How to Succeed with Facebook Live (and Brands That Do That Right)

29 March 2021

Social media networks all have their special flare. Instagram has been an instant hit with a younger crowd that prefers a visual format. Vine was a force to be reckoned with (and may be again, with Vine 2.0).

Snapchat is used almost universally by the teenage demographic. Twitter is a platform for everyone from celebs to politicians. Reddit is a powerhouse for content. Pinterest is a backlink generating heaven.

But do you know what one still trumps them all?

Facebook.

The Stats

According to the website themselves, they have 2 billion daily visitors. Not profiles, not monthly visits, but users every single day of the week. Compare that to Twitter, which sees 336 million monthly users.

Brands are likewise taking advantage of Facebook every day. Neil Patel put together a neat list of the most influential business pages on the platform and they include names like Starbucks, Nutella and Facebook themselves. These pages are reaching literally billions of people every single day.

Say what you like about the innovations of other social media platforms (and I can’t say enough) but there is no doubt that in the war of the networks, Facebook is still winning.

The History of Facebook Live

In August 2015, a new project on Facebook was launched to an elite few celebrities, such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Ricky Gervais. They were the first two to use the feature and it was a massive hit. Soon, Facebook expanded to other celebs and the popularity of the tool grew.

To give you an idea of how much that popularity was growing, the idea of Live was brought up way back in 2011 and mostly ignored. Even when it was given over to the celebrities, it was with some skepticism.

Yet, by January 2016, it was released to a wide audience on the site. It was a mega smash that almost never happened.

Examples of Brands Doing It Right

When listing benefits of going live on Facebook, Ai Addyson-Zhang, Ph.D put it this way:

People do business with people. Live video allows you to be more human & relatable to your audience. It empowers your audience to be part of the content creation process. It’s cost-effective. All you need is a phone & wifi connection… Live video brings more excitement & emotions to product launches, exclusive offers, etc.

So now that it is such a big thing, what brands are using it right? We have quite a few examples, but these are some of my personal favorites:

HelloFresh

HelloFresh is one of a chain of expanding recipe home delivery services that give you everything you need to prepare fresh meals at home, even if you can’t cook.

They have some stick competition, with the number of box meal sites sitting the web with special offers and sponsorship deals. One way they are gaining a following is through their live cooking shows on Facebook.

Starbucks

Starbucks has been pretty active in video production for awhile. They are on YouTube, were one of the first on Instagram and they have regular Live and uploaded videos on their Facebook page.

More than just promoting products, they are into promoting messages that they stand for. For example, they recently had a video for National AIDS Day to help bring awareness to the disease.

ASPCA

ASPCA does what it knows how to do best: save animals. They do that through a series of rescue videos and also adoption videos, which alert people of the animals in shelters in their area who are looking for forever homes.

They also highlight efforts towards expanding their reach so they can help even more of our precious creatures.

Nasdaq

What companies are going public? Who is raising funding? What do top execs in the business world have to say? You can find out this and more on the Nasdaq video page, with both live and pre-recorded videos for your enjoyment.

Stadium College Basketball

Can’t get enough basketball? Well, how about watching live games scheduled to be shown exclusively on Facebook? Stadium College Basketball has it for you. If you’re a fan of the game, it will be irresistible.

What We Can Learn From These Brands

Looking at the above examples, we can start to see some strategies taking form. Facebook Live is a tool, like any other tool. But what we do with it is what makes all the difference. So how do we convert the tactics of a large brand to fit the needs of a smaller one, or even a startup?

There are a few lessons to be gleaned from these guys.

Know Your Audience

HelloFresh isn’t looking to connect with gourmet chefs. They don’t want to get the average college kid who is living on their university’s food allotment card. Their audience is clear and they want to reach them.

Their videos reflect that, aiming for couples, middle class families and busy professionals who want to be healthy and have a decent budget to do so, but not a lot of time.

Engage With Influencers

Nasdaq is all about financial advice and the exciting (and sometimes terrifying) soars and dips in the market. They could just give dry overviews of the stock market if they wanted to.

Instead, a fair amount of their content is centered around influencers in the financial district who have something to say.

Make The World Better

Starbucks has long since been dedicated to many causes. They pay their employees a liveable wage, support benefits for all, are making strides to be more eco-friendly and offer incentives for education and more.

Their videos show their desire to make the world better, which spreads their message to everyone who is a potential customer and could help them in that endeavor.

Tug On The Heart Strings

The ASPCA is there for animals. They need your help to save those animals. And so they tug on the heartstrings to get you to pay attention and really see those creatures for the sweet, loving, vulnerable companions that they are.

This helps them in their efforts to adopt dogs, cats, rodents and more that would otherwise go uncared for.

Offer Exclusivity

Stadium College Basketball wants to make you feel like you are getting the inside scoop on every game.

So they make their games viewable only on Facebook. It is an interesting idea that seems to have taken off, if their 79,000 followers are any indication.

Have any examples of brands using Facebook Live right? Let us know in the comments!

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