Hosting a live Q&A on social media is an excellent way to connect with your client base and attract new clients. But to make the most of it, there are a few important things to bear in mind.
Benefits of Live Q&As
Before getting into tips to run a live Q&A successfully on social media, it’s important to understand why they matter. A live Q&A can deliver the following benefits for your small business:
Expand your reach
Improve your online presence
Choose the Platform Carefully
The first thing to do is decide what platform to host your live Q&A on. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch are all popular options, but they are far from the only choices. Remember to use a channel that will let your audience interact with you via chats.
The key to making the right decision is to choose the social media channel that your customers are on. If you want to maximize engagement during the Q&A, opt for the platform where you have the most followers and where your audience is most active. Still, you could also try using a Q&A livestream to grow your audience on a lesser-used channel. In that case, you will need to make sure to advertise heavily on the channels your audience spends more time on.
Promote the Q&A
Speaking of promotion, make sure you announce and market your Q&A. Otherwise, potential and current clients may not even know you are hosting the online event. They may even find out about it when it’s too late and not be able to attend. Aside from informing your current customers, promoting the livestream also helps generate additional interest, growing your number of attendees.
Promote at Least a Few Weeks Early
Ideally, you want to announce your small business’s Q&A sessions at least a few weeks ahead of time. At the very least, aim for a week before the event. For the best results, you want to treat the Q&A like you would an actual onsite event, which merits announcing it earlier.
Highlight the Benefits
As you promote your Q&A, do so in a way that highlights how it benefits attendees. By providing value, you will move attendees along the customer journey. You will also find yourself better able to attract attendees.
Encourage Setting Up Notifications
As part of advertising your live Q&A, consider encouraging your audience to set up notifications. At the very least, you can instruct them to set up notifications for your livestream. But ideally, activating notifications for all of your activity is the best way for them to stay engaged in your brand.
Prepare for the Q&A
While there is a time and place for impromptu business live streams, being prepared for a Q&A communicates that you value your customers’ time. Of course, you want to be prepared without appearing too stiff and rehearsed. You need to be prepared enough to answer questions and control the conversation yet natural enough to sound authentic and keep the conversation flowing.
Make an Outline
Start by drafting an outline or a list of the primary points you want to cover. This ensures that all vital information is included in the Q&A.
Ask for Questions and Prepare Answers
When advertising your upcoming Q&A, encourage people to submit questions to you. This saves you the stress of having to choose a question and answer it on the fly. It also lets you choose questions to answer based on your goals. Preselecting questions to answer will also help you address the most common queries of your customer base.
Once you have your list of questions, you can adequately prepare answers. It’s best to prepare your answers in bullet points and not sentences. Doing so will make your responses sound natural and not rehearsed, and you will ensure that all important points are covered since they are listed down.
Come Up with Additional Questions
If your audience doesn’t submit a substantial number of questions before the Q&A, come up with a few yourself. If you need inspiration, think about the most common questions thrown at your customer support team. Once you identify potential questions, you can prepare your responses in advance.
By preparing for this, you ensure that you have enough content to fill your planned livestream. With an adequate amount of questions and answers, you decrease the chances of lulls or dead air in your live online event.
Choose a Moderator
While you don’t need a moderator for a successful livestream, it can be incredibly helpful for a Q&A. This is especially important if you plan on answering questions that your audience submits during the livestream. In that case, the moderator will be responsible for deciding which questions get answered.
Even if you have your audience submit questions ahead of time, the moderator can help ensure that multiple people don’t start talking at once. Moderators help you run your event smoothly.
Interact With Your Audience
While you want to prepare some answers to questions before the Q&A session, you also want to give the audience opportunities to interact with you. Without the interaction, you might as well show a pre-recorded video instead of doing a livestream.
A good method to keep your audience engaged is to interact with users as they join. You can mention specific names as you welcome them. When you answer questions asked by users, make your responses personalized and sincere.
Do a Tech Run
One of the worst things that can happen is for you to experience technical difficulties while you are live. This will reflect poorly on your brand. By testing your equipment and technical setup ahead of time, you avoid this kind of problem. Most social media platforms let you set livestreams to private, enabling you to test your live event without any viewers. During this tech run, confirm that all your equipment works properly, especially your camera and microphone. Doing so also lets you confirm that the lighting is good and that your internet connection is stable.
Don’t forget to record your livestream. This is a good practice for any livestream your small business does, as it lets you save the video onto your YouTube or social media page. The video can then turn into a reference for people who have common questions. You can even edit the video to shorter versions posted on social media, each addressing one question at a time.
A livestream Q&A will let you engage with your customers and create a sense of community. To maximize your chances of success, choose the channel that your audience prefers and promote the Q&A across all other channels. Prepare some questions and topics to cover ahead of time, but encourage interaction from the audience as well. Finally, be sure to record your livestream for valuable content you can reuse.
Blamah is the founder of Web Collaborative, a full-service creative agency. He is an established marketing strategist and consultant. He is also a graduate of Bucknell University and native of Chester County, PA with extensive experience in business development and brand management.
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