PR & Influencer Marketing, Social Media

Why businesses and brands need to think Facebook Live for 2017

Written by Bakti Jethwa on 9th November 2016

Facebook Live

Video, in particular live video, has been hot property in 2016, and the trend is set to continue through to 2017, especially for Facebook Live. Despite its late interest into the live streaming arena, Facebook is definitely the platform dominating its competitors. The social network is making a huge drive to inspire more users to start using Facebook Live, by unleashing an offline marketing campaign – have you seen the TV ads (even as I write this blog, one pops up on the screen) or the huge video billboard at London Waterloo station?

Facebook users are spending up to 3x more time watching live video than pre-recorded, but it’s no surprise since Facebook has updated its algorithm to News Feeds so that Facebook Live videos are more likely to appear higher in your News Feed compared to a standard video.

What the industry thinks of live streaming

50% of marketers want to learn more about live video, yet just 14% of marketers are using live video.

For brands, live streaming video content offers a way to reach audiences like never before. Live streaming is immersive, immediate and easy to consume. It allows companies to build and nurture relationships with consumers by offering exclusive looks at company culture, product launches, and events. It offers brands a way to engage with their audience in an authentic, unedited way (as opposed to traditional advertising, which is one-sided and doesn’t allow for consumer interaction). There’s no safety net of Photoshop or post-production editing – it’s a real and honest means of brand storytelling, helping to facilitate a connection with consumers.

More and more publishers are picking up on the power of live video, taking to Facebook Live to report on news in real-time – as RT News did during Anonymous’ masked march through London on Bonfire night. Even across the pond, several news corporations including CNN and ABC News incorporated Facebook Live in their coverage of Election Day.

Facebook Live: Entry Point

Facebook Live: Entry Point

So, before you embark on your first Facebook Live broadcast, check out our 3 top tips to get you started.

3 tips on how businesses can use Facebook Live

1)      Watch a few Facebook Live broadcasts before you take the leap

See what’s possible. Watching a few streams will help to give you inspiration on what you like or don’t, and to understand how Facebook Live works, and how other brands are using it. Facebook’s interactive Live Map is a great way to discover live video streams from around the world, in real-time.

2)      Make your followers feel special and offer exclusivity

“Facebook Living” a Q&A with an industry influencer (a route that would work well for both B2B and B2C brands), offering exclusive access to a new product, or revealing behind-the-scenes footage of an event, whether it is London Fashion Week or a big industry conference (we recently live streamed highlights from Ecommercial 2016 – check it out!). Offer your followers exclusive content that isn’t available to everyone. These exclusive snippets of content give your audience a special experience that they would not otherwise be able to enjoy.

3)      Be responsive

If you’re receiving comments or questions, engage with your audience and respond positively, to keep the conversation flowing. Personalise the experience by responding to viewers by their name.  Bear in mind that you may have some viewers watching the stream after it has ended, so repeating a question before answering it will help these viewers to follow the conversation. This is especially helpful if you plan to upload the video to YouTube, or to your website, or blog.

Facebook Live offers a great opportunity for brands to experiment with content. However, the platform is still relatively new so there are no hard and fast rules around what makes a successful broadcast – the key is to test the water and experiment.

We have seen brilliant results from integrating Facebook Live into social media campaigns for our clients, including 280% increased Facebook reach, 1,200% increase in video views, and ultimately a 300+% revenue uplift. We’ve also been shortlisted by UK Search Awards 2016, for our use of Facebook Live. If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can embrace live video, get in touch!