Facebook is always seeking to be on the forefront of social media outlets, often with great success. One of their more recent efforts to expand their means of communication is Facebook Live. It allows anyone to use Facebook to instantly stream live video to others, so they can share some of the more noteworthy events in their lives with others who can’t be there in person.
It is very much like being able to broadcast live events, and there is something very special about that. Live events, perhaps because of the possibility of failure (or unexpected great success), tend to draw the attention far more readily than scripted or rehearsed events. This applies to your brand as much as to personal events. In fact, with the rollout of Facebook Groups and Facebook Events, you can just as easily go live with only a certain predetermined group, including those invited to a given planned event.
As is typical of Facebook offerings, Facebook Live also gives those viewing your material the opportunity to respond, this time in the form of Live Reactions. It’s not possible to hear cheers or expressions of amazement over the internet, which is why Facebook has created the ability for viewers to express themselves. The viewer’s profile pic will appear with a starburst, and then their reaction – Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, or Angry – will appear in a brief animation. Once you end the video, it is posted directly to your timeline, reactions intact.
What Does This Mean for My Brand?
According to Facebook’s own statistics, Facebook Live streams receive 10 times more comments than usual videos. This gives you an opportunity to show people a side of your brand they would never see otherwise. Not only that, but you can also see what aspects get the most audience response. You’ll know instantly the parts they really like, and what needs a little work, because their reactions are visible to you in real time.
There’s a reason why sites like YouTube are popular – people love to watch videos. Combining this with the ability to react to it as it happens is an almost irresistible draw. And all you need for this great marketing tool is a Facebook account, a camera, and an internet connection.
How Is It Done?
There’s no one way to use Facebook Live. Your brand is a unique thing, which requires your unique spin on how things are done. Still, there are some general steps you can take to shine a light on what makes your brand stand out from the pack.
One of the most obvious things you can do is stream any events or conferences you might be involved in, as they happen. When conventions or similar events are being held, most of the people who want to attend are not able to, for a variety of reasons. With Facebook Live, they can not only have a window into what’s happening as it happens, but cheer you on, laugh at your jokes, or express their amazement, just as if they were right there.
Naturally, there will still be those who will be unable to watch the livestream. Fortunately for them, it will be posted to your timeline, complete with all the audience reactions.
A Peek Behind the Curtain
When people love or enjoy something, they have an interest on its inner workings, on how that product they enjoy comes into being. You can give them that with a livestream of whatever process you undergo to bring your product to your customers – minus any trade secrets you don’t want to give to competitors, of course. Yet, even any secret parts can be made fun, with a little forethought and a sense of humor.
Keep Them in the Loop
Running a business can be a very ‘interesting’ experience at times. With Facebook Live, you can share that experience with your customers. The popularity of a reality shows can be yours, if you’re willing to stream a live video on a daily or weekly basis on how things are going in the day-to-day life of your brand. A more measured version if this is to share any insights about your brand that you or your partners or employees might have about some aspect of your work at the moment. This combines well with giving your customers the occasional peek behind the scenes.
Make Your Event an Event
If you’re going to start a livestream, whether a regular occurrence or a major one-off, you have to let your fans know in advance. You can’t hope for them to stumble upon it because they’re compulsively checking Facebook. Instead, make anything you plan to stream a big deal. Announce it on your Facebook page, more than once. If this is a new thing, or something rare, you could even announce it in countdown style until the big moment you go live.
Putting Life into Live
Though you can’t control any unexpected happenings during a livestream, you are still in control as much as possible, so take advantage of it. Give your video a great title and description, something that not only attracts attention, but tells everyone who tunes in what they’re about to see.
If you feel up to it, you can even shape the course of the video as it goes on. You’ll be able to see how many people are watching, and how they feel about it, and can respond accordingly. After a few of these, you’ll feel more and more comfortable about going “off script”.
Don’t forget to invite viewers to subscribe, so they will be informed automatically of future videos you choose to stream. Subscribed viewers will automatically be informed whenever you stream, which is good for those times you want to go live spontaneously.
Imagine having your own television station – that’s a little like the power of what Facebook Live can do for your brand, if you’re prepared to build up your audience and use it to its fullest potential.
This article was originally written by Shariq Toor for the Heyo blog.