One of the best ways to learn about different social media tactics is to find a safe space to try them and jump right in! On that principle, I recently ran a Facebook takeover day for the Balance Collective – a social enterprise focused on improving the lives of parents. This closed group is run by Clara Wilcox and has 321 members. Typically group members discuss ways to achieve work-life balance, including setting up small businesses as a way to create a more flexible work life.
Having volunteered to run a takeover day in October, with a broad brief to appeal to Collective members, I chose not to talk about my business. Instead, I chose to explore a more generic subject on which I have plenty of experience – working from home. As part of the day, I posted a series of tips about working from home, together with bright appealing images using a consistent look and feel.
I also ran a Facebook Live for about twenty minutes at lunchtime. I used a “talking head” style – just me talking to the camera on my phone – and covered some of the same points in more detail. I showed viewers my own working from home space and tried to use personal anecdotes and examples to keep the discussion light and entertaining. I also talked about Jonny Wilkinson. But there was a point to that! There are plenty of other ways to use Facebook Live, including a Q&A style, or to broadcast from an event. And Digital Mums colleagues have shared llama births and colonic procedures. But I digress.
My metrics for the takeover are quite modest, but reaching 57 people on the Facebook Live is nearly 20% of the group, and one of my tips reached nearly a third of the group.
I learnt some valuable lessons running the takeover:
- If you are planning a takeover on any platform, liaise closely with the community manager or group owner – they know the audience best. Check what will work, and share your thinking as you plan the day.
- Choose your angle carefully – is it appropriate to do a hard sell of your own business? Or is this a forum for adding value to the audience with a more subtle message?
- Promote in advance through your own channels, as well as supporting the community manager to promote it on their channels.
- Plan and pre-create as much as possible, but be present throughout the day to respond to questions and queries.
- Create bright and eye-catching graphics to help your takeover stand out in a social media feed.
- Practise your Facebook Live. When you choose “live video” you have the option to broadcast to Public, friends, or “Only me”. The ‘Only Me’ option allows you to practise in private. I used this option to get the lighting right and to check the camera angles, as well as to talk through my material.
- Make written notes that you can refer to – you might want to pin them at eye level rather than have to look down.
- Write a great optional description.
- Relax and enjoy your Facebook Live – it will come through to your audience.
- Continue to promote the Facebook Live after the event.
Ultimately, if you haven’t tried a tactic before, particularly going Live, try to find a way to do it in a low-risk situation. That way, when you have a major announcement to make, you have the experience and confidence to get it right.