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Facebook Live is undoubtedly one of the most valuable features to a marketer inside of social platforms. With the release of it and it still being “free” at this moment has generated a lot of buzz within the community. Reports do show that this feature alone is one of the platforms top initiatives at this point and time; it is also one of Mark Zuckerberg’s personal projects.
Now since Facebook live is a newborn, let’s take a look at the history behind it so far.
A Look at The History Behind Facebook Live
Facebook Live launched last year, and now it has been opened to all of the United States users back in February. Shortly after Facebook released an update to the Facebook News Feed, the update gave Facebook Live videos a higher show rate when the video stream is actually live. Following closely behind that was the added features of being able to use Facebook “reactions” that would go across the screen of the live stream, giving the user a more interactive feel and also showing the streamer engagement.
Now, I mentioned earlier that this feature is still free; reportedly Facebook has its own agenda for monetizing Facebook Live and are currently paying media firms to create high quality live content streams. So far we have seen brands like Chevy and Southwest experimenting with the Facebook Live. That speculation alone leaves us to question if Facebook plans on monetizing Zuckerberg’s project. With that you can expect to see paid TV-like ads in the middle of your streams. But at this moment and time, no monetized model has been spoken of, so rest easy for now.
Facebook has shown some data for its new streaming platform, it’s stating that users are willing to watch a live video at least three times more than a standard video. Also, the engagement whether it be reactions, comments or shares happens over 10 times more than it would if it was not live.
Facebook itself does supply it’s very own best practices for utilizing Facebook Live some of the more obvious ones being:
- Write something that will capture people in your description
- Make sure you respond to live stream viewers and try responding using their name
- Try to at least broadcast for ten minutes
- Use a thoughtful closing line to hint that the broadcast is about to end
Facebook also points out orientating your broadcast around things such as hot topics in the industry, breaking news, performances/shows, behind the scenes, interviews, and demonstrations. Stars such as Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart have utilized this on their movie sets.
Now… Going beyond the basic best practices and beyond the marketing avenues that discuss creating relevant and engaging brand content to satisfy the consumer needs. What else would marketing pros tell you if you were considering making Facebook Live a piece of your marketing initiatives?
Don’t Just Use Something Because They Put It There
In the marketing world, a lot of the folk seem to hop on each bandwagon that comes through the valley without much question. Mainly the reason for them using it is because “everyone” else is using it too! Just because it’s an avenue to generate attention doesn’t mean it’s good. “Hey! But my experiment with Facebook Live influenced a group of individuals to attend my first live event!” Now we take a step back and determine if the cost and effort put into it was worth the return. In most cases, absolutely, if the target group that you brought in falls into one of two profiles.
Those two profiles consist of the brand’s best customers in terms of retention and as well as the influencers for your brand. No other social platform in existence reaches the reported 1.6 billion people that Facebook manages to reach. In most instances even some brands that have thousands upon thousands of likes would be lucky to gather a small viewing for some of their first Facebook Live broadcast experiments.
With all of that being said the learning lesson here is that if you spend an excess amount time and put too much effort into the broadcast without targeting two key areas which would be customer retention and influence marketing. If you haven’t targeted your key factors it can be said that the time and effort put into the broadcast does not justify the overall cost. This isn’t one of the avenues that you can just run a simple check mark on your marketing list and expect guaranteed success out of the box.
I think it’s important to say that even though the potential is there, in terms of enhancing customer retention and influence marketing initiatives. This does not mean that Facebook Live is going to replace your businesses advertising budget for the coming years. This is hands down one of the more interesting platforms to come across marketers and advertisers, but with all the built up hype. Is this the train that you run out and hop onto? Not in all scenarios. Utilize it more when it fits in the time and place, careful not to fall for the hype.
Do you think that other social platforms will follow this new marketing platform with a version of their own? Surely this will showcase to other platforms whether a model of this sort can actually be a strong point for marketers. It could also prove to harm certain aspects of business if not done properly, everyone is a guinea pig in this case and only time will tell whether this is a powerful avenue or a poisonous trail.
Author: Zack Rivera, Marketing Advisor
I have been with That! Company going on four years now, with my background being specifically in four core aspects of marketing: Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing and Reputation Management. My duty is to develop agency to agency relationships and build strategies for incoming prospects.