With so many retail businesses out there and numerous online platforms for them to sell their products on, how does one stand out from the saturated market? In this blog post, I will focus on how some home businesses and small businesses have creatively used Facebook Live videos for sales.
Surely everyone remembers Lerine Yeo (“S-hook Lady”), the owner of Misshopper Boutique, who went viral for the funny and creative ways in which she promoted the clothes she was selling. The most popular item that garnered the attention of netizens would be the S-hook shirt, a top containing holes - Lerine’s sales pitch for this was that it would be convenient to attach S-hooks to the holes so the wearer can hang items such as umbrellas, wanton mee, kueh png, or even an EZ-link card and anything else that leaves their hands free. In another video, Lerine also models a dress and thoroughly explains why taller girls should not buy the dress, lest it does not fit them well.
Screengrab from Mothership of Lerine modelling the S-hook top
Why did this work for Lerine? She understood customers’ concerns that items bought online may not turn out like what they had imagined and she was candid and honest in marketing. Moreover, she has a natural sense of humour and was able to connect with her audience using colloquial Singaporean terms. Through Facebook Live, she was also able to answer questions in real-time to better facilitate decisions of her potential customers.
Facebook users also love the interactivity that Facebook Live streaming offers. When it comes to online auctions, there are many small businesses retailing a range of items, from electronics and mobile accessories to beauty products and handbags. Similar to what we have observed from Lerine, the auctioneers often banter with viewers in Singlish, and answer questions or demonstrate the products. Facebook Live also provides auctioneers with a greater reach, whereby they may not be able to gather as many people in their shop to listen to a product introduction as compared to the hundreds of online viewers doing so. Customers are also highly engaged and get the thrill of having an audience watch them win the bid.
Did you know that there are also Facebook Live auctions for something as unconventional as seafood? Quality would be the first thing that comes to mind, but Firstonlineseafoodbidding was enterprising in coming up with this initiative for her regular customers who cannot leave their homes and trust the quality of her items. Not only does this help to scale her business and meet the needs of those looking for fresh seafood delivery, but it also makes an interactive and fun experience for shoppers. Moreover, shoppers get to see the items firsthand at least and have them delivered on the same day.
Given that things can go wrong during any live telecast, there are a lot more risks for bigger and more established brands when using Facebook Live. Perhaps these brands may not be able to be as candid in tone as Lerine, but it does not mean that they cannot incorporate Facebook Live in their marketing strategies.
For example, when SMRT launched the first C151C train into service, they used a Facebook Live video to broadcast the train’s journey from Bishan Depot to Ang Mo Kio MRT station. By broadcasting this exclusive footage from Bishan Depot and a “tour” of the new train, they were able to connect with train enthusiasts and viewers who had yet to see it for themselves.
Or, here at Happy Marketer, we use Facebook Live videos (a.k.a #HappyHourLive) to share industry-related titbits and to give others a glimpse into our company culture. For example, when we travel to other countries for work or leisure, or when we attend events, we often share some of our learnings about digital marketing from the country/event. We have also done Facebook Live videos during year-end parties and our 10th anniversary gala dinner.
Whether you are using Facebook Live to increase brand awareness or to interact more with your current customers, always check your Facebook insights to find out how your video performed. Analysing data such as video views, view time and peak live viewers will help you to hone your content and Facebook live strategy.