Is it time for you to dive into your first ‘Facebook Live?’

Don’t be shy – spotlight your shop in a whole new way.

Back in April 2016, Facebook launched its Facebook Live feature, allowing individuals and companies to broadcast to their friends and followers live. Since then, some of the biggest to smallest brands jumped in to take advantage of this opportunity.

If you’ve watched other Facebook Lives and wanted to take the plunge for your shop (but didn’t know how), here are a few simple steps. Use them to guide you through your first successful Facebook Live!

Why are you holding your Facebook Live?

Ask yourself what’s your goal or purpose in holding your Facebook Live? Are you celebrating a business anniversary? Are you hosting a special event such as a car care clinic and want to give your followers a peek? Do you want to spotlight a new employee or another one celebrating a work milestone? Do you want to answer some frequently asked questions about your business? Demonstrate new equipment? These are all great reasons to go Live.

When should you hold your event?

Pick a day and time time to hold your Facebook Live event. Look at your Facebook analytics and see when your customers are on social the most and plan accordingly. If you get a lot of walk-ins, you may want to pick a time when it’s less busy and chaotic. On the flip side, it may be nice to showcase your shop at full throttle.

Don’t worry if you don’t have many followers joining in. The beauty of Facebook Live is that the event is recorded, and you can share it with your Followers for viewing later.

RELATED STORY: ‘Facebook Live’ ideas from other shops

Publicize your Facebook Live event in advance

Once you’ve decided on your day and time, tell your Followers and publicize your event prior to the Facebook Live. You can do announcements via your company Facebook page, spread the news by word of mouth, do email blasts or record a simple video asking them to join you.

Think through your first event

Planning is key, and make sure to think through your first event and watch other Facebook Lives to get familiar with the format. See the adjacent article for examples of how other shops have done their Facebook Lives.

As people join your broadcast, don’t forget to give them a shout-out. Invite them to send in a question or comment. In addition, remember the 10-minute rule of a Facebook Live event. That’s the least amount of time that Facebook recommends that you go Live to gather a following and get people to join. Make sure you’ve got enough content for that amount of time. And don’t worry if you don’t. This is your first event so you may want to follow the KISS principle.

In between announcements or transitions in your content, don’t forget to welcome new visitors as they are joining your broadcast and summarize what you’ve been talking about. Also encourage them to view the video link at a later time to see what they may have missed.

Practice, practice

Don’t forget to practice. Since this is your first event, do a trial run on your personal Facebook page (you can always delete it later). Make sure you know where your Live event button is.

Here’s a good, step-by-step tutorial on Facebook Live. Add some copy describing what you’ll be talking about. For example, “WATCH NOW: ABC Auto Repair Unveils New Equipment” or something like that.

Check your connection and bandwidth

Make sure you have a strong enough connection to support your live feed so you don’t get a blurry video due to a weak signal – or worse – get cut off. Determine whether you’re going to do the event on your mobile phone or desktop, etc. You’ve gotten up the courage and planned for your first Facebook Live event. Now take care of the technology details that will ensure successful streaming.

Focus and have fun!

Don’t get too distracted by a phone call, meeting or a customer prior to the start of your Facebook Live. You want to be in the best mood possible to be “on” and upbeat during your event. Be yourself and act natural. Facebook Live presents an amazing opportunity to connect and engage with your audience in a fresh way. Connect with them like you would when they are in your shop. Be warm, welcoming and don’t forget to smile.

Share your video!

Congratulations – you’ve completed your first Facebook Live event! Use that video to share with those who weren’t able to join you or missed any parts for replay later.

Now that you’ve accomplished your first event, be thinking about your next event. Remember: Your followers want to get to know your brand better. You have a free communication tool at your disposal to market your business and tell your story. Use the power of technology to connect with them in a way that an article, brochure, webinar or even phone call could never do. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re here to help.

Leona Dalavai Scott is ASA’s Director of Marketing & Communications. She can be reached at