What We Learned From Using Facebook Live

Facebook Live is the new hot trend on social media, but marketers have been slow to adopt this powerful format. We wanted to see if Facebook Live was all it was cracked up to be, so we took to the cameras to experiment. Going in we expected to get higher reach but we had no idea how the results would stack up against our other content. The results really speak for themselves! Read on to learn about our findings and discover why it’s worth it to live stream on Facebook.

What We Did Right and What We Can Improve On

Finding employee advocates that are enthusiastic about going on air can be a challenge. Seeing that we marketers are not professional actors, you can imagine how nerve-wracking it can be to speak in front of the camera. But as we have learned there may be rising stars amongst your ranks!

Just remember that becoming comfortable in front of the camera takes time, and you may not get it perfectly right on your first couple of tries. But that is completely okay! In fact, it’s one of the reasons audiences are drawn to live content. Your broadcast is special because it is unscripted and authentic after all this formula works best on social media.


After our broadcast, we were able to reflect on our performance and give each other constructive feedback. We rewatched the video and found that there were many parts we did well, but of course, there were areas where we could improve.

We never realized how important looking at the camera is during a livestream. Since our particular video was a discussion between two people, it was very natural to look at each other rather than at the intimidating lens of a camera. Looking at the camera is just one small change that can really affect how your audience feels about your video. Body language is just as important on screen as it is off-screen. The simple act of making eye contact with your audience can make them feel like they are a part of the action, so it’s important to be mindful of this when you go live.

Our Live Advice in a Nutshell:

  • Making mistakes is okay! In fact, without making any mistakes you won’t be able to identify how you can improve in the future. 
  • Eye contact is still important. Though it’s easy to want to shy away from the glaring lens staring through your soul, your audience will feel like you aren’t speaking to them if you don’t break the wall every once in awhile. 
  • Asking your audience questions helps engage your audience and lets them know that their voices are being heard. And of course, encouraging users to comment helps increase interactions while encouraging other users to join in the conversation! 
  • Location matters. Before you go live stake out a good location in your office. You’ll want to make sure that the lighting is good and the mood is right. A great spot will have some activity in the background but it won’t steal the show. 
  • Practice makes perfect. Always access your strengths and weaknesses after every livestream and measure your results. 

Facebook Live Videos Outperform All Other Content

When it came to breaking down our own post performance, we noticed that a clear content format always came out on top. Our most recent Facebook Live broadcast doesn’t even compare to other post formats we used. You can clearly see the vast difference in the number of interactions over a 72 hour period when comparing our Facebook Live post to a Facebook Note, and Link post. And what’s more impressive? The post was 100% organic. Just imagine how the post would have performed if it were promoted! 


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But it’s not only about interactions! When looking at our social media content over the past month, a clear pattern emerges. You can see that whenever we posted a Facebook Live video, our Organic Reach shot up by the thousands. To our surprise, all major spikes in the chart below were caused by a single unpromoted live broadcast. Though our native videos require extensive preparation and editing, they don’t even come close to our off the cuff videos, which are able to reach more of our audience.


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Brands Favor Native Video Over Live Video on Facebook

Though Facebook Live made its debut back in 2016 - marketers have struggled to make the new format a part of their social media strategy. In fact, when it comes to Facebook video formats, Native Video continues to dominate. We analyzed 1,000 of the largest top-performing brands and found that 85% of all posts were done natively compared to just 17.7% of videos that were broadcasted live.


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Of course, it’s easy to understand why brands have been reluctant to embrace Facebook Live as a new format. Understandably, live video content is often unscripted and unpredictable. Though these are two things brands may fear most, they are exactly the same reasons why they work so well on social media.

Audiences appreciate being able to interact with their most loved brands in real-time. This can even be seen when comparing the engagement of live content vs native. To put it into perspective, Live videos on Facebook alone generate 6x more engagement than native videos. And from our personal experience, we can confirm that this stat rings true!

Takeaway

More and more audiences are seeking out live streamed content on Facebook, and it’s up to brands to meet this demand. While there are risks involved with any content broadcasted in real-time, it also opens up a tremendous amount of room for creativity. There are so many ways marketers can leverage live video to positively showcase their brand and better connect with their community - from contests to Q and A’s - the possibilities are endless.

We can predict that Facebook Live will become even more important to social media marketers as the News Feed undergoes algorithm changes. To stay relevant marketers will need to reevaluate their social media strategy. Mark Zuckerberg has stressed the importance of prioritizing content that sparks meaningful conversations - and what better way to do that than with the power of live video? If you still aren’t sure how your brand can make the most out Facebook Live video you can download our cheat sheet for quick do’s and don'ts.



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