Facebook released it’s newest feature last month, Facebook Live. “Live lets you show the people you care about what you’re seeing in real time — whether you’re visiting a new place, cooking your favorite recipe, or just want to share some thoughts. No matter where you are, Live lets you bring your friends and family right next to you to experience what’s happening together.”
Facebook Live has been rolling out for several months now. It started with verified public figures and then to select people like athletes, politicians and influencers and now to all verified pages. But what does this mean for brands? This is a great idea for brands to tune in with live cultural events and allow brands to connect with their audience on a more personal level. There are several challenges and several benefits to Facebook Live, but let’s talk about the opportunities first.
Retail or beauty brands can take advantage of red carpet events, fashion week or collaborations by doing a Facebook Live stream of Q and A’s, backstage, how to’s, etc. Technology brands can utilize this new feature with concerts, music festivals or sporting events. Going behind the scenes to see something they can’t see anywhere else is a great incentive to get people to tune in and engage with the brand. Even travel brands can host Facebook Live event showcasing different destination locations, places to visit while travelling like restaurants, shopping, etc.
With any live stream, there is a lot of planning that needs to go into it both on the production side, but also on the execution side. Every detail needs to be planned and every possible circumstance or mistake needs to have a solution before it happens, including the strength of the Internet connection while streaming on the go.
Because this is platform specific content, it can be rather expensive and might not be able to be used effectively on other platforms. But, the biggest challenge would be getting people to tune in and getting people to return next time the brand does go live.
The scale of Facebook is much larger than any other live stream network, for example Periscope. So the possibility of people tuning in to watch is greater on Facebook than any other channel. But do people think of Facebook first when they think about live video? That may be a hurdle Facebook has to get over in the mindset of the user.
There is great benefit of doing a live stream over a regular video. It is highly interactive and engaging and it’s a new way to connect with the brand’s audience. After the live stream is over the video is published to the page’s timeline for people unavailable to tune in.
Another benefit is you can see how many people are watching and invite them to subscribe and be notified for the next live stream.
While Facebook has never been great at real-time content due to its filtered News Feed, it’s worked to make sure Live broadcasts reach viewers while they’re still in progress. Although the challenges seem just as high as the benefits, Facebook Live might the next big thing for your brand or client.