Since Facebook announced its new live streaming feature last year, and then opened it up to all users in December, the feature hasn’t exactly caught fire as some expected it would. But Facebook Live does have some potential benefits for business users. And a few business users have been able to try out the new feature and use it to interact with their networks.
Ileane Smith of Basic Blog Tips is one small business user who’s given Facebook Live a try (below). Although she’s only used it a couple of times, she was able to use it to interact with Facebook followers on topics like mobile apps and setting new year’s resolutions.
Stop breath and think (live)
Posted by Ileane Smith on Friday, January 1, 2016
Facebook Live is currently an app based feature, though that could change since it’s still relatively new. That puts it in pretty direct competition with other mobile streaming apps like Periscope. Each one has its own set of features and potential benefits to small business users. And though the similarities are clear, there are a few key differences to consider before jumping right into one and completely disregarding the other.
Terry White, principal worldwide design and photography evangelist for Adobe Systems, Inc., pointed out several differences between the two apps in a recent blog post. One of the biggest differences that could impact whether you choose to go with Facebook Live or Periscope is the reach aspect.
With Periscope, you’re able to share the live stream both with your Periscope followers and in your Twitter stream. But of course, with the way people scroll through their Twitter feeds, this could be missed by a lot of your potential audience.
With Facebook Live, you have the potential to reach everyone who follows you on Facebook. However, as with pretty much anything else you post on Facebook, your live stream is unlikely to actually reach all of those people. Things like engagement and past activity can impact how many of your followers see it. And you also have the option of boosting the live stream like you would with a regular Facebook post.
Some of the other differences that White pointed out in his post include the actual video format and the way that comments are displayed. On Periscope, the video shows up in portrait mode, though they are reportedly working on a landscape format to appeal to those viewing on a computer rather than a smartphone.
The comments or questions that people share with you during the broadcast are shown over the video itself. However, on Facebook Live, the video is in square format and comments are placed below the actual video (as show above).
In a post on Passion Squared, Nina Kovner (below) also pointed out a couple of other key differences between the two platforms. For instance, Periscope videos disappear after 24 hours, while replays of Facebook Live streams can stay on your page for as long as you want them to.
Also, Periscope has some light analytics features, while Facebook doesn’t really at the moment since the feature isn’t yet set up for business pages. You can only use it on your personal or verified page. But she also noted that Facebook allows you to save and share the replay of your stream so you can share it on your business page or even on your website.
What many of the business users who have tried out Facebook Live tend to agree on is that it all basically comes down to where your audience is. If you focus a lot of your efforts on Twitter marketing and have built up a decent sized network there, then Periscope is probably where you should also focus your live streaming efforts.
But if, like many small businesses, you’ve worked hard to build a Facebook following, then you can leverage that network by using the Facebook live feature to reach them.
Even with all of the changes Facebook has made to its algorithm in regards to how many followers your posts reach, you can’t deny the site’s massive user base. If your target audience resides on Facebook, as many target audiences do, Facebook Live could be an interesting addition to your marketing efforts.
Video Image via Shutterstock, Screenshot via Facebook/Small Business TrendsMore in: Facebook