Facebook Live was launched in August of 2015 with a clever campaign that made the platform available only to celebrities. This of course gave the app a lot of attention as Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope were gaining traction. And by December of the same year, Facebook decided it was time to let more people in on the fun.
However, there is a big but! The Facebook Livestreaming app is only available to a limited group of iPhone owners. Although Facebook still hasn’t announced the availability of a Live app for Android based devices, you can use the Facebook Mentions app to stream live video if you don’t happen to own an iPhone.
So What is Facebook Livestreaming versus Facebook Live?
They are one in the same, so don’t let the name confuse you. Put simply, Facebook Live is an application that allows you and your friends, followers and fans to connect and share real-time video by Facebook livestreaming it.
How do you Broadcast with Facebook Live?
Facebook has done a good job of making the process of streaming live video very easy, and all it takes is just a few steps to go live. When you are ready to live stream your video, tap the update status button on your iPhone and select the Live Video icon.
You will then write a description, which will be your title. This goes out to the news feed and in notifications to your audience.
At this time you can choose who can access the video. You can either make it available publicly so everyone can see it, or create a list of your friends for a more private affair. Once the camera is rolling, you can capture events you want to share or point it at yourself to address your audience.
When you are broadcasting you can see the number of viewers, the name of verified people or pages that are tuning in, and any comments they make in real time.
At the end of the broadcast, Facebook will save the content on your time line just like any other video you upload to your page. At this time you can edit the video and add more information, such as a call to action by asking them to subscribe so they can get notified anytime you are live.
Best Practice Suggestions for Facebook Livestreaming
Facebook recommends announcing the times you are going to be Facebook livestreaming and broadcasting with an attention grabbing description. Only go live when you have a strong reception/connection on your device so the live stream doesn’t get interrupted. Facebook says WI-FI or 4G are best.
Since this is a social media platform, be social and respond to your viewers by name.
Business Applications for Facebook Livestreaming
Before you start broadcasting Facebook livestreaming videos, practice what you want to say on your PC or smartphone and record it. Watch the video and be critical on ways you can improve your delivery, comfort level and presence. Since you are the face of your business, put your best foot forward by showing your confidence on the products and services you are offering.
This is a tool that will let you broadcast live events, make company announcement, show product and how to demonstrations, have live Q&A sessions and break the latest news. As a marketing channel, it can deliver live interactions with multiple or one-on-one audiences for virtually any industry.
What if you Have an Android Device?
You can broadcast and stream live video using Facebook Mentions Android app, but your account has to be verified. This app was released in 2014 for iOS and wasn’t made available for Android until recently.
While the verification process was limited, as of now brands and businesses with verified pages can start using the application.
If you have been verified, all you have to do is go to the Page, tap publish and select live video on your Android device. When you are done streaming the live event, it will be published on your Timeline so anyone can watch it at a later time. You can get the Facebook Mentions app right here.
There is no denying video is becoming the preferred solution for delivering messages. And when the new feature becomes more widely used, the platform’s 1.5 plus billion users will be hard for any business to ignore. Certainly, some business users have already begun experimenting with Facebook livestreaming. So start looking at ways you can use the app for your business, it will be one more tool in your social media arsenal to engage with your customers.
And if you think video is a trend, this is what Facebook’s head of ad product Ted Zagat said about the subject:
“A year or two from now, we think Facebook will be mostly video,” during a panel at Variety’s Entertainment and Technology Summit in Los Angeles.
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