Live Social: Still worth your brand’s time?

Since Facebook Live, Periscope (Twitter), Meerkat, Snapchat, Youtube, Instagram and Twitch…live social has been an ever-evolving social beast. There are endless engagement benefits for influencers and brands who are taking advantage, and it has yet to die down.

According to Social Media Examiner, “Live social video also has a benefit that even television lacks: the audience can participate. Viewers watching a live stream on a social media platform can write in their comments. The broadcaster can then read and reply to comments, and allow the audience to influence the content of the live video as it’s being created.” The ability to ask about a new medical solution, product launch, fashion line, or a sports tournament while the conversation is being announced is a luxury. It’s an advantage that social media has allowed us to be more connected — as humans — and as brands with humans.

Of course, each platform/channel has its own distinct benefits based on the audience who uses it, the purpose they use it for, and the content typically distributed and shared upon it. For example, Facebook is advantageous for live-action shots from events and the perfect way to reach large audiences. In turn you have Instagram (although owned by Facebook), which due to its disappearing content has a smaller share of said audience despite followers. However, because of the non-permanence of said content, it creates more intrigue, excitement, and a reason to check-in to the stream. It becomes more of a tune in experience as TV used to be before you could record. An exclusive experience to that moment…and if you miss it, you’re left out. And the fear of missing out (FOMO) is too large to allow that to happen.

However, just because your brand uses social media to post content in real time, planning is still necessary, like any other video content. There must be a strategy with a script, crew, cast (if needed), location chosen, lighting, ensuring sound will record ok, storyboards, and of course, running through the story once to ensure it makes sense before the real thing.

So why are some brands abandoning live social within their social efforts and strategy?

Some may believe that live social isn’t providing the ROI or engagement they want or need to be visible to their audience, and make a true difference through social content. However, it’s not always about the quantity of viewers, but the quality. The percentage of folks who engaged from the those who watched. In turn, did they create an action after? Did it create awareness of the brand’s service or product? We can’t expect a 5-10 minute live stream to convert a customer, but we can create awareness, engagement, and provide an opportunity for potential customers to understand the brand better, and truly connect with the brand rather than through an advertisement, blog post or white paper. It provides a connection point that is more human and personal – creating trust, whether you’re a B2C or B2B brand.

My theory? Have a test and learn approach for your social content. Find the channel that connects best with your audience. Create a video plan and test up to 3 videos to see what type of return they provide. Did they go without response or views? Or were you able to engage with your current audience? Find new audience members? Engagement is worth more than eyeballs in this instance, and we must determine what type of engagement matters to the brand and the purpose of the content being disseminated.

Is your competitor kicking butt in live social? Are they taking advantage? Then why aren’t you?

Be a brand that other brands show in best practice manuals — demonstrate that your brand understands digital and social, and how true consumer connections can be made through transparency and trust, using the largest channel in our hands today – mobile and digital/social.

How Your Brand Can Win at Facebook Live

Video content is like a hurricane running over anything in its path. “People watch more than 100 million hours of video each day” – sites Simple Measured. Facebook Live has jumped into the arena of video contenders, and it is not taking the fight lightly. But before we weigh the brand benefits of Live video, let’s remember the difference.

Facebook Live is a live broadcast that brands and advertisers can make available from anywhere at anytime to their audience (assuming there is a good connection – Wi-Fi is recommended). It is an opportunity to engage in real time like any live news broadcast or show. And the benefits (partially) include:

  • The Live functionality is all within the Facebook App. Nowadays when it is hard enough to get a consumer to download yet another app, this is a huge win.
  • Brands can broadcast the live session, save it to their channel, and also share it directly to their feed for a recap for those who missed it.
  • Unlike Snapchat or Stories, Live sessions do not disappear.

And of course there are some brands really kicking butt at it lately. Here are two to learn from in regards to creativity and launching new products.

TasteMade- Creativity

A brand known well for its cooking recipes and how-to content on food and drink – took it one step further. Instead of the regular “lets make XYZ” Tastemade made their content fun and creative with a new twist. All their food was miniature (1/12 the size of its regular formats). Sounds silly, but the content is unique and engaging and has given TasteMade a new way to resonate with their audience that goes beyond the regular how-to.

Dunkin Donuts – New Products

Dunkin Donuts, is already a beloved brand where people will really do “run on Dunkin” with their devotion. So what did Dunkin do to create even more ways to promote engagement and loyalty? It allowed a vehicle through Live video for their biggest (and newest) fans to see how they come up with new products, and demonstrate it live. For example, they put together a “donut-themed wedding cake” during a live session. This was unique and a way for their audience members to engage with them in a way that is behind the scenes, and not their norm. According to Melanie Cohn (Social media manager, Dunkin Donuts) on Marketingland – “Our first video provided fans with a behind-the-scenes look into our kitchen for Valentine’s Day, featuring our culinary team preparing a cake made from heart-shaped donuts, and introduced a special February Dunkin’ Hearts Love contest, offering engaged couples a chance to win $10,000 for sharing their story of how their sweetheart proposed.” So in addition to being unique and showing another side to the brand, there was an incentive to watch and the audience will be even more excited to see what will happen next.

