About a year ago, Facebook launched Facebook Live, allowing users to broadcast a live video stream directly from their mobile device or desktop to their Facebook News Feed. It’s continued to pick up steam as a digital marketing tool because it combines video (which is proven to outperform other forms of content) and real time interaction to create a highly engaging and eye-catching way to attract attention.  Plus, it’s easy! 

Facebook Live is a great way for optometry practices to build authentic relationships with their audience, share their expertise and show the personal side of a very personal business. You can engage your existing patients as well as individuals who soon might become your patients after having a chance to “meet” you and learn from you.

Here are five Dos and Don’ts of using Facebook Live to effectively attract and engage your social media audience: 

Dos:

1 Provide value. It’s one thing to go live, it’s another to get an audience. You need to present information that has value, entertainment or some exciting news. Give demonstrations on what takes place during an exam or how to insert contact lenses. Show off your new eyewear collection. Focus on topics that are frequently asked about, will provide insight, and give people a reason to stay tuned. Remember: While eye anatomy may excite you, it probably won’t stand a chance next to that video of a cute baby elephant rolling around in mud.  

2 Be tidy. Clean and declutter the immediate area that is visible in the video and make sure that you (or the subject of the video) are well-groomed. Even though Facebook Live is casual, your professional appearance will leave a lasting impression. 

3 Write a compelling description. Before your audience decides whether to join you, they will read your description above the picture. That will be the deciding factor in whether your talk interests them. Make it a winner!

4 Test it out first. Give your video a test run to make sure the lighting, sound and picture are clear. You can do this by selecting the privacy setting “only me” (in the “share with” section, select “more” and scroll down). Note: When you are ready to film, be sure you select “public” to gain maximum exposure. 

5 Interact with your audience. The whole point of real-time video is to engage with your audience. Tag friends and patients to let them know the talk is happening. Read and respond to the chat (or have someone else in the office do that). Answer questions and welcome people by name. This all adds to the intimacy you are able to create with this feature. Take advantage of it!

Don’ts:

1 Don’t forget that your viewers will see your image in reverse. If you need to refer to your left or right, adjust accordingly.

2 Don’t forget to publicize your talk in advance. There’s nothing worse that getting all set up and ready to go and having no audience.

3 Don’t be overly promotional. This isn’t a commercial. While there is nothing wrong with adding a plug for your practice, services or products, no one wants to listen to 10 minutes of self-praise. Offer value first and win over your audience with your knowledge, expertise and charm, then you can steer them toward making an appointment. 

4 Don’t go crazy. Space out your live videos and continue to provide your other content. Shoot for weekly or biweekly sessions at most, otherwise you might lose your audience. It’s better to have one highly engaging session with a captive audience, than many that are sparsely attended. 

5 Don’t stress about studders. Facebook live is intended to be spontaneous and casual. You shouldn’t be reading a script. Be natural and speak as if you are talking to a patient face-to-face. Smile and enjoy yourself. The more fun you have, the more your audience will enjoy watching!

Nancy Rausman is the managing editor at EyeCarePro (eyecarepro.net), a provider of online marketing and practice improvement services for the optical industry. She provides ECPs with educational content that helps them advance their practices through technology, management strategies and digital marketing. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


This article originally appeared in the July 2017 edition of INVISION.

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