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14 November 2016, 09:50

The future of Facebook Live

When Mark Zuckerberg went live on Facebook on 6 April 2016, clad in his signature grey t-shirt and jeans, he caught the attention of 7.3 million viewers. He was promoting the launch of Facebook Live. Perched on a desk in the ‘live video launch room’ at Facebook HQ, he chatted casually with followers, talking directly into a hand-held smartphone camera, and watching as real-time waves of Wows, Loves, Likes, comments and shares came flooding in.

FacebookLive is “this new, really raw, personal, spontaneous way that people can share,” he said. “It’s not just people taking a video and sharing it – it’s interactive.” We marketers know that connecting with users on a human level is imperative to building brand loyalty – even more so if you can do it in realtime. Well, Facebook Live lets you do just that: removing the corporate mask and letting users instantly collaborate on the video you’re streaming.

Facebook’s move towards promoting live and in-the-moment content has seen multiple brands jump on the live-streaming bandwagon – and for good reason. Facebook Live enables us to monitor brand engagement in a way that simply isn’t possible with Periscope, YouTube Live and (when it was still around) Meerkat. We’re able to see users’ reactions in real time and pinpoint the exact moments they did and didn’t like. Pretty cool, huh?

Here are just some of the ways brands have used Facebook Live to make their users feel part of the action.

Who dunnit

Crime TV channel Alibi created an interactive murder mystery story to promote a new crime drama, which it live-streamed on Facebook Live. The hour-long story, Framed, was filmed through the eyes of a security guard, who had just discovered a dead body and had to piece together the clues around him. Viewers were invited to comment on the video with suggestions of what the guard should do, in order to help him to solve the grizzly mystery.

Going off-road

Land Rover used Facebook Live to live-stream a test drive of its new Range Rover Evoque. This not only enabled the brand to show off the features and performance of its car,but also to inject a hint of playfulness into its social-media marketing – connecting with customers by putting them in the driving seat and giving them a taste of the experience. Using Facebook Live to promote a product builds excitement and intrigue, not just because of the actual video, but also due to the buzz created by real-time comments and reactions.

Talking fashion

Live-streaming is the perfect tool for the fashion world – an industry in which customers are almost entirely driven by visual appeal. It is already widely used to broadcast live footage from catwalks and photoshoots. Grazia UK uses Facebook Live to stream regular Q&A sessions at the magazine’s HQ, where users can comment with questions for the presenters. This behind-the-scenes insight encourages users to invest more deeply in your brand.

Up against the clock

Users love seeing into the day-to-day lives of their favourite brands – whether it’s getting a peek into the office, seeing the people who work there or getting a taste for the company culture. ASOS used Facebook Live to do just this: the team was challenged to dress one of its models in 100 layers of garments in just 30 minutes. To help them do so, users were asked to comment on the live video with suggestions of what item should be put on next.

Putting on a good show with Facebook Live

The best (and worst) thing about Facebook Live is that there’s nowhere to hide. Your brand is completely exposed to the viewers that are watching. This is a great way to build trust, as consumers enjoy the imperfect, raw and unpredictable nature of live video. Rather than writing a rigid script and freaking out if something goes wrong, be open-minded: show your users that you’re ready to improvise (oh, and remember to listen to your users’ comments).

Facebook Live is an exciting and powerful engagement tool, so knowing how best to use it means you need to have a good overview of the digital landscape.  We’ve helped our clients add it to their marketing mix and are seeing some fascinating results.

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