Earlier this year, Facebook Live became available to all users, and it’s created a big shift in how small businesses use social media to engage with their followers. Thanks to this feature, the popular social network is no longer just a way to highlight things that happened in the past or promote things coming up in the future. Facebook Live allows users to show what’s happening now. Everyone and anyone with a smartphone can be a correspondent live on the scene, and followers can have a front row seat to whatever that scene is.


Clearly, Facebook Live is a great new tool to have in the small business marketing arsenal. It’s a way to capture attention and be current and present with your followers, and if you’re not already using it, you should be! A few months ago, we published a post on how to make the most of your FB live experience, but there’s still one big question that remains: what kind of live content should you create? Now that you can use Facebook Live, what should you use it for? If you’re not sure, then read on: here are seven content ideas for when you’re Live on Facebook.


  1. Reveal a new product or make a big announcement. Twenty years ago, announcements and product reveals for small businesses meant sending out a press release and hoping the local media picked up on the news. Now, you can use Facebook Live to do these things in a bigger and more impressive way; followers can actually hear your excitement or get a look at your new item for themselves. Be sure to build up to your big Live session with teaser posts in the week or two leading up to it, so followers remember to check your page for the news.


  1. Demonstrate some of the uses of your product. While the exact content of this type of Live video depends on what your product is, all you need to do is show your followers some creative ways to integrate your product into their lives. For example, if you produce a food item, you might demonstrate serving ideas or a quick recipe. Tech companies might show how to get the most out of their devices with a live tour of the app. Even if you’re in the business of selling services rather than products, you might show how some clients have benefitted from what your company provides.


  1. Go Live from an event. Whether it’s a big conference, an event that you’re sponsoring, a fundraiser, or even a party, going Live for a few minutes when something big is happening is a great way to get your followers in on the excitement.


  1. Hold a Live Q&A session. Whether it’s a valuable member of your team, or a mentor with great advice to give, or even yourself, hosting a Q&A session on Live is a good way to directly and immediately engage with your followers. They can even ask questions while the session is happening, either through Twitter using a designated hashtag or in comments on the Live video. If you are taking real time questions, though, you may need a second person to read and curate them for whomever is hosting live on camera.


  1. Talk about recent comments on your social media profiles. Whether it’s a big question that a lot of followers have echoed, an insightful remark that you want to praise, or some serious criticism that you want to address, comments on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media pages can be addressed using Facebook Live. In fact, if you’d like, you can even solicit comments to talk about during a scheduled time, allowing your followers to tune in specifically to hear what you have to say.


  1. Make your own statement on a current topic that’s relevant to your business. Think of this as your own special comment, just as many broadcasters through the years have done live special comments as the world’s events have warranted them.


  1. Give a behind the scenes tour. No matter what kind of business you own, there’s a part that you usually don’t show to the public. Facebook Live is a great platform to give this type of behind the scenes look. If you run a restaurant, a Live video of the kitchen prepping for service may be interesting to followers. If you run a shop, you might show a big shipment coming in. If you provide a certain type of service to clients, you might show the thought process on a particular project (with the client’s permission). However you approach it, the goal is to show the audience something they wouldn’t otherwise see.


Plan to Go Live!

Whether you choose one of these seven ideas or come up with your own idea for great Facebook Live content, one thing you’ll definitely want to do is plan your session. While winging it can be exciting (and even necessary on rare occasions), you’ll want to do at least a little preparation before your first few Live sessions. Once you get the hang of it and become comfortable with the format, you’ll probably need less.


Have you tried Facebook Live yet? Don’t let 2016 end without using it at least once! It has a lot of potential to engage with audiences, and it could be a valuable part of your marketing plan for 2017 and beyond.