Though it's only been around for two years, Facebook Live has come to redefine what we think of as a social media experience. By now, there have been more than 3.5 billion live broadcasts on the platform, connecting brands and audiences in real, in-the-moment engagements that drive more comments and higher viewership than standalone video.
Some industries have certainly capitalized on this more than others, but almost any brand can take advantage of the platform's best features. In the sections that follow, we'll take a look at some of the best industries for Facebook Live (with key examples), and how you can get the most out of Facebook Live for your business or personal brand.
These are some of the most active and interesting industries making their mark with Facebook Live:
1. Clothing, jewelry, and makeup
Clothing, jewelry, and makeup industries all have one thing in common: they want to make you look good. And on Live streaming, they can show these transformations in action. For example, Sephora uses Facebook Live to broadcast AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions, directly addressing customer questions and providing insights on top trends. Live fashion shows and other formats can also work here.
Facebook Live is also a powerful format for nonprofits, since they can show off the work they do in real-time. This is especially important for local events and specific drives, since they encourage more active participation. For example, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has used live streams to promote Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, showcasing volunteers walking dogs around New York City.
3. Health and fitness
Health and fitness brands also get the power to show off their techniques, services, and workout regimens in real time. Yoga instructors might guide people through an online session in real-time, while obstacle courses like Tough Mudder can guide potential participants through an actual course.
Of course, media and publication companies have lots of flexibility. They can create live videos on almost any subject, covering news events in real-time, or staging crazy stunts--like when Buzzfeed live streamed their attempt to make a watermelon explode with rubber bands. Because these brands specialize in content, the sky's the limit for what they can do with the medium.
5. Food and drink
Eating and drinking are sensory experiences that have more to do with taste and smell than anything else, but sights and sounds can really stoke your appetite. DIYers like Martha Stewart can make use of this by showing off new recipes and tutorials, while restaurants, cafes, and other establishments can show off their latest dishes in an attempt to generate more hungry customers.
Tips for Success
No matter what industry you hail from, there are certain guidelines that everyone needs to follow to be successful. Here are four of the most important tips for success:
1. Start with a strategy. These brands weren't successful because they decided to turn on streaming on a whim. They were successful because they spent adequate time getting to know their audience, they brainstormed many possible ideas, and they went with the one that made the most sense. They also had a clear endgame--a desired action for their viewers to follow--which defined "success" in the first place.
2. Promote your stream. While some streams can get popular through word-of-mouth alone once they start, this is extremely rare and unreliable. Instead, you'll need to go through the steps of promoting your own stream, announcing it well in advance, and spreading word of its existence through multiple channels. It helps to have a solid viewership in place when your stream begins.
3. Differentiate yourself. The popularity of Facebook Live streaming isn't a secret. There are millions of brands and individuals competing for attention on the platform. That means if you want to stand out, you need to offer something unique. Have a distinct personality, tone, approach, or look to make sure you stand out from the crowd.
4. Engage and learn. Finally, pay attention to what your audience is saying and doing. Engage with their comments on-air and off-air, and listen to any feedback and suggestions they offer. You can also use data analytics to evaluate which moments of your stream were most impactful, and adjust your strategy in the future to reflect those new insights.
Every year, the number of Facebook Live broadcasts has doubled, and there's no sign of that momentum coming to a halt anytime soon. If you want to ride this wave and improve your follower count, social media engagements, and brand reputation, now's a perfect time to step in--whether you're in one of the high-profile industries mentioned above or not.