 

Before you go, here are a few more nuggets of wisdom to understand why Live is the new video platform.

Video is not going anywhere. According to eMarketer “Facebook…recently reporting that video was a big reason for a strong quarter. The site said it saw eight billion video views a day from 500 million users. Taking queues from YouTube, the company has started to slip in ads to these videos, thus the strong results.” So what does that mean? Video is the wave of digital future. And if you are not sure, just take a look at your Facebook newsfeed and see how many of the posts you see are videos.

When it comes to Live video, specifically according to to Simply Measured: Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes Facebook will be mostly composed of videos by 2020. Considering that, check out these incredible Facebook Live statistics:

  • Facebook Live videos are watched3 times longer than regular videos
  • Native Facebook videoshave a 13% organic reach and 6.3% engagement rate (much higher than the 1-3% you get on other platforms)

Now it is your brand team’s turn. Ready, set, Live.

 Note: This was originally written for Socialnomics. 
Image source: Pixabay

BECAUSE LIVE STREAMING CONTENT STILL NEEDS PLANNING

Today, live streaming has taken a new identity. Multiple identities in fact. From Meerkat (sorry buddy), to Periscope (from Twitter) to Facebook Live to YouTube Live (and many other players we just can’t remember the names of), live stream has become a necessity for digital marketers today. It’s not a tool we are considering, it’s a tool we have to consider as marketers. Especially, if your audience includes the millennial audience, you are already behind if you are not live streaming your content.

So how do you start if you haven’t already? How do you optimize if you are already checking it out?

You need a plan.

As with any digital marketing channel, you have to approach it with a strategy and content plan. You need your content to align with your overall marketing content, but you need to align the content for live stream to that particular channel. You can’t have it recycled to this channel. Sorry kids, that won’t work. It’s a whole new beast. Plus, you can’t edit as you go. It’s live.

Instead strategize the following:

  1. What’s your purpose for being on live stream? Does it work for your brand?
  2. What’s the story you want to tell? Is it about a product? An experience?
  3. What is the end result? What do you want your audience to takeaway?
  4. What is success? How will you measure that?

If the above calculates and makes sense to move forward, plan your content and time how you will execute (and who):

  1. Who’s the cameraman?
  2. Will someone speak or will it be based on the environment?
  3. What’s the script? You need a rough idea if there is someone speaking.
  4. Storyboard the shots.
  5. How long will the videos be? How many do you need to tell the story?
  6. How often will you shoot?

Distribution:

  1. How will you audience know you’re there and how to discover your brand?
  2. Help them find you – promote it. And promote some more. The worst thing you can do is spend time creating cool videos and then no one seeing it.
  3. Ask your fans to share. Why not?

Lastly, see if it works. Pick a measurement plan and test plan to see if your brand is going to be successful at live streaming or not. Sometimes it’s the content you choose that you need to test and not the live streaming part. So test different types, different cadences, and different tune in times. And of course, allow your fans to take part.

This post was originally written for Social Media Club. 

So You’re Saying There’s Another Live Streaming App?

live streaming app

Facebook has entered the livestream game with Live, and are we surprised? No. Does it matter? Definitely. We’ve written about it before – when Periscope entered. It mattered then, because Periscope, brought to you by Twitter, made Livestreaming simple and and easy. It brought it to the masses, although Snapchathas been playing in this space, for a while too.

The reason we keep caring about the new guys, is because they’re making live streaming more powerful. These apps are being brought to you by the powerful names you already know and the technology behind them is a big deal.

Periscope is backed by Twitter, Snapchat is backed by a huge audience, and Live, is now brought to you by Facebook.

And Facebook as you know – has everyone, along with everyone’s mom, dad, grandma, and neighbor on it. Brands want to be everywhere their audience is, and Facebook basically has the monopoly on that. So when Live was released, we had to see what it’s all about.

Here’s what you need to know about Facebook Live:

Ease of Use

  • All within the Facebook App. For audience members who don’t want to download a new app, this may be helpful.
  • You can broadcast it, save it, and share it directly to your feed.
  • You can subscribe to your friends and people/brands you are fans of and be notified when they broadcast.

Ability to Save/Replay

  • This is great for more views over time
  • Allows for more content in your arsenal

And the big differentiation – who will see it

According to Techcrunch:

Facebook’s filtered feed might be worse for real-time breaking news streams, and the re-sharing isn’t a big thing there. But if a stream gets lots of viewers and feedback, Facebook can automatically push it higher in the feed so it’s more visible. Basically, Twitter relies on explicit amplification by viewers while Facebook’s algorithm chooses who sees what stream.

The key takeaway here, is that it depends on where your audience is.

Some brands have a larger audience on Twitter, while others rely more on their Facebook community, while others are still building both, and it may help to try Periscope and Facebook Live and see which works.

My advice, try both and test to see which one is best for your brand. When you’re a startup you’re nimble and have the ability to test quick, learn fast, and move forward with what works (and drop what doesn’t).

And it doesn’t hurt to see what your competitors are doing. If one seems to be working better for them, perhaps you should be there too – just be sure to find a way to tell your story differently.

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion.