Social Media

Last month, I explored ‘8 Social Media Trends to look out for in 2016’. One of these trends was the rise of in-the-moment updates, including live video streaming. Periscope and Meerkat have led the way in this field so far, but the major social networks are catching up.

Last year Facebook launched their own live streaming platform, Facebook Live, initially only to verified public figures. This was for a couple of reasons – to try and establish a higher standard for the videos, which is something Periscope and Meerkat struggle with, and to control the demand on the bandwidth.

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In early December, Facebook Live became available to some people on their personal profiles, and then to all verified Facebook pages before the end of 2015.

The aim of Facebook Live is to allow you to connect with your fans and followers in real-time, sharing a live video of what you’re doing. With content continuing to dominate digital marketing trends into 2016, many are predicting that the use of video will become increasingly popular.

Therefore, it’s important to think about how you might incorporate video into your marketing now, and stay ahead of the curve as well as your competition. This post aims to explain how Facebook Live works, and how it might benefit your business.

How Does it Work?

A few days ago, General Motors became the first automaker to use Facebook Live by broadcasting a keynote speech from CEO Mary Barra. The video was 25 minutes long and has so far acquired over 48,000 views and over 450 shares.

So if you wanted to use Facebook Live to make a business announcement, perhaps on a slightly smaller scale than General Motors, how would you go about it?

To start live streaming on Facebook, you first need to install the Livestream for Facebook app. You can do this here while being logged into the Facebook account that you manage your page through.

Follow the on-screen instructions to get started, then select the Facebook page you want to start live streaming from by clicking the ‘Add Page Tab’ button. Click ‘Add Livestream’ to start the installation process.

Once installed, the option to live stream will then be available on your page:

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When you click on the Livestream button, you’ll need to set up a Livestream channel for you to broadcast on. Simply create a username, password, channel name (which will most likely be your business name), and enter your email address.

There are numerous options for customising your channel, such as by adding a description and a cover image, in the Channel Settings page.

You’re now ready to begin live streaming via Facebook!

What Are the Benefits?

You could use Facebook Live to share all sorts of updates from your business, such as new product launches, behind-the-scenes insights, industry interviews, or product demonstrations, all with the aim of engaging your fans and expanding your reach on Facebook. This could be a great way of adding a human element to your brand. After all, people do business with people.

Facebook Live also has other benefits which you may not have considered:

  • Reach your established audience – Compared to Periscope and Meerkat, where you would probably be opening an account and building your audience from scratch, you most likely already have a number of people on Facebook who like your page, and would be interested in watching your videos.
  • Videos don’t disappear – On Meerkat your videos are immediately deleted after the live broadcast. On Periscope, they are only live for 24 hours. On Facebook Live, the videos stay on your page’s wall for as long as you like. They can be deleted if you want to stick to ‘in-the-moment’ updates, but 53% of video views on Facebook come from re-shares, so it’s probably worth keeping the videos for a while.
  • Videos appear quickly in News Feeds – People who like your page will see the video in their feed while the broadcast is still in progress. Anyone who has recently interacted with your page will also receive a push notification.
  • Comments – Facebook Live pushes comments onto the screen during the video at a steady pace, or you can turn off seeing comments altogether. This means you can interact with viewers in real time.

Think Facebook Live could work for your business? Give it a try, and take a look at Facebook’s best practice tips before you do.

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