Will the roll-out of Facebook Live impact on brands?

Hold on to your content marketing plans because social media is about to go live in a big way, as Facebook announces the global roll-out of its mobile streaming service. Are you ready for Facebook Live? Do you even need to be? Let’s find out.

From Meerkat to mainstream

Since the hugely publicised launch of Meerkat at SXSW in March 2015, there’s been a steady stream (excuse the pun) of services trying to make it big in the live content game, from Blab.im – where four people can video-chat simultaneously as an audience watch – to Twitch.tv – the world’s leading platform in the live broadcasting of video games. And then, of course, there’s Periscope, Twitter’s answer to Meerkat and possibly the most famous service for allowing anyone to broadcast live video (and puddles in Newcastle) from their phone.

When live streaming becomes more than a trickle

Despite this continued wave of new apps and services, live streaming has struggled to break through to popular culture, with only a handful of brands and celebrities giving it a go. That could all be about to change with the global roll-out of Facebook Live, which means that every Tom, Dick and verified brand page will be able to broadcast live content to their social connections.


What does this change mean for brands?

For one thing, this will inevitably lead to increased competition for people’s attention. If it wasn’t already tough enough for brands to compete with the likes of Zoella and Zach King, no doubt Facebook Live will bring with it a host of talented individuals who seem to effortlessly capture the attention of every 16–35-year-old under the sun. In addition to this, customer service could seriously step up a gear if people choose to share their grumbles via live stream for everyone to see.

But this change certainly won’t be all doom and gloom with Facebook Live bringing with it a whole host of opportunities for brands to connect with their customers like never before. Brands that sponsor events will now be able to share live footage with their fans and followers. Also, those with access to celebrities or other influential people will be able to leverage these connections further by streaming live Q&As or expert one-to-ones. It doesn’t stop there, with the potential for product launches, ad campaigns and competitions all to be given a live streaming twist.

Watch and learn

Whatever the outcome, 2016 will definitely be the biggest year yet for live broadcasting on social media. For anyone raring to go, our advice is this – sit back, take note and try to learn from others. It’s one thing for a brand to make a mistake, but a whole other ball game when it’s being broadcasted live to tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people. James Ainsworth, Head of Content, says:

It certainly looks like video that is ‘of the moment’ is going to be more prevalent as a content type, and there are some compelling brand uses coming to the fore. My interest was piqued by an email from Hope and Glory – a coffee roaster that is going to use Periscope to live-broadcast a roasting day.

Facebook Live is the Facebook response and attention land grab to keep viewing behaviour within your Facebook feed and on their platform.

Despite its potential challenges, we’re hugely excited by the possibilities of live streaming. What do you think about the roll-out of Facebook Live and how will it impact your plans for the coming year?

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Sam Beament
Senior Social Media Creative

Every brand is social. It’s our job to get involved in the conversation and shape what’s being said.

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