Facebook Live: How to Engage Your Community with Live Video

Facebook Live: How to Engage Your Community with Live Video

If you spend any time on Facebook, you have by now surely seen the Facebook Live phenomenon that is populating people’s feeds worldwide.

Facebook Live launched about a year ago, giving users the ability to broadcast a live video stream onto their news feed, via their desktop or mobile device.  Facebook Live has grown rapidly because it allows real-time interaction with your audience as well as video that can be viewed after the event — a proven advantage over written content or even images in attracting viewers and creating engagement. 

As an eye care provider, you can use Facebook Live to build and strengthen relationships with your patients and prospects, share your expertise and advice, and give people a chance to get to know you in a more personal way. Use it as a way to educate, reach out and spread awareness about your practice and eye care in general.

What’s great about Facebook Live is that it’s free and simple to use but before you make your big debut, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Make It Count

You don’t want to go overboard with your live videos or people will just tune them out, so make sure that when you do decide to do one, you give it a lot of forethought and provide value.  Do some research to find out what topics interest your audience (hey, you can even survey on Facebook!), wisely choose a time that’s good for people to watch (probably not a Saturday afternoon) and make sure it’s entertaining.

Some topic ideas that might attract a crowd are applying and removing contact lenses, showing off a new line of eyewear or an innovative product, or a live eyewear makeover on a real patient (with permission of course).  Don’t be overly promotional — nothing will turn off your audience more than the feeling that they are sitting in on a sales pitch.

Do a Test Run

Before you press record, make sure you do a test video to check that you are using the application properly, that your lighting and background are right, and that the sound and picture are clear.  You can do this by going to the “share with” section, selecting “more” and scrolling down until you see the “only me” privacy setting. Once you are set and ready to film, select “public” to ensure your audience can see you.

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Make It Interactive

The advantage of Facebook Live is that you can really interact with your audience through chat.  We recommend having someone by your side to read the chat thread so you can answer questions and say your hellos (by name) on the spot. This is what Facebook Live is all about so don’t waste this opportunity by giving a lecture. Engage!

Set It Up Right

Before you go live there is a bit of legwork you should do to maximize your attendance. Promote the session well in advance so people have time to plan and tag people that you think will find the topic interesting. Compose in advance a compelling description to post above the video so viewers that happen upon the video on their feed will be interested to hop in on the screening.

Try to Be Natural

Facebook Live culture is very spontaneous and casual so don’t plan to read off a script. Imagine that the people you are talking to are sitting in front of you, smile and have fun.

Facebook Live is a fantastic tool to put you and your staff in the limelight in a friendly and casual setting.  With the right topic and energy, you can create a virtual event that will help you to gain exposure and connect to your audience in a personal and meaningful way. 

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