Using Facebook Live as an effective marketing tool
By Michelle L. Cramer
When Lake Air Pool Supply in Waco, Texas, received its first-ever Endless Pool for the showroom in April 2017, sales manager Ryan Jordan went live on the company’s Facebook page as they unloaded it from the truck. That video alone has more than 750 views. A two-minute live video in June about its tent sale has nearly 7,000. Its Hot Tub Heavyweight Championship live video in September has more than 1,000 views, and a 23-second video about its Big Green Egg sale in January had more than 3,000 views within two weeks of posting.
Jordan says Lake Air Pool Supply is seeing success with this medium because he and the employees in the videos are just being themselves. They started doing live videos consistently in October 2016.
“One day I picked up my phone and thought, ‘I’m just going to do it’ and, of course, it took me an hour to do anything because you’re scared to death,” Jordan says. “But that goes away, and it becomes so much more simple to just say what you’re thinking.”
That’s been the key all along: to just be himself. He doesn’t bother with producing, editing and perfecting a pre-recorded video — even though his brother and co-owner, Cody Jordan, has a film degree. If perfection is what people are looking for, he says, he’d rather they not watch. Instead, it’s about what is relevant now, in the moment he pushes the “Go Live” button. “We’re selling wellness, and everything is always about right now,” he says. “How do you feel now? How are you doing now? Really, now is all we have. Anything other than right now is a distraction.”
Facebook Live videos are unique to you and your business, and no one else can duplicate them, says Scott Reynolds, owner of The Get Smart Group, a content marketing company in California whose main clientele are spa retailers and pool builders. “Customers are savvy, and they can tell when you’re using refurbished content,” he says. “Facebook Live videos get a good response because they’re fresh and different from the competition.”
You’re also allowing potential customers to get to know your team better, Reynolds adds. “People don’t buy from businesses; they buy from people,” he says. “And when your leads and customers can see your actual employees talking to them on Facebook, all the better.”
Jordan says the videos should be for reasons beyond making a sale. “It has to be what is really sparking your interest or it has to be about bringing people new, fun information that doesn’t necessarily have a price at the end of it,” he says. “We might want somebody to be in hot water, but not everybody has that opportunity. But if we can even spark an interest for someone and find a way to help them feel better, that’s the most important factor.”
Find someone in your company with an engaging personality, Reynolds says, and have that person talk about a topic in live video the same way you would talk to someone in person. Additionally, keep it short: Reynolds says the best videos are under one minute. “One of our favorite mantras is ‘Document, don’t produce,’ which means don’t overthink the production. If you’re just documenting something like changing a filter or storing a cover, you’re ahead of 99 percent of the competition.”
Jordan doesn’t do much planning for his live videos. “I do not use a script, and I never do it twice,” he says. “I might have been thinking about something on the way to work, or maybe I had a weird day and it sparks some sort of thought. If I think it’s worth other people knowing, I just go for it.”
Regularly posting Facebook Live videos will automatically increase exposure, Reynolds says. Putting money behind it by boosting the post to target your audience is also an option.
As far as when to post, “Facebook loves spontaneity, so there’s not one particular time that works best,” Reynolds adds. “Most retailers like to do their live videos during business hours, and this makes sense because the customer can come down to the showroom. However, don’t let that stop you from doing videos during evenings or weekends; these videos perform well, too.”
You may stumble over your words or record shaky video the first few times, but the benefits far outweigh the risk and your confidence will build the more live videos you do: “Just hit record and never look back,” Jordan says. “Never question it. Just do it.”