Why should you go Live?
Video content has been increasing in popularity over the last several years, but has recently proven to be an absolute necessity for continuing to establish and to nurture your relationships without the ability to conduct face-to-face conversations.
If you’re ever tried filming videos for your business before, you know it can be a bit of a nuisance: on take 15, you finally nail the content. Now it’s time to post it to your website and social media - but there is a significant delay before you see much engagement.
Both Facebook and Instagram offer live features that allow you to engage virtually and in real-time with clients and leads in a way that enables a much more personal interaction. As long as you have a smartphone (bonus to those who own a selfie stick) and the latest version of the mobile apps, you can go live for free and broadcast anything you want to a vast audience. Anyone can ask questions (or answer yours), react and comment as if you were holding a real conversation. For business owners who are the "face" of their brand, this is an ideal way to connect with your network and foster those relationships!
What can you use it for?
Open houses or exclusive showings: These streaming sessions present a forward-thinking opportunity to host virtual open houses for potential buyers. Just like a traditional open house, start by setting a date and time that you’ll be at the property, and strategically promote the event on your website and social media. (Avenue can help with that!)
On the date of the open house, start outside and work your way through the home - just like a buyer would - pointing out its key features and answer questions as you go. Similarly, you can go live to provide your followers with a sneak peak of an exclusive listing!
Behind the scenes: Go live to share challenges or to celebrate major wins (like handing over the keys to your buyer’s dream home). Be sure not to overdo it though - followers will lose interest if you’re frequently streaming topics of little value to them. Think about what represents your personality, and your brand in the best light.
Showcase a neighbourhood: Take a drive around a neighbourhood in your area with your hands-free set up. As you tour the neighbourhood, point out the amazing features and amenities it has to offer - and be sure to ask your followers what they look for in a new neighbourhood!
Q&A sessions: These could be either a one-time event or something you do weekly. If you’re interested in going live on a consistent basis, you could use it as an opportunity to provide your clients with relevant, up-to-date information; people can tune in every week with questions, knowing they'll leave with answers.
Informal updates or check-ins: Why not hop on Live while you’re spending time with the family? While you are an accomplished real estate professional, you're also human! What better time than now to remind your community that you’re all on the same team, and in the same boat together.
Before Going Live
Make sure you’re strategically promoting your event on all your platforms:
- Send an email to your client base
- Post regularly on Facebook in the time leading up to your live event
- Post to Facebook/Instagram Stories - you can add a countdown sticker to your stories on Instagram
- Run an ad on Facebook or Instagram (preferably both) - we’d be happy to work with you to create a custom ad! Here’s what we need to get started.
- Notify your key partners (or your best cheerleaders –your family and close friends) and ask them to spread the word!
Immediately before going live, be sure to check your battery level. Don't take any chances, so plan to have it fully charged. Also be sure to style your setting, making it visually pleasing and removing any distractions. Finally, turn on Do Not Disturb and prepare to go Live!
Steps to go Live: Facebook
- Open the Facebook app and navigate to your business page. Below the “Create a post” field, press the Live option (the camcorder icon).
- Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone when prompted.
- Double-check your live stream is set to public. If you want to restrict your audience by location, click the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the screen to adjust these settings.
- Write a short video description - make sure it’s attention-grabbing and informative.
- Set your camera's orientation (forward facing or selfie mode).
- Press the "Start Live Video" button. This will notify people currently online on FB that you are starting a live video.
- When you're done, tap “Finish," and choose if you'd like to save the recording or post it to your timeline. We recommend saving it, but waiting until later to post it.
Steps to go Live: Instagram
- Open the Instagram app and tap the camera icon in the top left of your feed. Swipe across to the “Live” mode.
- Adjust your settings by tapping the wheel icon in the top left-hand corner. Again, you'll likely want to keep the live stream public.
- Tap the “Live” icon to start your broadcast. This will notify followers currently online on Instagram that you are starting a live video.
- Instagram's unique features for going live are related to improving engagement during your broadcast: you can share your viewers' questions by tapping on the question mark or send a Direct Message to someone by tapping the paper plane icon. You can invite someone to co-host! Click here to find out how.
- You can also share an image or video with your audience by tapping the camera roll icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
- If you see a valuable comment that you want everyone to read, you can tap and hold it to pin it to the top of the feed.
- When you're done, tap “End," and choose if you'd like to save the recording or share it to your Instagram Stories to be viewed over the next 24 hours. We recommend doing both, as leaving the stream up for that additional day can result in a much higher view count.
Additional Tips & Tricks
- Facebook has made it against policy to use your personal profile for business, so be sure you aren’t going live on your personal profile. That being said, it is a great place to practice if you’ve never gone live before. To ensure no one can watch you rehearse, adjust your audience settings to "Only Me."
- On Facebook, one way to market your live session on the platform is by creating an event page. Just create the page, like you would a regular event, adding the date, time and description of what you'll cover in the live stream. At the time of the event, just head to the Facebook event page and tap the “Live Video” button.
- Instagram allows you to filter out offensive comments, which may be useful if your account sees high levels of engagement from users that aren't just friends and family - here's how to do that.
- If you have one, use a selfie stick or tripod to stabilize your smartphone. Otherwise, try propping it up somewhere so your viewers don't get dizzy from any shakiness.
- Remember to introduce yourself! While most viewers will know who you are, some may not and that's fantastic! With all the promoting you did, new leads are likely to show up as well, so be sure to explain who are and what you do.
- After introducing yourself, make small talk for a minute or two to give your followers a few moments to join before diving into the subject of your live stream.
- If engagement is low, encourage interaction by addressing viewers by name.
- If you have enough content, stay live for 15-30 minutes. It seems long, but the extended duration will allow for an increase in viewers, which will boost your rank and increase your reach. If you don't, that's not a problem! Don't make it overly long just for the sake of it. Be clear, concise and interesting. People can leave the live stream whenever they want, so you want to keep them engaged throughout.
- End with a strong call-to-action that helps you accomplish the business purpose for your live stream. Direct users to the resources on your website or any contests you're holding. Prompt them to share your page on social media and invite their real estate savvy friends to the next live session.
- Answer any follow-up questions or expand on good questions that were asked during the livestream. You can still interact with people who’ve engaged with your content after the live stream is over. This is an amazing opportunity to show people that you really do care and that you’re there to help.
- Share your saved live sessions on social media or other platforms (YouTube, Vimeo). For Q&A live streams, you can post the recording directly to your blog or transcribe it to boost your website SEO.
Now, you should know everything it takes to go live! We also have a variety of other resources here to help you become a fully remote super-realtor. If you need any support, we're always here to help - reach out to us via live chat or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, happy live streaming!