Facebook Live, the social network's feature which allows users to live-stream videos, was first launched in August 2015 and then made public in December that same year. The feature has not only been popular among individual Facebook users, but for marketers as well - a hardly surprising fact considering the rising prominence of social video.
Social video is currently reigning as the 'top dog' of online content. It is the combined product of the popularity of online videos, social media's dominance and the increase in mobile usage. Consider these statistics:
- According to Insivia 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others
- A third of all online activity is used to watch videos, also according to the same source
- 26% of people are interested in watching live stream videos broadcast by companies or brands as reported by Global Web Index
- Rather than read text, 59% of executives would rather watch video, says Forbes
These figures explain why more and more businesses are now looking to incorporate social video into their marketing strategy, and Facebook Live has been one of the most popular means of doing so.
If you have not already started taking advantage of this phenomenon, we would strongly encourage you do so for several reasons:
Setting up a Facebook Live Stream
You can start your very own Facebook Live session in just a few easy steps:
- Go to your company page
- Tap 'Update Status' and select the 'Live Video' icon
- Write a description for the stream
- Choose your audience
- Go live!
Facebook also recently announced that users can now live broadcast from their desktop or laptop computers.
Once live, you will be able to see the number of viewers, comments in real-time and several other features. The maximum time limit for live broadcasts is 90 minutes. After the broadcast, Facebook saves the post on your Timeline like any other video.
Tips and best practice for Facebook Live
Now that you understand how to set things up, here is a quick guide to help your company make the most of the feature and achieve social video success using Facebook Live.
Don't wing it, plan your broadcast
While being live means that you cannot completely plan / script what will happen, it is still wise to avoid 'winging it'. Before you jump into a live stream, make sure you have thought about what you are going to do or say in the broadcast and that is has a clear purpose.
Announce your plans to go live
Just like you would for any other event to make sure people show up, promote your stream - but not just on Facebook. You can also promote it on your other social channels, making sure to be explicitly clear about where and when the broadcast is taking place.
Why not try releasing some teaser trailers ahead of the broadcast? Or take advantage of the Facebook Live API which publishes an announcement post to the News Feed after a live stream is scheduled to let fans know it is happening. Fans who see the post can also opt in to receive a reminder to alert them just before the broadcast is about to begin. These are great ways to build anticipation and excitement for your live video.
Run a test beforehand
While technology is absolutely fantastic, it can potentially ruin your live broadcast if cautionary steps are not taken in advance. So, before the broadcast, make sure you have tested the sound and video quality of the device you will be using. It is also vital to ensure you have a strong connection / signal before you begin streaming. On mobile, for example, you can use the Speedtest app to test your internet speed for best results.
Tag your location
Facebook Live includes a feature which allows users to tag their location, use this to boost your video's reach and chances of being discovered by people who do not currently follow you.
Engage with your viewers
One of the best features of Facebook Live is the ability for viewers to comment in real-time. Engagement is a crucial part of all social content so make sure you respond to the comments as, in doing so, the viewers will feel more connected to you. A great tip from Facebook advises brands to address the user by name when replying to their comment.
Just because users respond very positively to social video does not mean you can become complacent and assume your own video will be a success. Always bear in mind that there is an overwhelming amount of video content being produced by hundreds of brands on a daily basis, so you need to take steps to show creativity in order to make yours stand out.
For our tips on how to enhance your content against the competition, see this blog.
Content ideas for Facebook Live
In case you are not sure about where to start, here are some ideas / different ways to use Facebook Live as a brand.
Make special announcements
Brands are using Facebook Live to share important announcements in a way that creates buzz. For example, the Olivier Awards recently broadcast their 2017 nominations in an exclusive Facebook Live stream.
The video generated 773,719 views and over 135,000 likes and 'reactions'.
Give a tour
If you are based in a location that is exciting and that your followers would like a tour of, a live stream would be a great way to show viewers around and entice them to pay you a visit. The National Gallery uses Facebook Live in this way, giving regular online tours on the platform.
This generated 209,000 views and 12,000 likes.
Show behind-the-scenes footage
Do you have a show or event coming up? Consider using Facebook Live to show viewers exclusive backstage / behind-the-scenes footage to drive engagement and build brand awareness. For example, Grease: Live gave audiences a sneak peek backstage using Facebook Live whilst getting ready to be broadcast live on FOX.
The broadcast proved quite popular with Facebook users, generating 169,000 views and over 9,000 likes.
Use this guide to integrate Facebook Live into your content strategy as doing so means you will be expanding your reach and brand awareness to Facebook users across the globe. When you are ready to execute your new strategy, try to experiment and run tests to discover the use of live video that is most relevant to your brand and audience.
If you require any assistance in developing and executing your Facebook Live strategy, please get in touch with our team to discuss your requirements.