Over the weekend I did some experimenting with Facebook Live Video.
For the uninitiated: Facebook Live is the social network’s live-streaming video functionality. Users can broadcast live videos using their smartphones or tablets. Additionally, live broadcasts can be streamed in Facebook Groups and events.
“Broadcast to the largest audience in the world with the camera in your pocket.” – Facebook
More than likely you’ve come into contact with this numerous times on your newsfeed whether you’ve realized it or not. It’s actually a really cool feature.
Personally, I’ve noticed a lot of travel bloggers and brands utilizing this service more and more and to *seemingly* great success… but I have never actually tried it myself. So what’s the deal with it? Does it work? Having no idea what to expect, I gave it a shot.
These were my findings.
My girlfriend owns and operates a youth musical theatre academy in the Greater Vancouver area. Over the weekend her academy showcased a number of songs from their upcoming musical ‘The Lion King’ at a local community library event. I suggested we livestream the performance directly to her Facebook business page and just see what happens… Our results:
- The entire performance lasted 5m16s.
- The interface, setup, and act of shooting were incredibly easy. Zero technical skills required. I had the app up and running in under 1 minute.
- Upon going live, everyone who followed her page was instantly notified we were live. (Her Facebook page has 328 followers)
- We had around 20 viewers in and out during the livestream, many ‘liking’ or ‘loving’ the stream before popping out. Numerous people left live comments.
- The maximum consecutive viewers we had was 10. Not a ton, but considering it was at 11AM on a Saturday morning we weren’t expecting massive numbers, if any at all!
- It posted immediately to Facebook upon completion for non-live viewing after the performance.
- As of Tuesday of this week (4 days later), the video has 950 views, 52 likes, 12 shares, and 12 comments.
I don’t have the exact Pages Analytics (next time), but this is what the public video is currently showing me as of writing this article.
That’s an enormous amount of engagement for the effort it took to actually create it. We were both very surprised at how well it did.
If she sells even one extra ticket to her upcoming Lion King show, or (even better) picks up a new student for her academy, the ROI is massive compared to the time/effort invested. At minimum, it’s additional social media visibility for her business as well as quick entertainment for the kids and parents who actually watched it.
We will be testing this more in the coming weeks, but in terms of ease of use and engagement, Facebook Live seems very promising.
Audiences today are demanding authenticity more and more from video. It’s no wonder services like Snapchat, Facebook Live, and Instagram are rapidly shifting into this space. Live streaming has no cuts, no polish– just raw unfiltered content. It’s real, and people appreciate and respond to that.
Another added bonus is the interaction – as people tuned in they engaged and left comments on the fly.
As a viewer, how interesting is it to interact with an actual person, social media figure or business in real time and get instantaneous feedback?! In fact just this morning I was asking questions to one of my favourite travel bloggers as she was walking down a beach in the Seychelles, live. Phenomenal.
I will be reporting back later when I test this out in my own business. For now, these results are inspiring. Traditional video still has a paramount and important role in marketing; it’s not going anywhere– but from our initial tests, leveraging live video is a great way of interacting/engaging with fans on an instant and personal level.
Is live social video the future? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Have a killer week,