What is Facebook Live?

On Friday, I attended Social Media Examiner’s Morning Social Media Marketing Talk on Blab and one of the major topics was Facebook Live. Facebook Live is definitely a major trending topic right now with so much potential no matter what your goals are. At some point, I think there were over 450 social media marketers in the Talk and all across the board, the awe of Facebook Live was resounding. It’s definitely something that will be a game changer in digital communication and social media. 

A few quotes from Joel Comm who was the main speaker on the subject:
Facebook Live levels the playing field for anyone to be a superstar.
Facebook Live is the real reality TV.

What is Facebook Live? 

Facebook Live is a combination of the 6 o’clock news, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter all in one:

  • Like the news: It’s called Facebook Live for a reason - broadcasts are live!
  • Like YouTube: It’s a visual medium.
  • Like Snapchat: It feels more personal, authentic, raw, and obviously unedited.
  • Like Twitter: Facebook Live has a built-in discussion forum so that anyone watching can share their reaction to what’s happening. Audience members can also converse with both the broadcaster and other spectators. To me, this is the most impactful feature of Facebook Live - being able to discuss events as they are happening with other people in real-time. This is a huge differentiator (and hand-up in my eyes) from Snapchat which only allows for conversation between one person at a time. 

In the past few weeks, social media marketers have been closely eyeing the development of Facebook Live, especially since it’s been such a high priority for Facebook. Furthermore, Facebook Live was made immensely popular two weeks ago because of #Chewbaccamom who broke records and became the highest watched Facebook Live user ever (currently at over 154 million views). On top of that, her virality happened in a matter of hours. 

Who/What is #Chewbaccamom?

Click here to watch the broadcast.
Candace Payne, 37 y/o stay-at-home mom, did a Facebook Live stream in the parking lot of a Kohl’s after she bought a Chewbacca face mask… If you’re expecting more, I’m sorry to say that there isn’t any because that’s literally all it was. But that’s the beauty of Facebook Live! She didn’t do anything extraordinary. She was just sharing her sincere joy of the moment. You honestly can’t help but smile when you see/hear her hearty laugh. It’s so stinkingly simple and most of it comes down to yet another evolution in social media - Facebook Live is connecting people and impacting how we interact in a way that hasn’t been done before. 

What happened after for Candace was super cute. Kohl’s was keen to jump on the marketing opportunity. They sent her a ton of free goodies which of course was posted all over social media. She was also invited to Facebook headquarters where she rode around on a bike with Chewbacca himself 😂.

So let's talk about how YOU can use Facebook Live.

What do you need? 

  • A Facebook account
  • A smartphone
  • The Facebook app on either iOS or Android
  • A good connection, preferably Wi-Fi

As of today, you can only broadcast via Facebook Live through the mobile app, though I’m sure this will change pretty soon to allow for more devices. To broadcast, tap Status just as you would for any post and you’ll see “Live Video” as an option. When selected, you can choose whether you want to broadcast to your friends or to the world!

To explore live broadcasts happening right now, login to Facebook through a desktop browser. On your Home screen, you’ll see “Live Video” under the Apps section in the left side bar. It’s super cool to see all the different things happening all over the world. 




Here are some ways that you might consider using Facebook Live:

Other Ideas:

-Graduation and commencement ceremonies (for family and friends that can’t be there)
-Ribbon cuttings for new businesses
-When you do something on your Bucket List
-Proposals and weddings
-Classes, seminars, speeches
-Important announcements or meetings
-Anything you’re passionate about (cooking, travel, gaming, dancing, fitness, art, makeup, etc.)
-The possibilities are endless!

Important Things to Keep in Mind

  • Make sure to give your audience advanced notice about when you plan to broadcast so that they can tune in at the appropriate time. 
  • Broadcasts are limited to 90 minutes. If you need longer, you can just start a new broadcast. 
  • Social media is all about engagement. Make sure to thank your viewers! Monitor the comments and give shoutouts. 
  • Facebook Live sessions are recorded so people can watch them later. Facebook will also gauge the most significant parts of your broadcast based on the activity from the audience who tuned in live. Anyone who watches your broadcast recording will be able to skip to the parts with the most reactions. 

Again, Facebook Live is a game changer in the social media space and because it’s so new, there’s a ton of opportunity for you or your organization to set a precedent for how it’s used. Be daring, be creative, and most of all, have fun! I’m planning to use it myself with Sharespark but I need to figure out a date… stay tuned!

Visit Facebook Live’s website to learn more: https://live.fb.com/

Are you considering using Facebook Live? Share your idea for your first Facebook Live session in the comments below!