How Brands Are Using Facebook Live to Connect with Customers

Ever dreamed of the chance to shout the iconic “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”? Well, that may still be out of reach. The good news, though, is that broadcasting before a live audience has never been easier. With a little planning, you could be reaching an audience almost as large as an SNL episode.

Facebook Live lets you stream–you guessed it!–live video, completely in real time, to your followers. It gives you a chance to break the fourth wall between you and your customers, sharing the unedited, real-life version of you. Nothing warms people to a brand more than authenticity, and Facebook Live is a great medium to convey yours to your followers.

What’s in it for You?

Stephanie Abrams Cartin and Courtney Spritzer are co-founders of Socialfly, a New York-based social media and marketing agency. They get straight to the point with the importance of video for your brand:“Let’s get clear: if your brand isn’t already creating video content for social, it’s behind the times…it’s more important than ever to produce video content if you want to stay relevant and keep up with your competition.”

“Let’s get clear: if your brand isn’t already creating video content for social, it’s behind the times…it’s more important than ever to produce video content if you want to stay relevant and keep up with your competition.”

Cartin and Spritzer are right. When it comes to engagement and sharing, video outpaces everything else. Video solutions provider Brightcove reports that social video generates 1,200% more shares than images or text combined. Combined!

Facebook Live takes advantage of people’s love of video, giving everyone the opportunity to connect in a compelling way. And with Facebook’s 1.23 billion daily active users, well…it’s kind of like shooting fish in a barrel.

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It’s Not (Just) Personal

Creating personal relationships with your consumers is important, but don’t think Facebook Live’s purpose is limited to that. Live video increases your chances of breaking through to an audience overwhelmed by other types of content. Facebook shared in a blog post that people are three times more likely to watch a video if it’s live. Consequently, Facebook’s algorithm ranks live videos higher in the newsfeed—meaning you’ll get far more attention from a live video than from a status update or cute photo.

76.5% of marketers and small business owners who have used video marketing said it had a direct and positive impact on their business, according to a recent Animoto survey. If you’re interested in finding ways to reach your audience and extend awareness of your brand, Facebook Live is a powerful tool to help you do that. Equip yourself with some of these strategies, and don’t forget to smile!

Let Your Comments Be Your Guide

A great way to use Facebook Live for your business is to talk about what your customers are interested in. Maybe you recently wrote something for your blog and were bombarded with questions and comments. Great! Why not schedule a Facebook Live session and answer their questions over video? You can also read their comments as they come in during your stream, fostering an increased spirit of community between you and your following.

Makeup powerhouse Benefit does this well in their weekly “Tipsy Tricks.” The host polls the audience to determine which product they’d like to see them use in the makeup look they’re creating, allowing viewers to have a direct hand in the video’s direction. Being able to have a conversation like that through live streaming is an excellent way to foster brand loyalty, which is priceless.

Behind the Scenes Streaming

Go behind the scenes of your business! Is it time to make the donuts? Dunkin’ Donuts thought you’d like to watch, and more than 36,000 viewers tuned in to see donuts being made.

Want people to see how hilarious your company’s culture is? Check out Buzzfeed’s infamous watermelon video, where the peak of its 45-minute runtime saw 807,000 viewers tuning in.

Don’t be afraid to hit that Live button–people love watching things that are typically off limits to them, or that make them laugh. It can be a powerful bonding experience for your audience to see what you love and who you are in real-time.

V.I.P. Treatment

Product launches are exciting, and often, very exclusive. Traditionally, only VIPs and the press were granted access to these lux affairs. How cool would it be to feel like a VIP yourself by being given an invitation to a fancy event?

With a Facebook Live stream, you can invite all of your followers to your product launch, making them feel special and extra-valued. Show off your new product, and explain exactly how it will change your viewer’s lives for the better. Hold a Q&A where you let your customers lead the conversation. Answer their questions, find out how they feel about your product, and let them know their thoughts matter!

Still not sure? Chevrolet’s live stream unveiling the 2017 Bolt EV attracted over 55,000 views, showing how the platform can be used for a new product launch.

Pretty good numbers for a real-time event!

And… (Take) Action!

If you decide your marketing strategy will include Facebook Live, consider how you will engage with your audience during the broadcast. Besides creating a more personal connection with your audience, creating engagement is one of the primary ways to make sure your Live broadcast shows up in other people’s news feeds and increases your brand’s reach.

  • Ask people to Like and share your live broadcast multiple times during the show. The more people who Like and share your live broadcast, the more it’ll show up in people’s News Feeds.
  • Encourage people to ask questions and answer them live. The number of comments on your broadcast is another way to get Facebook to display your live broadcast on more people’s News Feeds.
  • Ask your viewers to subscribe to live notifications by instructing them to click the small, downward-facing arrow in the top right-hand corner of the post, and choose “Turn On Notifications.” This will make it more likely that they will be notified of your next live broadcast.

So, now you know what Facebook Live is, why you should use it, and you’re well equipped with strategies for launching a super-successful video. If you decide to go for it, it can be a great tool to incorporate into your marketing and social media strategy. Don’t forget that more engagement and interaction with your audience is always a good thing. Good luck getting into that director’s chair. You’re going to nail it!

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