Social media and internet sites have become strong vehicles for marketing and selling activities in recent times. There have been evidences for marketers to use such channels more and more as the present customers spend substantial time on the net and do many of their activities through smart phones and laptops.
Facebook has proved to be the most popular social site in India, estimated to have more than 320 million users in 2021 with a bog jump of 23 percent since 2016 (statista). Considering such fabulous volume, Facebook achieved to innovate appropriate marketing tools suitable for our country, specially leveraging to empower women entrepreneurs.
Especially since the invention of Facebook Live. The popularity of Live Videos has exploded among users. As a result, 82% of people prefer to see videos instead of written content on social media. In addition, 1 in every 5 videos on social media is Facebook Live. Facebook Live Streaming Videos are incredible for businesses especially, SMEs.
Facebook Live and Empowerment of Small Businesses in India
Facebook Live is an advanced feature for broadcast of real-time videos. The FB live broadcast helps businesses to showcase their content and engage with their targeted audience during the FB event. Going live on Facebook provides businesses with real-time customer engagement. This further helps to increase business and product exposure among potential customer-base and build healthy relationships with the audience.
A New Concept of Building Relationship with Customers and Direct selling
FB Live opportunities have been grabbed very recently by a large number of small retailers for live interactions with customers. A single virtual shop owner can open such an interactive shop with almost no cost. FB offers fantastic opportunity for publishing Live pages free for public. The BTM (Business Technology Management) is very simple. Anybody can publish schedule of Live page and exhibit real time demo, offer price, and orders are collected through other channels like WhatsApp messages with screenshots of products. The system does not allow any payment gateways, rather this can be done separately through different digital money transfer methods available. The only restriction is that no COD is allowed.
This is such simple and inexpensive, that a makeshift store can be arranged in any corner of a room in the house. Afternoons are most attractive times for the segment of homemakers to be engaged. Merchandises are more often women apparels (mostly sarees), junk jewelries, simple kitchenware, beauty products, plants and many such non branded low cost goods and services.
Leverage FB Live to Empower Direct Marketing for Indian Small Business
Customize Stream with A Product Playlist -A business can set up a live shopping playlist to showcase products in FB live video. Moreover, with the advanced setting on Facebook, businesses can customize their audience preference or product list. For viewers, they can see complete details about each product during FB Live.
Mobile Or Desktop -Now, businesses can go live on Facebook from any device whether it be mobile or desktop.
Allow People to Buy Directly from the Live Event -Userscan easily purchase products or services from FB live. Businesses simply need to upgrade their settings to make the user experience convenient. Sell Products by Interactive Live Demos -Businesses can leverage the advantage of FB to show the products and services in real-world situations. Furthermore, a business can also answer customers’ queries or questions during the live session to help the customers make the decision for purchase.
Top Facebook Live Tools to Boost Business
Facebook is so much more than just a social media platform. It has a wide range of tools to offer & empower direct marketing, especially for small businesses in India. These features of Facebook allow SMEs to connect with the desired audience during the broadcast. The FB tools also help to boost user engagement and create the best possible experience. Interesting features are following:
- Live Polls: this feature allows businesses to create a live poll to share the live updates with customers. Also, allows SMEs to see the audience’s responses in real-time.
- Featured Links: this feature allows businesses to add featured links to the FB live stream to promote their website or products.
- Live in Stories: this feature allows businesses to share the Live streams directly from FB to Stories to reach more audiences.
- Live Comment Moderation: this feature allows SMEs to manage the live conversation. For instance – limit comments and, choose a specific viewer to moderate comments.
- Front Row: this feature allows businesses to highlight top customers in a special section. So a business can give their special audience a shoutout to show appreciation during FB live.
- Badges: this feature helps to measure & understand the engagement of fans with the content. In addition, fans can earn badges by interacting with the content.
- Donations: this feature helps to build qualified pages for certain locations. Businesses can add a “Donate” button to their live video.
- Live With: this feature is esp0ecially for co-broadcasting & it allows SMEs to host Facebook Live videos with multiple guests.
- Live Shopping: this feature is one of the best as it allows businesses to sell products/services on Facebook Live.
Create an Effective Facebook Marketing Strategy
- Set Your Goals – To set your business goals, you need to understand current business requirements such as – increasing brand awareness, increasing sales and lead generation, increasing community engagement, etc.
- Define Your Target Audience – For Indian SMEs, it is necessary to know their audience and then target accordingly to the product/services.
- Choose Content Formats & Schedule Posts – To win customers’ hearts via FB live, choose content format wisely and schedule posts on time when majority of the audience is online.
- Make Use of Facebook Tools – There are ample tools available to boost customer engagement and sales on FB live. However, it is necessary to find the right tool to get the maximum advantage.
- Measure Your Effectiveness – Once you’re done with every effort, don’t forget to cross-check your business effectiveness. This will help you understand which tool or strategy helped your business the most.
It is for sure that Facebook live will empower direct marketing for Indian small businesses. However, the question is how small-scale businesses would leverage the advantage of Facebook Live. For this concern, you may refer to this blog. We have shared the best guide to understanding how FB Live can help SMEs in India.
Written By :- Prof. Kalyan Shankar Sengupta
Designation : Adjunct Professor – Management Information Systems and Analytics
Education : Ph.D in Business Management, (Decision Support System), Calcutta University, India, 1993 ; M.Sc. in Engineering by Thesis, Warwick University, UK, 1978 ; B.Sc.(Hons) in Engineering with First Class, Warwick University, UK, 1976