Facebook Live has been out for a while now. You may have watched a video or two on there because (let’s be honest) the notifications are rather intrusive, and they seem to appear on your timeline as if by magic—even coming from people you have no connection with. With this in mind, I am sure you have one question: can businesses use Facebook Live video to improve exposure and reach more people?

The Origins of Facebook Live

Live video services on the Internet are nothing new. Skype and its brethren are some of the earliest examples, although they are typically used on a one-on-one basis or for small groups and conference calls. Of course, web developers are always looking to innovate. Cue Chat Roulette, Omegle, and more; websites where people could use video chat to speak to randomly selected strangers around the globe.

Since your Skype audience is only of those people who are in your contacts list and Chat Roulette-esque sites put your live stream in front of a random (and limited) audience, neither has many practical uses for marketing.

In many ways, video gaming and sports pushed the envelope on live stream marketing further than anything else. Bookmakers like Bet365 and gaming giant twitch.tv both brought live streaming to the masses; two entirely different companies using the same technology to grow their empires—and that paved the way for applications such as Periscope (and its copycats) which brought live streams to mobile users. Of course, big brands and marketing gurus the world over soon fawned over the potential of live video marketing.

Facebook are a company with their fingers on the pulse. Their buyouts of WhatsApp and Instagram are just two examples of Mark Zuckerberg’s corporation protecting and enhancing their service. When live streaming became all the rage, it was only a matter of time before Facebook developed their own version. An improved version, at that.

Marketing via Facebook Live

Facebook has over one billion users, making its live video feed the ideal platform for entrepreneurs and businesses seeking to use live streams to gain exposure. Luckily, Facebook seems to have taken all of the great aspects of their competitors and improved the service ten-fold.

If you’ve already used Facebook in your existing marketing efforts, you will be aware of how their reach algorithm works. Your live streaming will also follow this algorithm, to prevent your followers’ feeds from being spammed. Creating a live stream can be done through the Facebook website, application, or the Mentions app—and it is as simple as writing a status update. Simply hit the live button before updating and remember that the status update text will be what introduces your audience to the stream.

From there on in, you’ll be live! You will be able to see the number of people watching and their comments as you stream, helping you to gauge how certain interactions affect your viewership. With these insights, you’ll soon be able to work out exactly what your fans want to see or hear, and focus your efforts appropriately.

Facebook Live Quick Tips

• Live streaming adds a personal touch. Interact with your followers to maintain the feeling!
• Remember that the video stays around until you delete it—consider audiences that may watch at a later date
• Be very careful with what you say or show, as it is a live stream, and mistakes can come back to haunt you
• Have fun! Marketing via Facebook Live is new, so try new things and see if you can find the key to success through live video marketing

Give it a go!

Reading about marketing on social media using live video is one thing, doing it is entirely different. As with anything in life, your best way to understand Facebook Live is to jump right in and give it a go. However, it might be worth practicing on your personal profile for a bit before you broadcast to your potential customers. After all, practice makes perfect!