I remember my first Facebook Live video like it was yesterday. There I was, slicing two and a half pounds of raw chicken for a giant thing of matzo ball soup, and I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be funny and weird if I went Live right now?” And went Live I did: for fifteen minutes, my phone recorded at close-up my cutting board as I silently sliced all that raw chicken. Oh, it was great. I got a lot of likes and viewers, concerned comments from my parents, but more importantly, a new appreciation for the content I produced and the ways I could produce it.
Live has since extended to Instagram and even text-based Twitter, and since there’s more to Live than just the opportunity for me to be weird on the Internet, I’ll switch gears and turn this post into an informative blog about how Live can benefit your small business. No need to bring in any raw chicken.
Hello, My Name Is…
First and foremost, you’re going to want to understand how Live makes you act, whether you’re promoting your business or doing weird things while prepping soup. Unlike a pre-recorded video, Live is, well, live, and unless you’ve rehearsed a script, you’ll need to prepare yourself for all the little idiosyncrasies that’ll happen to you when you record yourself live. I’m talking word flubs, losing your train of thought, a sneeze coming out of nowhere. I’m talking even people being weird to you! Check out this video with Mark Zuckerberg:
I can neither confirm nor deny I was one of the people asking Mark Zuckerberg to “give me the Zucc.”
All of these things are important to know because you may be the type of person who can’t handle the nuances of Live, but I assure you it is possible to do with a little practice. You just have to get over that initial stage fright. Now, my boss Sam has started suggesting we do it. What’s a nice way of saying I’d rather eat raw chicken?
You’re Human, Not Raw Chicken
Sorry I keep bringing up raw chicken. It’s a Friday here in the SumAll office as I’m writing this, and I’m counting down the hours ‘til I meet up with some pals at the Olive Garden in Times Square. End randomly-placed life update.
I’ve seen businesses use Live to do some amazing things. Showcase company sports tournaments, surprise interviews with Shaq, pranks on co-workers—but also some more “professional” activities too, like trying out new products, answering questions from clients and customers, and interviews with company staff. Whether your style errs more on the unique or the conventional, what Live most importantly does is allow you to show your followers that you’re human, that there are real, breathing people behind all the ads and social media posts, and that each stutter and hiccup is just as real and integral as anything polished that the company puts out.
Have Fun With It!
What’s really important to know about Live is that it’s not supposed to be boring or a major pain in the butt to do. Maybe the idea of it seems like a drag, but having full rein in a Live video means that you’re allowed to mess up and not be perfect. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Live is that it’s so new and unlike anything else in the social media world, there are no rules, and there is no right way to do it.
And look, if you really don’t like the idea of it and think you could never possibly do it, you don’t have to. All I’m saying is that statistically, there is quite a bit of success to be had from doing it, and it has the potential to be easier and more rewarding than other mediums of content. Want to know a final good reason to do it? After all the prep and then the recording itself, you’re all done. There’s no editing, graphics that need to be made, or soundtracks to be added. If you’re still traumatized after the deed is done, you can always block the video from your feed.