Facebook Live Decoded

Facebook Live Decoded

November 12, 2016

Growing Your Business with Facebook Live

Last year, you may have begun to see certain large, geologically-named celebrities (looking at you, The Rock) streaming live content in your Facebook feed. Then your friends may have begun streaming their everyday journeys. In March, you may have noticed the opportunity to watch live videos more prominently in your newsfeed. More recently, you might have tried reacting to live videos and found that you can now “love,” “laugh,” and “appear shocked,” to name a few. This month, you might have seen the new video hub on Facebook mobile. And then of course, you may have read about the F8 summit and Facebook’s announcement that live streaming would now be open to all devices, including drones and hi-def cameras. But what does that mean for you, a small business or individual?

Choose Your Content Wisely

The algorithm change announced in March to show live-streaming videos more frequently in your followers’ newsfeeds is only helpful to you if you have meaningful content to share. So as an individual or small business, you need to be more selective and deliberate in choosing what content you stream live, rather than less. Because the algorithm will show live content at a higher frequency, your followers have a better chance of seeing it. Meaning, if you’re putting out content that’s not your best, your followers have a higher chance of seeing it, which could lead to unfollows. Your best bet is to choose deliberate, meaningful content to stream live in order to garner the best reactions. Announce your live-streaming times beforehand to help grow your audience and be sure to follow up your live stream with a recap and link to the video.

Do Your Research

Before beginning a live broadcast, look up best practices for creating live video, and make sure you understand how the platform works. Facebook allows you to take live video using both the front and back cameras on your phone, and with the advent of other devices, your options are pretty much unlimited. Similar to a regular post, you can also add copy to your live broadcast describing the topic. Once the video is live on your wall, you can go back and edit your video. Learn what your options are and how to make the most out of your live broadcast. Check out these tips from Social Media Examiner to help you get started.

Know You’re Not Competing with TV

Although there’s been some buzz about Facebook Live eventually attracting live-streaming television, director of product at Facebook responsible for overseeing Facebook Live Fidji Simo says that Live is not competing with traditional television. The focus now is on user experience, says Simo. She did note that Facebook Live could potentially supplement traditional television. For example, there have been a number of cases where TV journalists have gone live after their traditional broadcast to expand on a story they were covering. Currently, however, there’s no ad play to tempt TV marketers, and Simo doesn’t see that happening any time soon.

Founder/CEO of Deep Focus Ian Schaefer agrees. Although there may be some demand for certain live events, like sports (Twitter has already nabbed the rights to live stream Thursday Night Football in the fall in conjunction with the NFL), Schaefer is unclear whether there is any interest in premium live content beyond that. “The push for live is bizarre,” he says, “because there’s not really much precedent outside of sports for there to be any kind of money to be made from streaming live video. There’s not much that indicates to me that a generation that’s going mobile is going to be doing more live-show watching.”

So rest easy. You may be competing with larger brands and bigger marketing budgets, but Facebook Live hasn’t reached the deep pockets of TV advertisers, yet.


The takeaway: Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to see what we’re doing with Facebook Live! Share your live journeys with us and we might just return the favor.

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