Live Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

Whether you're considering Instagram, Facebook Live, Twitter or Periscope, these four tips will help you capitalize on live social media.

Facebook Live, live stream, Periscope, Twitter

Sharing live video through Instagram, Facebook Live, Twitter or Periscope can help showcase what makes your business unique. If you're unsure what to broadcast about your business, try these four ideas for live social media marketing.

1. Show How Your Product Is Made

Broadcasting live from your assembly or sourcing areas lets viewers see the effort that goes into your product and connects them to the people working behind the scenes in your business. As consumers grow more conscious about the environmental impact and fair-trade sourcing of materials, sharing this behind-the-scenes snapshot of your production processes helps viewers become more comfortable and familiar with your brand. Live streaming production also lets your audience see what your company does differently or better than the competition.

2. Host a Live Q&A

A live Q&A is a great opportunity to acquaint customers with your business. Choose someone — whether it's yourself, an employee or a craftsperson whose products you carry — to answer questions about an interesting topic related to your business. Give viewers the option to submit questions to your page prior to, or during, the stream.

Before launching the session, share the details of the event across all your social channels. You can also promote the live Q&A in your company's newsletter or blog. Remember to give your audience plenty of notice before the event.

3. Broadcast Live Giveaways, Contests and Events

Live contests generate excitement in your business, which attracts new followers and garners appreciation from existing customers. Prepare to live stream contests and giveaways by creating an appropriate hashtag and promoting your event on social media for a couple of weeks prior to live streaming. You should use the same dedicated hashtag throughout the promotional campaign and during the event.

You can also live stream charity events, fundraisers, trade shows or conferences. Before live streaming from a trade show, first confirm with the event staff that doing so is allowed. Then, think about why you're live streaming — are you offering a discount at your booth, for example? Do you simply want to generate buzz about your company's participation in the event? Create a clear goal ahead of time.

4. Make Announcements and Launch Products

Instead of a traditional press release or advertisement, try live streaming a new product launch or company announcement. Live streaming provides a great platform for displaying the uses, benefits and ideas behind the new product. Once you choose your live social media channel and get set up with a simple smartphone tripod, you can stream product launches at your leisure without investing in a film crew and equipment for each launch.

All live social media events require forethought and preparation. Try filming a few recorded shots before you go live for the first time — a few practice runs will help make sure you put out a polished, lively, appealing live video.