Facebook Live isn’t news anymore but using it still may be confusing for small business owners or simply terrifying. Not everyone loves the idea of going “live” on social media platforms – public speaking can be tricky. Yet Facebook Live is such a powerful marketing tool, we don’t want you to miss out. We’ve come up with a few ways you can use Facebook Live for your small business in a (hopefully) painless way.

First, some guidelines. Facebook Live isn’t about being super professional and perfect. It is a way to engage with your customers in an authentic way, as a brand ambassador for your company. Yes, make sure you don’t have crumbs on your face and you’re in a setting that is appropriate and will be quiet, but try not to overthink it. Imagine you are simply Facetiming with a friend. Introduce yourself and say why you’re live that day. Watch the comments and acknowledge them if you can. Use a hands-free device, such as your laptop or a tripod unless you’re on the move, or have someone else film you.

Answer questions.
This is one of the easiest ways to go live. You can answer people’s FAQs – the ones you get asked on a regular basis to start. You can also let people know in advance you’ll be answering questions on Facebook Live and get questions ahead of time you can then prepare answers for, or answer questions as they come in via the live stream. To start, pick a topic you want to address, for example, How Do You Make Your Product or What About Your Company Sets You Apart. Make it easier by only going live for a few minutes.

Give a behind-the-scenes look at how you make your products or introduce the employees that make it all happen. People love to see behind the curtain.

Engage in person.
Sometimes, it is wonderful to simply go live to say hi to people – to check in with your Facebook followers and let them know what’s happening that day. Maybe you’re at a cool location for work and want to share it. People like to have an emotional connection with the products and services they buy and engaging live on Facebook is a perfect way to build that relationship.

Moose calling Guinness Book attempt, Skowhegan, MainePromote events.
If you’re planning an event, get people excited about it by sharing some details in advance. Act like you’re chatting with a friend about the upcoming event and tell people why they want to go. At the event itself, stream live footage of what’s happening – a “wish you could be here” type of thing. Talk to event attendees about what they think.

Product updates or news.
If you have some business news or a new product you’re launching, Facebook Live is perfect. It’s like a press release but much more fun. You can tell people in advance you’re going to share some news to get buzz going and build anticipation.

In general, this free marketing tool can be a big deal for small businesses. The live feedback is a great way to check in on your customers and provides a way to truly engage with people.