it.
I just try and do two a week, rather than having them booked in and then having to show up as though it’s another appointment.
Another thing for me is that I feel like my paying clients – those people in the Take Off program, Leverage and Launch program, or anyone who has actually paid me for my time – have paid to have the honour and privilege of knowing exactly when I’ll be live.
I am far more likely to book that in.
In the Take Off program, we have booked in calls and there’s structure.
I’ll do some sporadic Facebook Lives in the Take Off group, but if I can, I’ll book them in for my students because they have paid to be in that program and so they’ve paid to know those things and be able to catch more of that live.
Whereas for my audience that hasn’t paid me, that’s one of the advantages they don’t get. They don’t get to know in advance when I’m going to be live, thus, they’ll have to turn the notifications on and show up when they can.
It comes back to your strategy, but it’s also about the stage of business that you’re in.
Feel free to experiment with both – giving notice and not giving notice.
For some people, their niche and their audience actually desperately need that notice. They’re not on social media consistently enough.
My audience scrolls on social all the time, so I don’t have to go through that process of giving notice.
I only give notice for things like the challenges I run where someone has signed up for something where I’ll go live at the same time each day.
Other than that, it’s rare that I would give notice of Facebook lives these days.
For me, it means that more people have their notifications turned on because they want to catch them live.
6. Remember that engagement is key
There are ways that you can really dial up engagement from your very small viewership from the start to maximise the growth that you get from doing those Facebook Lives.
I find it fascinating how many people miss some of the real basics when it comes to getting engagement on Facebook Lives.
Have a think about what some things are that you can get people to do most of the time on Facebook Lives so that it maximizes the number of comments you get from them.
Some of the basics are:
- “If you’re joining me live, say hello.”
- “If you’re watching on the replay, pop a little #replay in the comments and I’ll come back and answer your questions.”
I’m immediately giving people instructions on how to engage within the first few seconds of watching my Facebook Live.
If they engage really quickly, it’s telling the algorithm that people are interested in my Live and are sticking around.
Start your Facebook Lives with a quick description of what you’re talking about, and tell them how they can engage with the video (ie. say hello, type #replay if they’re catching the replay, etc.).
I tell people why to comment, and I give them a reason to do it.
I want to come back and answer questions. I’m not just getting them to type #replay because I want to keep you busy.
If you’re getting quite good live viewership, then ask people questions that are really easy for them to answer.
Ask people questions and give them a really good reason to ask those questions.
For me, I’ll use people’s businesses as examples. So I get them to give me a couple of sentences about what they’re doing in their business, and then I’ll use that as an example.
There’s a benefit for people doing that. I’m incentivising them to actually engage.
And I’ll tell the people watching the replay to do the same thing so that I can come back and give them a few specific examples.
I’m giving them a reason. They’re going to get something from me if they engage. I’m not bribing them to engage by saying that I’ll draw a winner from the comments. I’m not just resorting to that stuff over and over again.
I definitely sometimes do prize draws in some of my lives. But I’m not constantly bribing people.
I’m refining my value proposition and my messaging so that I don’t have to consistently bribe people to do things.
The other thing to note is that sharing or tagging others as engagement is far more valuable than just comments or likes alone.
Create content that’s very shareable.
Give instructions on how people might share or why they might like to share. Give people more specifics about who to tag and why to tag them.
I’ll often tell people to tag their biz bestie if they think they would benefit from what I’m sharing so that they can talk about it together.
In the first Facebook Live for one of my 5-day challenges, I will encourage people to find biz buddies to work with in the challenge, and then in subsequent Facebook lives, I’ll tell them to tag their buddies.
It’s creating this snowball of engagement that creates reach and reach that creates engagement, and so on.
The other thing that I want to say about engagement being key, is that the people most likely to engage with your Facebook Lives are your existing hot audience.
A great strategy to create a snowball of list growth and reach on FB Lives for business is to have them feed each other.
What I mean by that is to consistently have a portion of your Facebook Lives call to action be to join your mailing list.
Whether that be through an opt-in or freebie, or whether it’s simply telling them to join your mailing list so that they can get regular updates from you.
There are lots of reasons for people to be on your mailing list. But I definitely recommend having 50% or so of your Facebook Lives invite people onto your mailing list.
Test and work out what strategies work best to get people onto your mailing list.
But then also get your mailing list watching your Facebook Lives.
If you do a particularly good Live, make sure that you link to it in your newsletter and tell people to go and comment.
Every now and then you might do a Facebook Live that has an incentive associated with it, so you could mention in your newsletter what the incentive is and how they can get it on the Live.
Those types of things where you’re getting your mailing list engaging on your socials, and you’re getting your socials onto your mailing list, will actually snowball each other. They will support each other in a really beautiful virtuous cycle.
As I said, you don’t need to bribe people to watch your FB Lives for business.
You need confidence that your content is so valuable and good enough that your audience is hungry to hear about it, and that’s why they’re on your list.
You can be very straightforward about what the Live is and why they would benefit from watching it.
What you’re doing is maximising the viewership and engagement on that Facebook live through your warmest audience so that you can then snowball the engagement, snowball the reach, and they can sustain each other.
These have been my tips and strategies for you to nail your FB Lives and video content for your business.
Hopefully, that’s answered your question about your business strategy for FB Lives, Jodie.
I would love to invite you to come and check out the #PinnedPod post for this episode.
If you have any questions or want to share anything that’s come up as a result of reading this episode, please do come and share them with me so that I can provide further details.
There are hundreds of things that people have been told over the years that they have to do in order to get those strategies working, and a lot of them aren’t true anymore.
You can find that #PinnedPod post over in the Heart-Centred community here: CLICK ME
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.