Advisor Technology | 03/14/2017
Should Financial Advisors Use Facebook Live?
Have you heard of live streaming video? I don’t know how you couldn’t be aware of it by now. You can now live stream in almost any social media app—Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all have the capability native in their mobile apps.
The thing is, live streaming isn’t new.
People have been streaming live video over the Internet for as long as there have been webcams, but only recently have social media sites, app creators, and smartphone manufacturers taken advantage of this old idea to turn it into something that feels fresh.
The key change? Smartphones have made live streaming mobile. Suddenly, you don’t have to be sitting in front of a computer in your boring bedroom. You can be on top of the Eiffel Tower, streaming your activity to any of your friends, fans, and strangers that want to take in the experience with you.
Enabling live streaming to become an anytime/anywhere feature has brought it into the social consciousness as an avenue for communication and content in ways it hasn’t been able to achieve before. Maybe you’ve dabbled with it in your personal life, but you haven’t yet thought of how it could impact the content you create for your business.
My question is: Why not?
We talk about financial advisors using video all the time at Mineral, and live streaming is one the simplest, most cost-effective, and least pressurized ways to do it. It can be a fun way for your clients to get in touch with you more, and for interested prospects who haven’t met you yet to get to know you a little.
You might be hesitant right now, so I’m going to answer the question on your mind before we even start. Should financial advisors use Facebook Live? Yes.
YES. (I’m saying it a second time and louder for effect.)
(Here’s me using a Facebook Live video to tell you about using Facebook Live.)
Live video gives clients easy access to you in a more personal and entertaining environment than a filmed video or written content. It enables instant interactions.
The market is also huge. Your potential audience is billions of people. I’m not saying you’ll reach that many, but I’m saying that there is untapped potential. Facebook has reported that its users play more than 8 billion video views daily.
Facebook also reports that Live videos are watched three times longer than regular, pre-recorded ones.
But maybe you’re not convinced that anyone in financial services uses live streaming video well. Here’s one of my favorite examples of someone who uses live video: Michael Kitces.
Michael runs “Office Hours” on Twitter and broadcasts via their live streaming app, Periscope. I don’t always catch the broadcast, but I often read the blog that he puts up afterwards with a transcription and video recording. (This will be important later. Take notes.)
Now, let’s look at how you can get started.
Starting a Facebook Live Stream
For this tutorial, I’ll assume you’re using your smartphone. In my case, it’s an iPhone 6S with the Facebook app installed. If you want to live stream from your company account instead of your personal account, you’ll need to make sure you A) are an Admin for your company’s Facebook page, and B) have the Facebook Pages Manager app installed on your phone.
Once you launch the Facebook Pages Manager app, you can post a status from the top of your app screen. To get a live video started, just tap Live.
From there, your camera will open within the Facebook Live interface and you’ll be able to title your Live video (“Describe your live video”) and also tag friends who are in the video, add your location (your office!), add an “activity” to your status (watching/feeling/etc.) and choose who to share your live video with – make sure you’re sharing on Public for the furthest reach.
Once you’ve got your description and any other items you want to tweak set up, click Go Live.
And then the fun begins.
Ask who’s watching to submit questions as you cover the topic you’ve chosen for the day. You’ll see them as text comments and you can reply back with real-time answers.
When you’re done, click Finish. You’ll be able to download the video, choose to upload it to your page, or delete it if it’s not one you want to keep around.
How to Make Sure Facebook Live is a Success
Drive Before You Buy
Here’s my number one, key, mega tip for how to not fail at Facebook Live: Test it out before you start one for your company page.
Start one on your personal page with a title of something like “Just testing this out lol winky face,” and hopefully some of your friends will jump on to watch you as you try to master the angle of your camera, your setting, and lighting setup. Have some fun with it.
Or ask your teenage son or daughter for help. They’ll know what to do.
Set Reasonable Expectations
You’re going to set yourself up for failure if you expect 200 people to watch your first live stream. Set your expectations accordingly. If you get ten people at a time watching you and a few people engaging with questions and comments, that’s a success for the first time.
But if no one asks any questions, make sure you’re still prepared to talk about something. If you start a video and just plan on answering live questions, you’re probably gonna be left with a lot of awkward, dead air while you wait.
Expectations go the other way, too. While you still need to be professional, there’s a certain lowered standard and expectation of live video than if you filmed a video and went through the entire production process. If your lighting isn’t quite right in a live video, almost no one is going to hold it against you.
Maintain a Content Calendar
Just like anything else, you need to know what you’re talking about before you talk about it. We’ve written before about the benefits of maintaining a content calendar and if you’re going to roll with live video, you should treat it no differently than any other piece of content you’re adding to your arsenal.
Have a plan and stick to it.
Get the Word Out
Let everyone know you’re going to be live streaming. Email all your clients a week beforehand, then remind them how to watch the day of. Email your prospects to let them know. Post about it on your social media accounts. Tell people you’ll answer any questions they have.
And just as it’s important to be consistent in your publishing schedule on your blog, it’s also important to create a routine for your live videos. People can’t watch you if they don’t know when to tune in.
Set a time and date (perhaps Tuesdays at 1 PM fits your schedule best) and then reserve that same time to broadcast every single week. Doing this sort of schedule will help create anticipation and familiarity. Who doesn’t like a little consistency in their life?
Know Your Wifi
I’ve had live streams ruined by bad conference WiFi. I’ve had streams fail because a usually reliable personal hotspot decides to give out once the stream starts.
Beware of the quality of your Internet connection, because it’s a big deal for streaming. LiveStream recommends a speed of 5 to 10 mbps, but that’s only if you’re on a network that’s not shared with anyone else, so you should try for something a little higher if you’re at a conference or at work. Before you start, head over to SpeedTest to check your current upload and download speeds and see if they’re up for the task.
If you’re running a consistent streaming Q&A show for your firm, it’s best to set up where you know your signal will be strong.
If you can’t get WiFi, make sure you’ve got a strong LTE signal. It’ll come in handy for that special episode you do on the Eiffel Tower.
After the Curtain Closes
Your live video has ended. Now what?
Save that video and make it the top post on your Facebook page. When someone arrives at your company page, it will be the first post they see and interact with so you can engage with them right away.
Next, remember how I told you to remember what Michael Kitces does? Good, because I want you to do the exact same thing.
Every piece of content you produce should be used in multiple different ways across multiple mediums (see: How to create a cross-channel marketing campaign).
Take your video, transcribe what you said (or pay someone to do it), and turn it into a blog. Save your video and include it as part of the blog. Facebook offers a simple way to embed your video on your website. Put it to good use.
Congratulations! Now you’re extending the life of that video and using it to help web traffic find you. Live video is not ephemeral; its life does not have to end when the video ends.
These are some simple and effective ways you can make sure Facebook Live can benefit your content strategy.
Are you already using Facebook Live at your firm? Let us know how it’s going.
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