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Now on air: All you need to know about “Facebook Live” video streaming

By Julie Molloy, Head of Marketing 27 April, 2016

If you’ve got the Facebook App on your phone, chances are you’ll have tapped on the notifications icon thinking you’ve got a new like or comment from a friend – then found out that it was instead a Live video.

Why shouldn’t you ignore this notification like you usually ignore the ones telling you about people’s birthdays? Because Facebook Live is the next big step your business needs to take in social media marketing.

What Is Facebook Live?

It’s a new feature for Facebook, allowing users to stream live videos that can get commented on as the streaming is happening. These videos can then be saved and posted to the timeline, to be watched and shared later.

Facebook Live isn’t entirely new – it was actually launched back in August 2015, but was only available to celebrities through its Mentions app. Originally, Mentions was created as a way to help popular VIPs monitor and respond to the mountain of notifications and mentions they receive – a way to rival Twitter, which was revolutionary in the manner that it allowed stars to speak directly to their fans on a daily basis.

Now on air: All you need to know about “Facebook Live” video streaming

On the 6th April 2016, Facebook announced that “Live” has now been rolled out en masse – no doubt in a move to rival Twitter again, specifically by going up against Periscope. And that’s not just on individual Facebook profiles or brand Pages either, you can also stream from Events and Groups – as long as you have the necessary hardware to do so. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s easy – just fire up your Facebook app and see for yourself!

Now on air: All you need to know about “Facebook Live” video streaming

Why Are Streams Invading Your Feed?

Possibly because you have very keen Facebook Friends, but more likely because the majority of brands who have used this so far have been news publishers that you or your Friends probably follow – such as The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, The Guardian, and Vice.

Facebook has been making financial deals with media partners, paying them to use this new feature. Re/code has reported that the New York Times, Buzzfeed, and the Huffington Post among others are getting paid to produce Live streams. This is a sure-fire way to get noticed by users, as each of the companies mentioned have anywhere from 5 to 11 million Fans on Facebook (a sizeable reach, considering there are 8.5 million people living in London, for example).

Is It Working?

You’ll know this if you popped in for a peek at their Exploding Watermelon Live Video, and witnessed the endless stream of comments that received. This live stream got over 10 million views and 320,000 comments. So yes, we would say it is very much worthwhile, especially for larger media companies.

Now on air: All you need to know about “Facebook Live” video streaming

Any media company that has the resources to do so has already jumped on the Live bandwagon, and so they should. “Live” is clearly a top priority for Facebook at the moment, and it is beyond doubt that they are doing everything in their power to push visibility for this new feature, and therefore the news companies that use it along with it.

The sad passing of Prince last week is a prime example of how Facebook is boosting the visibility of this new feature. It was a “trending topic” that went Live – with Facebook curating related Live broadcasts from media companies like USA Today, Daily Mail, and Fox 8 News Cleveland.

Now on air: All you need to know about “Facebook Live” video streaming

Should You Start Thinking About This As A Marketer?

Yes, and we can’t stress that enough.

Considering the fact that social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined, and that companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-users, not investing on video marketing is a mistake – and not taking advantage of Facebook Live will quickly put your company behind the times.

Video marketing isn’t limited to B2C companies, either – it has been reported that 96% of B2B organisations already use video as part of their online marketing in 2016, and that 73% of B2B marketers have reported positive results as a direct consequence.

If your resources allow it, Live is a great way to connect with your users. It’s essentially what Facebook and Twitter chats try to emulate: live conversations with actual human beings who represent a brand. As such, it’s one of the best ways yet to humanise a company.

So if you’ve moved Heaven and Earth to get your company on Snapchat thinking that you’d be good for a while for social media innovations, think again. Facebook Live is the next place you’ll want to be, and soon.

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