The growth of videos on social media platforms over the past two years has been unprecedented. As a result, companies are racing one another to get in the game, and keep their social media marketing strategies relevant. 2015 marked the year where platforms like Periscope and Snapchat grew quickly. This was just an early sign of the things to come.
Facebook Live is basically a live video streaming service that allows you to broadcast straight from your tablet or phone onto your audience’s news feed. The platform has a great feature where you can specify your audience and not make every video public. Another point of difference, which is also an advantage, is that your videos never get deleted. On Snapchat, a video quickly disappears for good after it has been watched, but on Facebook Live, once the event has ended the video remains on your timeline.
Abel Sparks, a marketing expert from SEO Services USA says,
“We have just begun to scratch the surface with respect to live content. This method of communication will probably grow to dominate all forms of social media interaction in a few years.”
So how do you as a marketer, brand or company integrate Facebook Live into your SMM strategy? Well, there are a plethora of ways you can accomplish this with amazing success. Let’s jump into some ideas!
Brand Personality aspects are very important as they form a bond between you and your audience. A large part of fostering a favorable relationship is transparency. Using Facebook Live, you can engage your audience on a higher, more natural level. We often see “behind the scenes” documentaries on news channels, and using Facebook Live your brand can provide an in-depth look into the daily life of your employees.
It is a great way to use the platform, as your audience can see real people working very hard behind the scenes doing interesting work in real-time. People can relate better to people rather than just bricks, mortar and discount coupons.
The example below shows Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg talking to his audience from an event.
Videos like these give the audience insight into an event. It enables you to enrich the content as well as the context. You can also throw in some new information about products and upcoming technology like Zuckerberg does in the video.
If you are a brand or company, there is probably either a product (tangible or intangible) or a service you are marketing. You can take advantage of Facebook Live to show your audience how they can make use of your products correctly. You can share any neat little tips and tricks to advance their skills as well.
The example below shows the famous news channel CNN taking advantage of the platform to address the concerns surrounding the Zika Virus.
A great way to captivate audiences is to invite guests during information sessions like CNN have done with Dr Sanjay Gupta. This boosts credibility massively. When you are planning your SMM strategy, try to get the guests you invite to any event onto Facebook Live, too. You can gain the benefits of increasing awareness of your event as well as providing knowledge from celebrity level sources.
A successful brand or company always has multiple social media channels. If you don’t, it’s the first thing you must do! Make use of other social media channels to remind audiences of upcoming Facebook Live sessions.
Take a look at Reuters making use of Twitter, to tell audiences about the session with Michael Shara from the astrophysics department.
A key point to bear in mind is that you need to mention the topic before you try to link out to another platform. This is done to grab their attention. The above example shows Reuters clearly displaying the subject of the Facebook Live session.
Audience engagement was already touched upon before, but there is definitely more you can do. The live stream of comments flowing during a live session can be invaluable. You can ask your audience about topics they would like you to elaborate on, or even stuff they would like to see in the next session. This way, you can ensure you put out content that is interesting to your audience, and not you alone.
You can build a very positive relationship with your audience, by calling them out by name and responding to comments. At this point, you might be wondering about the quality of these comments, since you see people using fake profiles to spam comment sections about buying or viewing stuff irrelevant to the post.
Well, the editor of Social Media for the BBC, Mark Frankel mentions that the quality of comments during a Facebook Live session is very high.
Make sure you post videos as frequently as possible. You can turn it into a show where people can tune in at the same time every day and watch your content. Soccer AM, for instance, is a Facebook page that isn’t shy about putting out video and live video content very frequently.
The length of the videos can be fairly subjective to the material involved. Facebook has recently increased the max length from a mere 90 minutes to a whopping 24 hrs. If you are providing tutorials to the thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers you have amassed, then try to make sure the video is at least 15 to 20 mins long. This will give your audience the chance to tune in gradually. This way they also have the chance to share the link with their friends before you talk about the good stuff.
Facebook Videos have more organic reach nowadays than any other form of content. Facebook guys are constantly tweaking their design and news feeds to make sure you get new features. You must do the same with your own Social Media Strategy. Social Media Marketing can be extremely difficult, or extremely easy. So make sure you get people who are comfortable operating a camera at all times.
Good luck with your efforts! Remember, the aim is to thrive, not just survive.
Chris is a marketing specialist and a blogger from California. When not eating hot dogs and rooting for Lakers, he loves exploring the Digital World and helping others to embark on their own digitaladventures. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.