Facebook Live: A New Opportunity for Social Media Engagement

Facebook Live is now…well, live! As of April 2016, this feature is available to all users of the social media platform, after being rolled out only to select users in December 2015. This streaming service has some great perks, and a few companies are already taking advantage.

What’s so great about it?

To start, users can make Facebook Live broadcasts from anywhere. Any user who has a Facebook app installed on their smartphone can start a live stream, bringing followers along on their adventures. Because viewers know anything can happen in a live broadcast, this leads to greater viewer engagement than pre-recorded video.

The feature also allows users to interact in real time with their viewers, responding to questions and requests as they are posted.

Finally, the video is still viewable after the live broadcast is over. Followers can watch it at their convenience and share it with their friends. Users can also repurpose Facebook Live videos for other platforms. This is particularly useful for users who depend on followers from multiple social media channels.

Corporate Marketing with Facebook Live

Several companies have already seen the potential of this feature and utilized it to their advantage.

Dunkin’ Donuts reported a strong, positive response after using Facebook live to give their followers a behind-the-scenes tour of their kitchens. Results showed greater engagement and higher view times than they had observed with pre-recorded video. They used it again on National Donut Day, when one of their chefs created a donut cake in front of the camera.

Mobile food channel Tastemade found Facebook Live to be a natural outlet for some of its creative culinary demonstrations. “We’ve always embraced the opportunity to engage with our audience in very unique and delightful ways,” says programming head Oren Katzeff. The channel’s first venture into the feature showcased real-time latte art, a favorite of coffee aficionados everywhere. They followed this up with other demonstrations, including pancake art, and live broadcasts of their popular show “Tiny Kitchen.” One broadcast resulted in 250,000 live views, with over 3 million views in the following week.

The Young Turks, a popular news and politics channel, have used Facebook Live to broadcast interviews, pre-show content and real-time coverage of rallies and events. “You can feel the energy, and you can see the growth of the live stream. That was pretty interesting,” says chief business officer Steve Oh. Viewer interaction allows the company the valuable ability to see what parts of the live stream viewers are responding to most. “Our strategy’s still forming,” says Oh, “but generally, we want to do as much live content as possible on every platform, including Facebook.”

Insurance Marketing with Facebook Live

That’s great, you’re saying, but how could that be useful to an insurance agent like me?

We are so glad you asked.

Think about anything that a client may come to you for help with. Is it selecting the right auto insurance? Deciding on coverage for their small business? Facebook Live is great for doing tutorials. Since the feature allows you to interact with viewers, you can answer questions as they come in.

You can also build customer engagement by broadcasting your involvement in community events or causes. Volunteer projects, local festivals or even personal hobbies are great candidates for streaming content. Let your followers know that you’re not chained to an office 24/7! Help clients get to know and trust you and your agency.

Facebook Live is a feature that presents wonderful opportunities for businesses to reach new audiences and form more personal relationships with their social media followers. Companies are already utilizing its potential. If you haven’t tried it yet, maybe you should.

–Mallory DuPuy

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