Brands are always looking for new ways to use social media to reach current and prospective customers. One of the latest trends is the use of live video to create an immediate, immersive experience that can be done from anywhere, at any time, with tools like Facebook Live. Facebook Live allows brands and users to broadcast themselves and interact with viewers in real time. Not only is it free to use, but all you need is a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection to get started.

The influence of broadcasts through Facebook Live has been shown to keep audiences engaged and in charge of the content they want to see. But just because a livestream ends, it doesn’t mean the video is gone for good. It is still accessible on a brand’s Facebook page. Many of the streaming videos reach well beyond the live audience, gaining attention from several different social and media outlets. Here are a few examples.

‘Game of Thrones’ Makes an Announcement

The highly anticipated announcement for the “Game of Thrones” seventh season premiere date was released in a way that put the audience in charge. HBO used Facebook Live to encourage interaction by telling viewers that if they commented “fire” or “Dracarys!” (known as “dragon fire” in the fantasy epic), a giant flamethrower projected at a block of ice would cause it to melt. So the more people who commented, the closer viewers got to the release date.

In just 10½ minutes, loyal and dedicated fans had commented so much, the video malfunctioned and the broadcast cut out, which left viewers hanging. Luckily, the video eventually rebooted, flames were thrown and the release date was revealed. More than 3.6 million views watched the broadcast just to see ice melt – literally.

Benefit Cosmetics Creates a Series

Some brands use live video to create weekly series that broadcast on a set date and time. It’s a concept similar to TV. Shows have a schedule so people get in the habit of tuning in and make it part of their routine.

Beauty product company Benefit hosts a series called “Tipsy Tricks” every Thursday on Facebook. The cosmetic brand can engage with its audiences during the broadcast, taking polls of what products or types of videos the fans would like to see. This keeps the audiences in control and, ultimately, happy.

BuzzFeed Boosts Engagement With Election Countdown

An update to Facebook’s algorithm in fall 2016 prioritized live video, giving it a natural boost to a page’s organic reach. The algorithm change also made it so that a user who watches or engages with the Facebook Live stream will now see more of the brand’s other posts in his or her news feed.

BuzzFeed took advantage of the algorithm change and the buzz following the 2016 presidential election by creating a “2020 Election Countdown.” On the broadcast, viewers can watch a live ticker count down the number of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and even seconds until the next election in real time. The live video has more than 55 million views, and those who have watched the broadcast have likely now been exposed to additional BuzzFeed content as a result.

Facebook Live can have a big impact on your social media presence if used correctly. Live video adds a degree of intimacy and authenticity that helps people connect to a brand on a new level. Need help figuring out what you can do for your brand on Facebook Live? Contact SKAR today.

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