Written by Stefan Kostarelis
You would be hard pressed to scroll through your Facebook feed without coming across a viral video, a clip from a TV show or a paid advertisement.
And the increase in video content on the site is no accident.
In 2015’s keynote address, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he expected video to take over the platform by 2020.
However, the tip of the spear for this development doesn’t just lie in large corporations producing professional content – Facebook is banking on regular users to provide videos from their everyday lives.
Facebook Live was launched in 2015 to celebrities and opened up to the public last year, along with a slew of new features. Users can now add filters to videos, go live in Groups and Event Pages and post “live reactions” using the same emojis used throughout the site.
The move is paying off, with the latest figures from Facebook showing that people spend 3 times longer watching a live video compared to one that’s pre-recorded.
In a recent blog post, Vibhi Kant, a Facebook Product Manager, revealed that Facebook is favoring live video, writing: “We’re making a small update to News Feed so that Facebook Live videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feed when those videos are actually live, compared to after they are no longer live”.
Of course some brands are already taking notice of the potential jumping onboard the Facebook Live train. Ad Age reports that Chevrolet, New York Fashion Week and Southwest Airlines have already used the format as a part of their ad campaigns.
There is no doubt that if done correctly, Facebook Live would be a valuable marketing tool for realtors. But what is the best way to do so?
Here are some tips from Facebook and the real estate industry for agents looking to add Facebook Live to their arsenal.
11 best practices for real estate agents using Facebook Live
#1 Tell fans when you’re broadcasting ahead of time
This is a great way to build anticipation. Facebook says that one day’s notice gives people the right amount of time to tune in. If you are going to use it for an open home, tell your followers ahead of time rather than surprising them.
#2 Go live when you have a strong connection
Before you start your broadcast, make sure you have a strong enough signal. A weak connection may lead to unwelcome interruptions to your broadcast.
#3 Write a catchy description before you go live
Think of it like you are writing the copy for a real estate ad. A great description will capture people’s attention and help them understand what you are broadcasting about. We’ll talk about formats later, but if it’s a tour or a Q an A, make sure you put that in the description.
#4 Ask viewers to subscribe to Live notifications
Remind your audience that they can tap on the “Follow” button on live videos so that they can notifications next time you go live. This is a great way to build your following.
#5 Say hello to commenters by name; respond to their comments live
Engaging with your audience is a great way to not only acknowledge your viewers but also answer any questions they may have. This is especially important in an open home situation.
#6. Broadcast for longer periods of time to reach more people
The longer you broadcast, the more likely people are to discover and share your video with their friends on Facebook. Facebook recommends that you go live for at least 10 minutes.
#7 Use a closing line to signal the end of the broadcast
Your broadcast has a specific purpose and should be well planned. Make sure it has a clear beginning, middle and end so that viewers understand what’s going on.
#8 Be creative and go live often
Try different types of broadcasts and go live frequently so that your audience keeps coming back for more.
The Q and A format is excellent for realtors, as shown by Aussie agent Zan McHardy, who hosted a live 25 minute session during an open home in Brisbane. McHardy told Domain that the experiment was a success with five offers on the property, including one during the live video.
Another excellent format is the “home tour”. For example, when San Diego based agents John and Melissa Steele list a property, they go live and give a personal tour of the home and surrounding amenities.
#9 Get comfortable on camera and practice
Practice speaking in front of the mirror first, or film yourself and then watch your performance. If you are going to give a tour of an open house, don’t go live on your first walkthrough. Record a few trial runs, taking note of things like light and signal strength as you move through the house.
#10 Boost your post
If you would like to get more eyeballs on your video, you may look into boosting your post. This will require an investment on your part, but may be well worth it. For more free exposure, you can download your video and then post it to other social networks, such as YouTube.
#11 Just do it
You will never know how useful Facebook Live will be until you try it. Follow the guidelines provided here and give it a shot!