Facebook Live – the benefits of broadcasting your business
The most recent development on Facebook, ‘Facebook Live’, is opening a whole new world of opportunities for businesses to engage with their followers. If you’ve got no idea what Facebook Live is think of it as a live video broadcast. These videos are posted directly to your Facebook page in real-time (almost) – be that your private page or your business page. Like any other Facebook posting, these can be liked and shared by your page followers – and as the administrator you can add tags and adjust privacies to help you get your broadcast to those you want it seen by.
Live, and not so Live
Obviously, your followers aren’t all just sitting on your Facebook page waiting for stuff to be posted – as nice at that would be! To cater for these absentees, once your live event has ended the video is then shown along with your other postings for people to view as and when. Over time your viewing number will rise as more people watch it, like it, comment and share it on their own Facebook wall.
Hopefully you can start to see how this kind of marketing tool could benefit your business and help you to generate social media followers. But what kind of things to people want to see? The answer seems to be pretty much anything! The most viewed Facebook Live is currently “Chewbacca Mom”. (CLICK HERE – and try not to laugh) To date, this has had 166 million views since it first appeared as a Facebook Live. At the time of going live it maybe had only one or two (or none more likely) viewers – but the Facebook Live experience is about sharing things as they happen.
This is obviously not an example of a business using Facebook Live. But what this example should do for you is to demonstrate the potential of Facebook Live. I’m sure you can also imagine the effect this had on the sales of Chewbacca-type masks!
Shrewd businesses are now tapping into this by using Facebook Live to share all kinds of real-time events. The obvious ones are things such as product launches, conferences, exhibition stand tours, product training sessions… or any other event where you would naturally have a live audience. Facebook Live will enable more people to experience these and, more importantly, share their experience with others who might find your content of interest.
Whilst spontaneity is at the heart and soul of this technology, pre-publicising your event will enable you to increase real-time viewers who can engage with you at the time of broadcast. You can actively encourage questions from your viewers at the time and gain valuable feedback – as well as spreading the word about your broadcast and generally scattering your brand amongst their friends and followers too. The only real limitation is that your event can’t be more than 4-hrs long as a single stream.
How to Facebook Live – The basics
In its simplest form, a Facebook Live event can be created using just your mobile phone and the Facebook App. The only other requisite is an uninterrupted and reasonably broad-bandwidth mobile or Wifi connection.
If you want to post something to your private page, simply click the Live button and add the event details as requested. Within a few moments your phone will start sharing its pictures and sound to your Facebook wall. (as demonstrated by Chewbacca). It’s a little less obvious on a business page, but still possible. In this instance, go to your business page, click the ‘Post’ button, and then select the ‘Live’ option.
The drawbacks of using your phone for a Facebook Live event are mainly down to the limitations your phone’s camera. Whilst the picture quality on most modern phones is perfectly adequate, the sound from the internal microphone is generally poor. This can be easily overcome with the addition of an external microphone. But you’ll still be limited to the basic camera controls offered on your phone. This might be fine for a talking-head type situation, but if your ambitions are greater then you’re going to have to look at more advanced options.
As a business you might want to broadcast something a little more akin to a real TV broadcast. This could include nice lighting, proper audio, autocue and possibly multi-camera coverage of your event. This is where you’ll need the services of a company such as Video Artisan. You’ll also need some additional hardware to connect the output from a video camera or mixer and spit this out to Facebook.
How to Facebook Live – Advanced
For a single-camera broadcast our JVC cameras have the ability to send their output to the Internet through a WIFI, 3/4G or LAN dongle. They also enable us to assign the required values that will let Facebook see the camera’s output and broadcast it.
These settings are accessed within your Facebook business page. Within ‘Publishing Tools’ you’ll find ‘Video Library’ and the facility to set up a ‘Live’ event. This is where you give Facebook your camera’s location details as well as setting up other parameters to help you reach your audience. Our initial testing here at Video Artisan resulted in this little masterpiece – click here.
Another box of tricks is needed for multi-camera events. This mixes the camera feeds and then encodes the signal into something Facebook-friendly. Using this configuration, the only limits to your Facebook Live event are your imagination and your budget!
Let’s go live!
If you’d like to talk about your Facebook broadcasting ambitions, please give us a call now. Before you know it, you could be the very next Facebook Live sensation! Call Kevin Cook on +44 (0) 3602 3356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org