The power of Facebook Live

By Matt Sellhorst

If you’re looking for a new marketing avenue to include in your 2020 game plan, Facebook Live video should be at the top of your list. 

Let me start with a few facts about the Facebook platform you may not be aware. From there, we’ll dive into a few pointers to help you avoid the major mistakes many make.

I spoke about this at a dealer meeting in Germany this year and was shocked by how few people realized what was happening on the Facebook platform.

Let’s start with how they make money (and this goes for all social media platforms).

Facebook made $55 billion dollars in 2018, including Instagram, which the company owns. Do you know what their major source of revenue is? Ad revenue. Ad revenue accounts for about 98% of Facebook’s total revenue.

So, we know Facebook’s goal is to see businesses, brands and organizations ads, now we can try to understand their motivations. 

First motivation, is to keep users on their platform as long as possible each day, month and year, because that increases the inventory of ad space they have to sell.

Second motivation, is to get businesses to buy up the ad space they have to sell.

So, here’s another reality you may or may not have noticed, the organic reach of Facebook posts has been dropping over the past five years. The most recent numbers we’ve seen are that your organic image, text and video posts are only reaching 2% to 15% of your fans and followers.

To truly reach a majority of your target audience, you must now run paid Facebook ads, although they can be highly effective when done properly.

While this might sound all negative so far, there’s more to it. Facebook has discovered that their Facebook Live video is keeping people on their platform longer. And, that means more ads they can sell.

So, Facebook is incentivizing their users to utilize Facebook Live videos by increasing the reach of these free organic posts. The reach is 1400% higher than a traditional image or native video post.

Which means if you want to expand your brands reach, but don’t want to increase your marketing spend, Facebook Live videos should be at the top of your list of things to do in 2020.

Now, let’s dig into how do you do this successfully.

Here are three simple tips to a successful Facebook Live strategy:

1.  Be consistent and persistent with your content.

Going Live on a consistent (daily/weekly/bi-weekly) schedule and committing to do it for a year will provide real impact and results. This consistency and persistency will allow Facebook’s A.I. to grow your audience and keep you in front of even more of your best prospects and clients.

2.  Go long.

Too many people are focused on the short attention span of their audience these days. The reality is that if you provide entertaining and interesting information in any format, the right people (a.k.a. people that will give you money) will engage with it. That’s why I suggest your Facebook Live videos are at least seven minutes and up to 35 minutes in length.

3.  Sell your boats and the boating lifestyle.

So, what do you talk about on your Facebook Live? This is the great part about our industry, there is no shortage of topics your prospects and clients want to hear and see. Review your inventory. Review service tips and common mistakes people make. Answer the questions you’d typically answer multiple times at a boat show. Share what’s happening in your local boating community. The content is there, just make a plan and get to work.

This month’s challenge: Now, go to your smart phone and download the Facebook Pages app and you’re all ready to go live within just a few minutes. Pick a boat and plan on presenting it for at least seven minutes to complete your first Facebook Live. Then, commit to going live on a consistent basis all season long.

I’ve even created a video tutorial to walk you through the whole process. Just email me at and I’ll send it your way.

Matt Sellhorst is the founder of Boat Dealer Profits Marketing Agency and author of the only business-building book for the retail boating industry, “Boat Dealer Profits; How the SPLASH System can help you sell more boats, make more money and have more fun.” Claim your free copy at

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