When it comes to engagement and sharing, video wins hands-down. Brightcove statistics indicate that social video generates 1,200 percent (and that’s not a typo) more shares than do images and text, combined. Combine social video with the world’s most powerful social network, and what do you get? A social media magnet that’s bound to draw views and shares.
Facebook Live made its debut last year when the company tested the new service with selected accounts. Now available to all users, Facebook Live requires only a video camera, an Internet connection and a Facebook account. The social media site does all the rest.
Users share live-streaming video, while friends and fans react to the video as it streams. Unlike what they need to do on competitors Periscope and YouTube, viewers on Facebook need not watch the entire video to get to the parts that interest them the most.
Using a proprietary system, Facebook lets these viewers react to individual parts of the video, generating an impressive amount of engagement data in real time.
Yes, it may sound Orwellian and slightly creepy, but for marketers, what results -- engagement data and opportunities to connect with followers -- is enormous. The good news is that any size business, large or small, can use Facebook Live for marketing purposes.
Three ways your business can capitalize on Facebook Live
Facebook Live connects your customers to your business through video. Once your video streams live, it remains on the site so that customers can watch and react to it later. They can also share the video with friends and family, potentially increasing its reach.
You can use Facebook Live in many different ways for your business, but three great options include:
- “Behind the scenes” content: All of us love to feel that we have an exclusive look at something other people don’t have access to. So, peel back the curtain on your business’ manufacturing process, your decisions, your daily operations . . . whatever you feel comfortable sharing (and whatever you don’t mind a competitor viewing). Show your customers how you make your unique surfboards, or how you whip up their favorite dessert. Give them access to a side of your business few have ever seen before.
- Daily updates: Service-oriented businesses can share daily updates, tips and helpful hints with their followers via Facebook Live. Guy Kawasaki, for example, offers daily tips which are quite popular, and other business gurus, coaches and experts have been quick to follow his lead. These types of quick tips or daily tips can become a popular social media feature if they’re filled with useful information.
- Livestreamed events: If your company hosts conferences or events, live-streaming the event is a great way to engage with your customers and followers. Chances are, you have plenty of followers who want to attend the event but can’t afford to. Instead of limiting access, open it by live-streaming the keynote speakers, sessions, event hall and other aspects of the event. You can also take the best-viewed sessions later and offer them as stand-alone videos.
Improving Facebook Live videos
Facebook Live videos can be edited, and since you’re able to key-in your own descriptions, you can make them as engaging and keyword-rich as you like. Start by writing a catchy headline and description of your video. Since this is what will appear in users’ newsfeeds, it’s got to grab their attention while reflecting what’s in your video, so people view what they expect once they click your link.
You can also choose your audience for your videos. If you’ve grouped your audience into categories, you can select the groups who will view your video, or allow it to be seen by all.
As the video plays on Facebook, you’ll see a constant stream of data that includes the number of viewers watching. Be sure to invite viewers to subscribe to future videos, as subscribing ensures that your videos appear in people's newsfeed any time you make a new video.
Once your livestream is complete, it will be saved to your Facebook profile just like any other video. You can edit your video’s title, description and the video itself once it’s saved to your wall. You can also choose a category for it and add features, like a call to action.
Learn more about Facebook Live
If you have a Facebook page and want to start using Facebook Live, you’ll need to download the company’s free app to your page to get started. More information and instructions are available from Facebook: Facebook Media -- Tips for Using Facebook Live.
With over 1 billion users every day worldwide, Facebook remains the world’s most influential social media site. Facebook Live brings that influence to a whole new level by harnessing the power of social video in ways never seen before.
Explore its many features, try these three tips and put the power of video to work for your business.