Does Facebook Live work for B2B companies?
As a former television journalist who has done his fair share of live shots, I’m both excited and wary of this relatively new Facebook feature that allows anyone to broadcast a live video from their smartphone. The power of taking someone somewhere live is alluring—but only under the right circumstances. So let’s talk about those circumstances, especially as they relate to your B2B business.
A word of caution. I don’t know your specific company or industry, or what specifically you plan to broadcast live, so I’m going to stick to some general things I think you should consider.
First, do you have a live-worthy topic? Be honest with yourself. Is there really a compelling reason why the people you’re trying to reach would stop what they’re doing and pay attention to something the moment it’s happening? That’s a pretty tall order.
When I was in news, we’d sometimes over-apply the live shot in trying to bring a sense of importance and immediacy to the newscast. It often backfired. It’s one thing to broadcast live from a raging fire, and quite another to broadcast live from the site where the fire used to be raging hours ago.
So on what occasions might it make sense for a B2B company to live stream?
If you’re giving a sneak peek at a new product people have been clamoring for. If you’re having an event where some big announcement is being made that’s going to have an immediate impact on the industry. If you’re providing exclusive access to someone your customers or prospects would rarely, or if ever, get a chance to interact with. If you’re demonstrating something to people who can’t be where you are. Then a live stream could make sense for you. But even then, there are some other obstacles you’ll have to overcome.
If you want people to find and join your stream, you’re going to have to be on for at least 10 minutes and maybe for as long as 90. And let me tell you, even 10 minutes is a long time, especially for people who aren’t used to going live. This brings me to my next caution.
You’d better make sure the person hosting your live event is engaging, can think on his or her feet and can answer questions from people who may be following the stream. A really boring or uncomfortable host can ruin an otherwise perfectly good event.
Then, there’s the possibility of technical difficulties. You should be streaming on Wi-Fi or a really strong cellular connection because if your live shot goes down, that sound you hear will be the sigh of disappointed viewers.
A couple of other tips. Have someone besides the host on a laptop to help field questions. Make sure you promote the live event beforehand so people know to watch for it. And, make sure you write a catchy title on your video description to entice people to check you out.
Live video can be a powerful way for B2B businesses to connect with customers and prospects. But, it works only if what you’ll be sharing has immediate importance to the people you’re trying to reach.