Facebook Live

Facebook Live best practice for brands

October 2017

Written by Joe Stevens, Social Media Manager at bigdog 

Facebook Live Best Practice for Brands

It’s no secret that Facebook Live presents a massive opportunity for brands to drive reach and engagement. At bigdog we’ve exploited this opportunity for our clients and we’ve been blown away by the results. Versus standard Facebook video we’ve seen a 250% uplift in reach, as well as a phenomenal 2,600% more engagements and 350% more seconds watched per video. Across the spectrum we’ve been able to achieve massive uplift by developing innovative and immersive Live executions and building them into our ongoing social content. Over the last 12 months, we’ve finessed our approach to Live content, resulting in our biggest Live yet for Sky Vegas which earned over 50,000 comments and reached the newsfeeds of over 240,000 people, all in 20 minutes. Take a look! Here are some of the things we’ve learned along the way…

Facebook Live is different from any other type of social content

It’s relatively simple to adapt a single piece of creative across canvas, carousel and standard video formats, but Facebook Live is a different beast. You can’t take a standard video and expect it to reach a mass audience simply because you’ve published it as a Facebook Live. If content is Live in a newsfeed, it needs to either to convey something special and newsworthy that is happening at that moment (news), or it needs to have a cause and effect engagement mechanism that gives viewers the opportunity to see the results of their engagement Live in the video (gameplay). This poll we produced for NEFF Ovens is a great example of a simple gamified Facebook Live.

The 30-minute sweet spot

Based on our Live video insights, we’ve found that the sweet spot for Live content is between 20-40 minutes. Once a video has been Live for 20 minutes it starts to reach critical mass, but once it goes past the 40-minute milestone, those viewers generally start to drop off. Of course, there are a lot of variables in play here and sometimes Live videos last hours and just reach more and more people, but as a general rule of thumb it’s best to keep Facebook Live videos within the 20-40-minute mark for optimum results.

If your page is verified you can promote Facebook Live video...

... but don’t rely on it. So far, we’ve not found significant uplift in Facebook Live viewers by promoting a Live post, but it can a massive impact on how many people watch your Live video once it’s finished. It’s worth remembering that when you do set up a Live ad, you need to accelerate spend and set applicable date and time ranges.

Pre-promote + cross-promote

Promoted posts in the run up to the Live broadcast are essential. Facebook used to have a subscribe tool for Live video, but since that has been scrapped we need to rely on all fashioned tricks- ask people to set their alarms, share the post, tag a friend who will remind them… that sort of thing. We’ve also experimented with sending out individual reminders to people who comment on a post by replying individually to a comment, although this can be time consuming when 6,497 people ask for a reminder on a single post!

Also think about how you can recruit viewers from your other channels. Try Email, app notifications, your website, influencers, brand partnerships, cross-posts…whatever tools you have in your arsenal.

You don’t have to use presenters!

While undoubtedly, it’s important to use real human presenters when you have a big Live scheduled, we now think about Live video as part of our monthly content mix, which led us to develop and explore a number of “engineered” Live concepts that don’t rely on actual Live content at all. Think about how you can use the Facebook Live API and streaming software to create immersive Facebook Live experiences for your fans. Some of the most interesting Live API executions use Facebook reactions, user profile photos and other adaptable elements as part of their executions.

Be careful about copyrighted sounds

If Facebook thinks you’re ripping off someone’s sounds, it will take your video down… simple.

Engagement over reach

We were initially attracted to Facebook Live because of the opportunity it presented for driving mass reach, but we quickly found that it was a significant engagement driver, so think about how it can support your retention and engagement KPIs but don’t expect it to be an easy hack for growing reach. For the foreseeable future Live content offers an unmissable opportunity for engaging fans in new and exciting ways that not only enhance our social metrics, but allow us to build meaningful relationships with our communities through truly progressive content executions.

If you think that Live isn’t right for your brand, think again… we’re now at the stage where a Live content strategy isn’t about future-proofing your content, it’s about staying relevant to how audiences are consuming content right now.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you create truly exciting Facebook Live content contact us here.

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