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Column: Tips for planning a successful Facebook Live event

Innovation
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Looking for an interesting and free way to grow your brand? Consider Facebook Live.

Love it or hate it, the facts are undeniable. Facebook has more than 1.6 billion users. That’s BILLION folks. That type of exposure is powerful. Why not consider leveraging it?

Facebook Live?

Let’s go right to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s post from the launch: “Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way. This is a big shift in how we communicate and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together.”

How does it work?

You need an account, a device and a connection. Let’s break those down:

You’ll need to have a personal Facebook profile and preferably one for your organization as well.

A smartphone, tablet or computer is required to be your “camera.” The functionality for the latter two were added after the initial launch and make a great option.

A strong internet connection is recommended.

What are the best ways to plan for a successful event?

1. Be purposeful
Don’t just use it because it’s there and free. Ask yourself and your team: “What do we hope to achieve with this event?”

2. Promote it
Like any good event, you have to get the word out. Determine your target viewer profile and market to those folks via email, social media posts and calendar invitations. It helps to have a strong graphic created that lists the key information about your event. Also, consider posting short videos that talk about the event.

3. Practice
Review the key points ahead of time that you want to get across. As a rule, you don’t want to run shorter than 10 
minutes, and it seems like 25-30 minutes is the most popular length, as it gives 
people time to find your feed on Facebook.

Be careful about using a script, as opposed to an outline. The best events have some spontaneity to them. Last, if you’re interviewing someone, plan on speaking to them a few days in advance on the questions you’ll be asking and their responses.

4. Properly prepare
Confirm ahead that you have a strong internet connection and that background noises are at a minimum.

I also highly suggest adding some lighting (the biggest issue I see are dark videos) and using either a tripod or desk mount to stabilize your phone, if that’s your “camera.” 

Make certain that your device isn’t too far away, to ensure good audio quality. Lastly, create a compelling description that you can copy and 
paste into Facebook right before the broadcast.

Want to see one for yourself? Check out my Facebook Live series “Personal Branding Makeover” on Thursday, August 10th at 12 noon EST by going to: http://bit.ly/2tt1jOY. It’ll be an insightful event.

Thomas Heath, CLC, is a business coach,  strategic advisor and founder of Thomas Heath Coaching. Have a question? Planning a great startup event? He loves to respond to our readers. Contact him at Thomas@ThomasHeathCoaching.com or on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/AskThomasHeath.

Startup Roundup

An insider’s view into Charleston’s Startup community.
Curated by Thomas Heath

Welcome to Startup Roundup. As a local business coach and someone who is passionate about the entrepreneurial ecosystem of our city, I created this curated calendar of events for one reason: To help folks determine where to spend their time when it comes to the many startup happenings going on around the Holy City.

Here’s my picks for the best events coming up:

One Million Cups
9-10 a.m. July 26, August 2, 9, 16, 23
Think of this as Shark Tank, without the sharks. Each Wednesday morning, a different entrepreneur presents their startup business for feedback on how to grow it. The Charleston chapter is known for its nurturing nature and great connections. Come drink one of the free million cups of coffee. The Harbor Entrepreneur Center, 1505 King St. Extension, Suite 110, Charleston. Free. No registration required.

Are You Ready to Start a Business?
5-6 p.m. July 26
This workshop from the folks at Score is a great opportunity for up-and-coming small business owners to put a plan into action and get your business off the ground. They will cover: Testing your business concept, developing a marketing and business plan, financial considerations, and available resources to support your success. College of Charleston, 160 Calhoun St., Lightsey Building, Room 257. Free. Register under “Take A Workshop” at: https://charlestonsc.score.org/

Financing a Small Business
3-5 p.m. Aug. 3
Do you need a loan to start or expand an existing business? Not sure where to find capital? This event from the team at the S.C. Small Business Development Center brings together some top financial experts to educate you on the types of lending available. The panel will be moderated by SBDC Charleston Area Director Darrell Jones, includes Rutledge Baker of South Star Capital and Cindi Rourk, loan officer for the Charleston Local Development Corp. Trident United Way building, 6269 Rivers Avenue, first floor conference room, in North Charleston. $20. Register: www.charlestonsbdc.com 

 

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