While the economy continues to open up and more consumers are shopping in person, many are still afraid to go out because of the pandemic. Facebook Live is a great tool to not only reach those customers who prefer to shop online, but also to engage loyal customers and keep them coming back.
A Great Way to Stay Connected at Home
In August 2015, Facebook rolled out a new feature: the ability to broadcast live video streams from the company’s app for power users, Facebook Mentions. Six months later, the feature, now branded Facebook Live, began a slow rollout for normal users, initially in the United States. At the height of the pandemic, brands were increasingly beginning to use Facebook Live to connect with their customers who were stuck at home by offering virtual tours of their stores, showcasing new products, or through fun virtual events.
Even as more consumers are making purchases in person, Facebook’s live stream feature allows flea market and swap meet vendors to stay connected in between shopping trips. After all, the number of social media users increases every day, and Millennials and Gen Z have been known to be in favor of the social media shopping experience. In 2021, some 3.8 billion people used social media, which is more than half of the world’s population. Vendors want to be sure they are reaching their customers in their down time while also engaging new potential customers.
An Entire Shopping Experience
“Influencers are the new storefront, but social commerce is no longer just about adding a shopping cart on a platform,” Pierre-Loic, CEO and founder of Traackr, said. “It will not be just a transaction, but instead will become an entire shopping experience. We already saw Amazon, YouTube, and Pinterest add live shopping features to their platforms, and the most advanced brands will invest more budget and resources toward creating authentic retail experiences on social media, such as live streaming.”
Showcasing new products on Facebook Live can offer more for your customers than online shopping ever can. This is where sellers can work their magic and give viewers a better idea of an item’s texture, color, and size, if you sell clothing. For all of those handmade sellers out there, this is a great opportunity for you to talk a little bit more in depth about how a product is made.
Grow Your Audience for Free
Through Facebook Live, vendors can also reach a massive audience at no extra cost. From 2016 to 2018, the search volume for “Facebook live stream” grew 330 percent, which means more users are constantly looking to use the feature. Additionally, in 2017, the daily watch time across all Facebook Live videos grew by 400 percent. These statistics prove that this feature is not just a tool for targeting your current customers — with an audience this large and engaged, you can easily find new customers.
Best Practices for Using Facebook Live
In order for both you and your customers to make the most out of this experience, you should post on all of your social media accounts at least a week in advance when you will be going live. Viewers cannot tune in to your live stream if they do not when you will be on. When you make the social media post, let your followers know what they will be watching. For example, let them know if you will be showcasing new products or offering any special deals for those who will tune in. Lastly, be sure to interact with your viewers while you are live. Customers can leave comments that will show up in real time, so always make sure to respond to any questions or even if someone is just saying hello.
2022 will bring many changes to the customer shopping experience, so let this be an opportunity for your brand and grow your audience with Facebook Live. It is a free way to boost engagement and gain more sales.