Heather Heuman is the Founder of Sweet Tea Social Marketing. She is a popular social media strategist, trainer, and speaker who specializes in helping small business owners and entrepreneurs discover how to grow their business in today’s social marketplace. If you’re a regular listener, you’ve probably already realized this episode will be a little different than the usual episodes that feature guests that serve or are from mid or large brands. You’ll discover how Heather guides her clients to use live video to grow their business.

Heather jokes she is a “16-year overnight sensation.” Her background is in a corporate client setting, but in 2010 she started an agency for small businesses on how to use social media. In 2014, she started Sweet Tea Social Marketing to help companies and entrepreneurs with their social media strategy and training. Tune in to hear Heather’s tips on live video!

Heather Heuman being interviewed for South Carolina Business Review on NPR.

Why Live Video?

Live video is the closest thing to a face-to-face interaction using a digital device. It allows you to build know, like, and trust with your audience. There are currently three popular live video platforms: Facebook Live, Periscope, and Instagram Stories. The new live Instagram Stories feature is just rolling out at the time of this podcast recording. It will be a little like Periscope and a little like Snapchat. Viewers will be able to give hearts, similar to Periscope, and the Story will only last for 24 hours, like Snapchat.

Facebook Live allows you to engage with a warm audience and Heather points out the Facebook algorithm likes it when you do a live video and therefore favors it. A dilemma some people face is not having a following on Facebook, but having one on Twitter/Periscope. To address this Heather says to keep the conversations separate on the two platforms, don’t just copy your topic ideas over to the other.

One tactic Heather recommends is guiding your Periscope followers over to Facebook using an enticing CTA. At the end of a Periscope video session you can announce that you will be providing X tips on XYZ topic on Facebook Live at a certain day and time; anything that will be of value and encourage your audience to watch your video on Facebook.

Consistency is key. Training your audience on when you will be going live shows them that you’re not just there for the sale. It shows them that you want to build an authentic connection with them through your live videos. Also be sure to share about the upcoming broadcast on other social channels such as Twitter or Snapchat at least 30 minutes in advance. Use Twitter to remind your audience again 5 minutes before you go live.

“When we train our audience to know we will consistently show up, it solidifies you’re not there just for the sale.” @heatherheuman #sbeshow

Using Live Video for Events

You can incorporate live video at a multitude of events; anything from a business conference, a race, a Lunch and Learn, etc. Recurring events offer another opportunity for live video. Heather shares an example of a fitness company that posted short Facebook Live videos, with permission from attendees, to increase interest for a free cardio class. The video helped to bring new guests in for the free class and many people converted into paying clients.

Live video can be used to increase attendance at in-person events. Consider having influencers or employees take over your account to promote an event. You could also give away tickets to your event during a live video, or request viewers to reveal one thing they learned and tag a friend who might be interested in the conference. Then you can give those people a promotional code that is good for 48 hours.

We are all about continuing education!! Thank you @perryvillemo and @heatherheuman for the fantastic Social Marketing Lunch&Learn!

A photo posted by Mary Jane Burgers&Brew (@maryjaneburgersandbrew) on

Heather references a cookie company as an example of how to use live video in promotions. The business goes live on Facebook every day between 10 am and 12 pm to announce a boy’s and a girl’s name. They then give a free cookie to people with that name when they visit the store on that day. This strategy has helped the business see a significant increase in live video viewers and sales of cookies!

Now is a great time to get started with live video as it’s still in the early days of the medium. Heather reminds us all that even if you only have a few viewers, record your video as if there are hundreds of people watching since it will remain on your feed after the fact, and others will see it.

Tune into the full podcast episode to hear more tips from Heather about using live video in your social media strategy.

P.S. Our next podcast episode features David J.P. Fisher on Networking in the 21st Century!