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October 05, 2016

“Either go live often, or don’t go live at all.”

So says Bilal Morris, director of local social media strategy for iHeartRadio, about Facebook Live, the social media giant’s live broadcasting feature, which it just happens to favor in its news feed algorithm.

Therein lies the conundrum—live broadcasting might not seem right for your organization, yet Facebook is nudging everyone, via its algorithm, in the direction of live broadcasting. On top of that, as Morris suggests, to get good at live broadcasting and attract audiences you need to broadcast regularly.

So, where to get the ideas for live broadcasts, if it’s essential to broadcast frequently? From a B2B perspective, here are some recommended ways to use Facebook Live: for live broadcasting from trade shows, conferences and events; for product demonstrations; for recruitment; and for customer testimonials.

“What’s important to note is that B2B companies don’t have only businesses as their target audience, but rather customers at different stages of the lead-generation process,” says Blair Broussard, VP for agency Alloy. “There are media, investors, key influencers/brand ambassadors, potential partners, potential employees and vendors—all of them are target audiences for your live broadcasts.”

It’s a given that B2B leadership is focused on sales. You can use that to your advantage if you’re trying to win C-suite approval at a B2B company for investing resources in an ongoing series of Facebook Live broadcasts. Define your ideas for Facebook Live streams in terms of lead-generation and sales potential, says Broussard. This will also help give weight and meaning your Facebook Live metrics.

Broussard lays out a three-step process for B2B brands using Facebook Live:

  1. Define your audience, but keep an open mind. You don’t have to think in terms of obvious sales prospects alone. B2B brands have additional key audiences like media, investors, brand ambassadors, resellers, partners, etc. How do each of these audiences want to receive content and what exactly would be beneficial to them via live video?

  2. Determine which part of the buying process your potential leads (ie, your target audience) reside in. This will help you determine which type of live broadcast makes the most sense.

  3. Research the best time of day for a particular live stream. Are afternoons better than mornings? What about late at night? While there’s no magic answer for everyone, you’ll eventually find the sweet spot for your audience by experimenting with different times. A good place to start is your Facebook page’s Insights section. You’ll be able to see when most of your followers are online, which will more than likely correlate with when your broadcast’s reach is highest.

Broussard’s final word of advice if you’re going to invest resources in Facebook Live on behalf of your B2B brand: Make measurement central to your Facebook Live strategy.

“These videos can take a lot of time and energy, and we want to make sure they are actually working,” she says.

Follow Blair Broussard: @BlairAB

—Steve Goldstein, editorial director, PR News @SGoldsteinAI