This week, I’m continuing on the video theme with a look at the new “Facebook Live” video streaming feature. This thing has awesome marketing opportunity written all over it.
I woke up last Saturday morning to my son using Facebook Live to watch a live broadcast of the longboarding Top Speed Challenge being held in Quebec that weekend. It was pretty cool to see a demo of how it all worked. I love learning from an18 year old! Plus, having become a bit of a longboard racing groupie, and knowing many of the competitors and their families while traveling with my son, it was really fun to see all these athletes doing what they love.
One of his good friends, Emily Pross, was broadcasting. She’s the #1 female in the world in IDF rankings (and a respectable 6th in men’s open) so she has a sizeable following on Facebook (1,425 followers, 5,000 friends on her personal page, and in excess of 2,275 likes on here athlete’s page). She’s rock in’ social media. Her broadcast had attracted 93 comments, 4 shares and over 1,000 views. Remember, this is a feature that was only launched by Facebook at the end of August, and available in the most recent update on Sept 1, 2016. She is what I would consider an “early adopter” with a pretty decent following.
Online video consumption and in-the-moment updates are huge trends in the social media space. If you haven’t updated Facebook recently, go to the APP store and download it. Otherwise, you won’t see the features I’m about to tell you about. You’ll need iOS 8.0 or later.
By tapping the live stream icon, you can start broadcasting video live from your Smartphone and write a description of the event. Right now any users following you will have the ability to “tune in” to the broadcast, and in fact they will get a notification that you are “broadcasting live.” The maximum time for a broadcast is 90 minutes. Most will likely be shorter, but you’ll want to be on long enough to give people an opportunity to know you’re live and to then interact with them. Like Periscope, viewers can post comments and questions that you’ll see, or send “likes, hearts and icons” that float across the screen. The key difference and advantage of Facebook Live over Periscope is the ability for the video to be retrieved at any time plus many people already have a significant audience on the platform. That’s a major plus.
So how might you use this as a marketing tool?
- Live stream a seminar
- Interact with attendees at a conference
- Share a product launch
- Make a major announcement
- Interview a leader in your industry
- Broadcast an event
There are a handful of best practices you should keep in mind too:
1. Attract more followers to your platform
Follows on your personal page, or likes on a business page are what you want lots of, since they will be notified when you go live with a broadcast
2. Post in advance your planned broadcast
Include topic, date, and time. Tease them with your content. You’re basically making an ad for your broadcast. Be clever and grab them!
3. Have a strong connection
It goes without saying that you need a solid, reliable connection. Use Wi-Fi if possible. It’s usually reliable, and you won’t be billed for data use!
4. Write a good headline
You want a compelling headline and description. That is what will get people to tune in and participate.
5. Engage your viewers
This is not a one way broadcast. You can get feedback, see peoples names and respond to questions. Make it personal and acknowledge those on the call. They’re likely to return for future broadcasts.
I intend to play with this feature myself over the coming weeks. I would LOVE to hear if you’ve given it a go, or if this has caused you to look at Facebook Live more closely. Leave a comment below!
And for the record, Kyle Wester smashed the previous longboard speed record recently going 143.8km (89.4 miles/hr) in Colorado. Now the chatter within the longboard race community is if someone can crack 100 miles/hr. Have a think about what that would feel like on a skateboard next time you’re barreling down the highway in your car!