Facebook Live : A First Look 

27 April 2016  
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I was going to write about live streaming tools in general after reviewing a couple of them for The Marketing Lab. But instead I’ve decided to focus on Facebook Live because I’m so excited about it! It’s a long time that a tool has come along that I can see so many uses for. (It’s so versatile… and I’m sure it makes your hair silky!)

If you want to check out the review we did of live streaming video tools, visit the INM Blog. There you can feast your eyes on Blab, Periscope, Hangouts, Spreecast, and Appear.in. (Which I have used with family and friends instead of Skype video).

facebook live

The winner of The Marketing Lab review was Facebook Live! Woo. So I was compelled to explore it further and to consider its many uses.

Update: read a post on the definitive guide to Facebook Live here.

1. Have you got it?

Initially Facebook Live rolled out to celebrities and the like, but today marks the 2 week anniversary of its launch in Ireland. Find out if you’ve got it by simply going to post on the mobile Facebook app. If you see this, you’re on, and ready to broadcast!

fb live button


2. How do you do it?

When you click the button, you are prompted to describe your live video. Give a little thought to this – as with everything else on the web (Google side) the title is ultra important. It’s the thing that’s going to compel people to click.

Next choose your audience – the big wide public, or your friends.

Then press the “go live” button and away you go!!

What happens next? Well your video appears in fan’s news streams as autoplaying video content. Again the title of your video is important – stick to 10 words max. What doesn’t happen (as I had thought) is that your fans get a notification which is far more powerful, because what human can resist the urge to click the red notice to see who’s liked, commented, or shared your stuff?

3. How do you do it well?

Know that what you see on the screen is what your audience gets. It’s square. Comments will appear on the screen (like in Periscope) and the tricky bit is acknowledging them before they disappear, whilst keeping your train of thought!

4. How do you promote it?

The one downside of Facebook Live is that you can’t schedule in advance the way you can with Blab for example. But you can promote it in the regular way using an image and ads, ask people to put a time in their diaries to come and watch.

Once the video is live, it remains in your feed for 30 days and you can use the link in scheduled posts thereafter, re-use the content at different days and times.

And you can of course promote using Facebook ads in the usual way.

BONUS: Want To Learn How To Broadcast to Facebook Live From Your Desktop?

Facebook Live is supposed to be a mobile only tool, but Wirecast is an app you can use that allows you to broadcast live from your desktop computer, use multiple cameras, share your screen, apps and even your smartphone to all your friends, group members and business page fans. Wirecast costs $495 – but it does offer a free trial.


User Cases For Facebook Live

The reason I’m so flipiddy skip excited about Facebook Live is because it brings video right into the realm of those who may not have had the budget for it. I’ve been talking up video for a few years now, but the reality is that many clients just don’t have the budget for professionally produced video.

Fact: Facebook loves video!

Facebook is seriously pushing this product. I read how it has paid publishing giants Huffington Post, New York Times, etc. to use it.

The algorithm is so skewed towards video it’s unreal. And I’m not talking YouTube links here now you know. Facebook and Google don’t play well together, so Facebook leaves YouTube out of its game whenever it can.

On ads, on a very tricky market, I’m getting cost per views of 1-2 cent for a short video, and the same targeting (location, demographic etc) but different objective (website click) is costing in excess of €2!

I’ve found myself spouting to clients and prospects about how they can use Facebook Live and be among the first to try it because audiences can be a little forgiving, so production values don’t have to be BBC standard, especially in these early days at the beginning….

Who Uses It?

  • My Opinion Matters – market research panel, one of the motivations of their users is the need to feel like they are being listened to by companies… it could be good to do a Q&A with a company spokesperson about how they are going to use the results of the research to inform decision making. Could result in increased motivation by panelists to take part.
  • Make Up Artist – anyone involved in creating things of beauty can talk about their process and show their work in an entirely new way. Could be a live stream of a new look for an event.
  • Social Entrepreneurs Ireland – set up a live stream where applicants for the awards can pitch questions and get answers from SEI team members, or better, from other award winners who have gone before them. This scenario would work for anything where there are FAQ’s.
  • Events – if you’ve got an event coming up and you want to build hype, push tickets and get your audience going, a live stream with your community of already warm fans will create buzz.

The Bit Where She Says Facebook Is Like Twitter…

Live streaming video is in its infancy and already there have been casualties (Meerkat). It reminds me of the early days when there was Twitter and Jaiku. Jaiku was the one that was technically superior. It allowed users to achieve so much more, but it wasn’t the one that the hordes flocked to – Twitter was. In this case, Blab is that early adopter tech-head poster child, and it does offer so much more. But I feel that Facebook Live is the one where the hordes are going to go to. You don’t have to leave Facebook, your audience is already there. So the only thing you’ve got to get your head around is how to be good on video.

There is an entire ecosystem of advisors and coaches about getting your video self pitch perfect. I recommend Lottie Hearn in Ireland. Good lighting darling. Know what you’re going to say. And keep it short.

If you would like to have a conversation about Facebook Live, please get in touch.

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  1. I agree with a lot of what is said here. In my own experience video publishing via FB on my own page (fb/derrynane) is gaining traction. In 2000 I live Streamed over ISDN the then longest continuously running web video stream in Ireland – the stream was from a Crows nest and brought wildlife to a then new on-line audience. I looked at live streaming over the past few years but it was prohibitive for the relatively ‘small’ audience I now have. Not having to leave the Facebook app is great and I will certainly be able to do ‘live snippets’ of wildlife as it happens and instantly send that out to my audience.

    1. You know I think I was an early viewer of your birds in the nest! How innovative of the time!
      Go for it Vincent on FB Live, you might be one of the early successes!

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