The Pros and Cons of Facebook Live for Brands

Earlier this summer Facebook announced plans to expand its already successful live broadcasting platform. This included clever updates like two-person broadcasts, special filters and waiting rooms for viewers. For many businesses, Facebook Live looks like a no-brainer.

Is your business ready for Facebook Live? Read some of the pros and cons of Facebook live for brands

Pros

  1. Live streaming is gaining traction on Facebook.

Live streaming is one of the ways Facebook injected life back into its social networking website. It happened at the right time, too, as people were slowly beginning to disengage from their favourite social media platform. Prior to live streaming, many users were complaining that their feed would be clogged up by silly memes, irrelevant updates and other kinds of ‘social media junk mail.’ Live video streams provided users with a new kind of experience, and we have strong reason to believe this feature will continue to grow in popularity.

  1. The reach is bigger than you think.

With no announcement, no advertising and no history of live streams, brands are already attracting hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of viewers to their live videos. Like everything else on Facebook, pretty much anything can go viral if you do it right. Now imagine if you actually spent time promoting your live videos.

  1. The video remains on your Facebook feed.

Another great thing about Live is it remains on your feed permanently just like everything else you post on Facebook. This means you can record your live stream and then use that video for your online marketing campaign, mailing list or to boost engagement on other social media platforms. People love dynamic content, and having a video to show them certainly helps in those efforts. And because you recorded it live, you get to promote the video beforehand to boost engagement and interest. If you do it right, users will be sharing your recorded video on their own.

Cons

  1. There are some technical issues.

Facebook Live works great for the most part, but can be a little slow at times. That likely has to do with the fact that the status takes some time to make its way into your followers’ news feeds. Given that Live is still a relatively new feature, there may be some technical glitches that need to be ironed out over time. Facebook is probably working on resolving this.

  1. It’s no Periscope.

Facebook isn’t marketing itself as Periscope, so there’s no reason to think that the world’s largest social media network will make live streaming the centre of its business model. Although Live is a great first step into video streaming, it lags far behind rival Periscope. For starters, Live isn’t nearly as engaging as Periscope. On Periscope, viewers can communicate back and forth by tapping on comments. They can also give hearts, a form of applause that lets the streamer know they’re doing a good job. Facebook Live lacks virtually all of these features, and the stream is usually viewed in isolation.

  1. Like everything on Facebook, marketing Live streams costs money.

Many businesses have complained about Facebook advertising. Recently, the social network was outed for unintentionally inflating its ad viewership metrics for the past two years. The Wall Street Journal reported that views on ad were inflated by up to 80%. This will undoubtedly get brands to think twice before spending big ad bucks on Facebook marketing. Facebook has issued a public apology, but will need to do a lot more to save face.

“Marketers are reassessing the level of investment in the digital area because they are beginning to question what they are really getting in terms of return on investment,” said Bob Liodice, chief executive of the Association of National Advertisers.

Publicis Media, which is responsible for purchasing some $77 billion worth of ads on behalf of global clients each year, has described the error as “unacceptable.”

Facebook Live has a lot of potential upside for businesses willing to experiment with the platform in its nascent stages. At this stage, most brands have already accepted the fact that social media is absolutely essential for success in the digital era. If you’re not on social, you simply aren’t relevant. Facebook Live is just one tool that can help brands reach boost engagement and reach new audiences.

Are you using Facebook Live for your brand? Tweet me @Charli_Says and let me know.

Sources

 

Carly Sec (June 27, 2016). “7 of the Best Facebook Live Videos We’ve Ever Seen.” Hubspot Blog.

Douglas Cohen (March 19, 2016). “Should You Use Facebook Live For Your Brand Page? Pros, Cons, and a Few Tips…” LinkedIn.

Suzanna Vranica and Mike Shields (September 23, 2016). “Doubts About Digital Ads Rise Over New Revelations.” The Wall Street Journal.

Suzanna Vranica and Mike Shields (September 23, 2016). “Doubts About Digital Ads Rise Over New Revelations.” The Wall Street Journal.