The latest statistics from Business Insider are in on social media usage. Facebook is still, by far, the most prominent social media application used globally. Within the over 2 billion monthly users on Facebook, there is a growing number of users adopting new engagement habits – especially on smartphone devices. Now, brands that attempt to reach audiences other than just teens and millennials have growth potential in a space where brands can avoid the hassles and hurdles of traditional media. Facebook is embracing that growth by establishing itself as a platform for everyone.
Through the Facebook Live rollout, Facebook has capitalized on smartphone growth by providing brands the opportunity to stream real-time content to these newer audiences. Facebook Live is a function within the mobile application that launched in 2015 as a way for celebrities with verified accounts to reach audiences directly through a live-streamed video platform. Celebrities began using this function for everything from offering behind-the-scenes looks at events to initiating social or political debates in real-time. Now, the function is open to all users who have a Facebook account. Therefore, anyone can stream a live and interactive video feed directly to whoever tunes in.
Taking advantage of this platform’s capabilities on Facebook is a vital tool for standing out against competition in a crowded digital space. Here are the steps brands should take to make Facebook Live a cornerstone of any firm’s social media strategy:
Drawing an Audience to Events
It does not matter the industry nor the size of the marketplace – there is almost always an event that everyone in the industry wants to attend, but cannot make in-person. Facebook Live can make such events more accessible by bringing them to smartphones and computers through an engagement-friendly platform. As a brand, leveraging these events online delivers opportunities to reach a wider audience and establish recognition. According to a PMR Consulting & Research study, “High brand recognition translates into customer loyalty.” In addition, the study illustrates how brand awareness is a dominant factor in purchasing choices.
Bringing a Behind-The-Scenes View of the Company
Consumers want to feel like their values and the company’s values align; the bottom line is they seek out likable brands. People enjoy seeing the behind-the-scenes action of the brands that they regularly interact with. Be it a company picnic, or a virtual office tour, Facebook Live provides a platform for brands to show personality. Facebook Live also allows brands to directly deliver content to their targeted audience.This type of interaction makes consumers feel like they are having a one-on-one experience with the brand. According to the Harvard Business Review, one-on-one interaction and brand likeability can turn an online experience into a strong brand relationship.
Pew research reported after the first year of the Facebook Live rollout, 8 out of 10 online Americans were using Facebook, so why wait to get started?
Five Ways to Get Started Today
For brands that are new to Facebook Live, here are five easy ways to start creating quality content now for your official channel:
- Stream any office celebrations, commemorations or awards ceremonies
- Broadcast events sponsored by the firm (volunteering, luncheons, etc…)
- Use Livestream to do an office tour
- Answer FAQs about the firm or any of its products/services
- Respond to reviews in real-time on the official channel
Facebook Live’s tagline says it all: “Broadcast to the largest audience in the world with the camera in your pocket.” With these concepts in mind, Facebook Live is now a tool that can keep any brand ahead of fierce competition in the new and growing digital spaces of 2017 and beyond.
Caonabo Almonte is a Public Relations & Digital Marketing Intern at Flackable, a national financial public relations and digital marketing agency. Learn more at www.flackable.com. Connect with Caonabo on LinkedIn.