It wasn’t that long ago when the world watched as the popularity of Snapchat and Periscope escalated to unprecedented heights in 2015. Then we watched, and many of us participated in, the rise of Blab just in time for it to fail. Through it all, one thing became clear – live streaming video wasn’t just a temporary, fleeting interest. It was the future.
Facebook Live vs. Snapchat Stories
Many people are quick to draw comparisons between Facebook Live and Snapchat Stories, largely because they’re both easy to use, but they’re entirely different platforms. Facebook Live allows you to stream live video on your company’s Facebook page for up to 90 uninterrupted minutes while you can post 1-10 seconds-long pictures and short clips using Snapchat Stories. While the videos you post using Facebook Live will remain on your Facebook page until you remove them, the content you share using Snapchat Stories will disappear 24 hours after you post it.
While those are significant differences between the two social media outlets, the biggest difference between Facebook and Snapchat is arguably user engagement. According to “Business Insider,” Facebook has a daily engagement rate of about 40 minutes for people in the U.S. while Snapchat’s engagement rate is only 25-30 minutes per day. That difference in engagement is a significant reason why Facebook Live should be your first choice when it comes to promoting your business on social media.
Facebook Live: The Beginning
With well over one billion regular users, there isn’t much that escapes the attention of Facebook when it comes to engaging users on social media. Research shows that social videos are shared 1,200 percent more than static images and text. It also reveals that viewers watch live videos 300 percent longer than they watch clips that were pre-recorded.
In 2014, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, predicted that the majority of Facebook’s content would be video-based within five years. We’re now just past the halfway point since Zuckerberg made his prediction in November 2014 and it seems as if the billionaire’s soothsaying was spot on.
By the end of 2015, the number of videos posts on Facebook had increased 75 percent per person on a global scale. In the United States, the number of videos uploaded to Facebook increased even more, at a rate of 94 percent per person.
With video quickly becoming increasingly popular and with the success other social media platforms had with live streaming, albeit briefly in some cases, Zuckerberg and his staff launched Facebook Live in 2015. Initially accessible by only select Facebook users, Facebook Live is now available to users around the world.
Facebook Live: A Valuable Business Tool
Since its launch, Facebook Live has become a valuable tool for businesses to engage with their clients and prospects, partially because it’s easy to use. All you need to use this increasingly popular platform is a video camera, a Facebook account, and access to the Internet.
Another reason Facebook Live is valuable for businesses is that it doesn’t require a costly, professionally shot video. In general, Facebook Live lets consumers see businessmen and women in real-time as they actually are on a regular basis, which makes them and the brand they represent more relatable and, in some cases, more likeable.
With Facebook Live, viewers are able to react to parts of a video, which makes it easy for businesses to determine what pieces of their messaging are truly resonating with consumers. Once a video is livestreamed, it remains on the creator’s Facebook page so people can watch it later and/or share it with their friends, which increases the potential reach that Facebook Live has for businesses of all sizes across industries.
Facebook Live: How to Use It for Your Business
As you can imagine, there are many ways you can use Facebook Live to promote your brand. If you’re eager to tap into the potential that this platform has for your company, here are three ways you can get started:
- Answer Frequently Asked Questions: The odds are good that your customer service team answers some key questions about your products or services over and over again. If you know the inquiries your team responds to most often, you can use Facebook Live to answer them for a broad base of consumers. Your video won’t just be a one-off clip that has little lasting value because consumers as well as your customer service representatives will be able to refer to your video at any point of the future to get the information they need.
- Provide an Inside Look: As a general rule, people enjoy having access to information that others don’t. You can show consumers what it’s like to work at your place of business by sharing behind the scenes content in real-time using Facebook Live. You can share a rare look behind the scenes with all of your Facebook followers or you can share your video with certain groups of prospective viewers exclusively.
- Host Events: Whether you’re introducing a new product or service, giving a presentation, receiving an award or something else, you can live stream the event so viewers can participate in it without being physically on site.
If you’re going to use Facebook Live to engage your customers, but need a little help with strategy or implementation, contact the top social media marketing agency that’s closest to you.