May 13, 2016

Is Your Business Ready for Facebook Live?

Jenny Mudarri

Creative

Chances are you’ve heard of Periscope, Twitch, and Meerkat. These apps allow users to broadcast live video content on the web. With this trend surging in popularity, it came as no surprise when Twitter acquired Periscope last year in an attempt to keep users engaged on their platform. It shocked us even less when Mr. Zuckerberg decided to invest more of Facebook’s energy into improving the Facebook Live experience after Twitter’s success with Periscope.

So, now that Facebook has its own sophisticated live streaming capabilities, you’re probably wondering if your business should try to get a piece of the action.

Before taking the plunge, there are some key facts to consider. How are live streaming videos different than produced, not-so-live video content? Can this content be repurposed elsewhere? Questions, questions. Let’s walk through it.

It’s more about conversation than conversion

Like any social media channel, Facebook’s goal is to keep users active and engaged on the platform itself. Facebook Live is similar to YouTube in this sense, in that it helps brands extend their reach within that channel, but won’t necessarily drive tons of traffic to your website.

Engagement clearly becomes one of the key components of a successful Facebook Live strategy. While it might be obvious, you can’t just "set it and forget it" – it is a live broadcast after all.

With Facebook Live, users are able to interact with the broadcaster by commenting and liking a stream, much like with any other video posted to Facebook. This creates an immediate conversation, where suddenly super fans are able to chat with their favorite celebrities on the web in the most IRL way possible (aside from actual real life interactions… what are those again?).

Facebook was wise to roll out this new offering with celebrities first – as the old adage goes, "If your social network attracts celebrities, it’s probably going to attract users."

Now that you know what it’s all about, you might be wondering if Facebook Live is right for your business. Chances are you probably don’t have a Justin Beiber-like following on social media, so should you even bother?

To stream or not to stream

It’s an Internet world, and we just live in it. There are algorithms, pixels, search terms, keywords and more all cramping your marketing style on a daily basis. Remember when you could make a Facebook post, and anyone who liked your page would see it in their timelines? Those were the good old days.

Fortunately, Facebook’s algorithm actually favors live streaming videos. In fact, Facebook gives video content of any kind better real estate in the news feed. According to Marketing Land, when it comes to ranking in the news feed, "Facebook started parsing signals such as whether people activate audio or click to open a video in fullscreen."

“Fortunately, Facebook’s algorithm actually favors live streaming videos.”

When it comes to live streaming videos on Facebook, it seems the odds are in your favor. So, what are you waiting for?

Tactics and tips for Facebook Live

If you’re convinced that Facebook Live is worth a shot, it’s time to start thinking about the types of videos you’ll be creating. Keep in mind that live streaming videos are much different than pre-recorded videos and should be treated as such. Here are some tips to get you started:

Types of Live Videos

  • Company culture or slice-of-life-style content
  • Q and As, interviews with special guests or live webinars
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Breaking news

Best Practices

  • Mention your name and business throughout the stream (without overdoing it). Viewers will be tuning in at random times, so it’s important that you regularly introduce yourself!
  • According to Facebook, the longer you broadcast, the more likely people are able to discover and share your video.
  • Live stream your video for at least 10 minutes (the maximum stream is 90 minutes).
  • When the live stream is over, the video will remain on your Page just like any other video. Repurpose this content by writing a recap post for your blog! You can even edit the video, so that it’s a little more polished and ready for your site.

Video for the win

Facebook Live does a great job of democratizing the video-making process. Facebook users around the world are now shooting and watching live streaming videos. You can take a look at this world map to see just where the streams are happening at any given moment! So, are you ready harness the power of live video?! See you on the web.

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