Are you ready to learn about the eCommerce trend that’s taking small businesses to the next level? One of our customers, Ashley, decided she wanted total freedom in her career to spend time with her family, make her own schedule, and live life on her own terms. So, in an effort to continue the growth of her small business, she decided to take a leap and hop on the Facebook live selling train to reach her target audience regardless of their location!
Let’s dive into a brief history of Facebook Live and how exactly it’s helping small business owners like you and Ashley.
Facebook Live initially launched in August of 2015, becoming fully available to all users by April of 2016. And, nearly 7 years later, the live platform is still used regularly by Facebook’s 2.85 billion active users. We’re willing to bet you’re one of those 2.85 billion!
What originally began as a new feature to the world’s most popular social media platform, Facebook, has now become so much more than just another tool for users to connect with friends and family. This article from IMPACT details 9 well-known businesses that have utilized Facebook Live in creative and impactful ways. Facebook Live selling allows users to engage with audiences in real-time via comments, reactions, and viewer counts.
One of our favorite examples is this one from Bloomberg. As an industry leader in the stock market, users turn to them for expert insight and valuable information. And, what used to require a lot of time and money to create high-level video content, can be executed immediately and cost-effectively with Facebook Live.
Facebook Live has become quite a useful tool for business owners like Ashley, especially amidst the trying times due to COVID-19. Global e-commerce skyrocketed to $26.7 trillion with the COVID-19 pandemic as a major factor in boosting online sales.
So, if you’re currently in a stage where you’re trying to get your small business off the ground, or looking to boost current sales via digital platforms, we highly recommend adding Facebook Live and live streams on other social channels to your marketing plan! If you’re stuck or need an extra push to jump on the Facebook Live bandwagon, here are 5 quick tips to prepare you for a successful Facebook Live event.
Start with a strong internet connection.
If your live stream begins cutting in and out, is filled with static or drops off mid-sentence, you’re going to lose viewers. Be sure you test your internet connection beforehand to ensure you’re equipped with crystal clear video quality and sound. We’ve received feedback from customers like Ashley who’ve learned this the hard way! Oftentimes their Facebook Live events encounter lags, poor quality or complete pausing when they’ve gone live with poor internet connection.
Engage with your audience during the live stream.
While a live stream is a perfect opportunity to educate your audience on your brand and product, it’s also the perfect opportunity to engage with your audience. When Ashley goes live, she doesn’t solely stick to a script, although we highly encourage you to have one to remember talking points. (It helps a lot!) Make sure you leave time for a Q&A period in the end or take a poll during the live stream. This gives viewers a chance to connect with you and have their questions answered directly and in real-time. Ashely chooses to focus on her postings and products at the beginning of the live stream, or even tease them in a post, then use the live stream to discuss and engage her community!
Go live for longer and more frequently.
Did you know that Facebook prioritizes longer videos? This encourages more people to continue watching! When you go live, make sure that your broadcast is longer than 3 minutes, so more people have the opportunity to be notified about your broadcast and invite their friends to join. Chances are, between your introduction, product descriptions, and Q&A portion, you will definitely surpass the 3-minute mark. You can’t take a “one and done” approach to this tactic and expect automatic success. Give it some time and make it an event that your audience expects from you once a week to start. This will help build a dedicated following. Ashley goes live 2 to 4 times each week and has found great success!
Promote when you’re planning to go live.
Get your live broadcast on people’s calendars! While quick pop-up events are fun, when Ashley is aiming to attract a large audience, she promotes her live stream beforehand to get the word out and even gauge the anticipated audience. Facebook also has tools and instructions to help you schedule a live broadcast. Ashley raves about the fact that Facebook is a platform with tools and resources to promote, plan and execute your event. This makes it so much easier to keep everything on one platform if you’re looking for something simple and quick!
Think outside of the box.
To leverage live streams into new customers, you must get creative and stick to it! When you incorporate surprise giveaways or another form of incentive, your audience is more likely to stay tuned in. Ashley uses Facebook Live selling as an opportunity to sell products as bundles or sets at a discounted rate. Another great tactic she’s used is a mystery bundle. This is something she can do within a public page, business page, or Facebook group. Ashley promotes that she has a few mystery bags worth $50 that she’s selling for $20 –– but the kicker is the audience doesn’t know what’s inside! She’s found that thinking outside the box always works in her favor.
If you’re looking for additional tips for taking on Facebook Lives, check out this page from Facebook. Or, if you’re wanting additional support on growing your live selling audience, take a quick moment to read this article, How To Get More Buyers to Your Facebook Live Selling Broadcast.
The social e-commerce trend is not slowing down anytime soon. According to an article from Fast Company, the social e-commerce trend has already reached $3.6 billion in Asia, and it’s coming for the U.S.
“However, the momentum behind this phenomenon can’t be ignored. It’s more than a matter of investors and entrepreneurs jumping into a new space. Consumers are embracing social e-commerce. They’re speaking with their wallets.” Fast Company
To recap, Facebook Live events aren’t going anywhere. So, if you were waiting for a sign to take your e-commerce sales to the next level through live streams, this is it! From our customer’s experiences, we’ve learned that Facebook Live selling events are cost-effective, save you time, encourage engagement and create a community around your brand and products that aren’t always available in person. It’s worked for small business owners like Ashley, and we hope it helps you too!
Download Your FREE Guide to Live Selling
Learn everything you need to know to get started with live selling in Ship.com’s informative eBook How to Sell on Instagram, Facebook, and More. This free eBook covers what equipment to use, how to go live on each platform, how to set up your live studio, how to organize and market your broadcasts, the best methodologies for cost-effective shipping, the best practices for success, common pitfalls to avoid, and so much more. Download your free copy now by clicking here.