By Emma Fitzpatrick
Facebook is no longer the “cool” social platform it was when it launched back in 2004. Now, that honor would likely go to Snapchat. But Facebook may have upgraded to an even better title. It is by far the largest social network.
Facebook has 1.71 billion monthly active users and 1.13 billion daily active users, according to the company’s 2016 Q2 results. That’s more than three times the user base of its next biggest competitor, Instagram. (Though, it’s worth noting that Facebook owns Instagram.)
On that front, Facebook is the undisputed giant of the social world. And live streaming was forecast to be one of the biggest social media trends of 2016.
Facebook saw the protentional in the new medium, and in spring of 2016, the company launched Facebook Live. Now, users can record and watch live stream videos on Facebook.
Read on to learn the basics of the platform and how you can use Facebook Live to your bank’s advantage.
What is Facebook Live?
As its name suggests, Facebook Live lets you capture, record, and share real-time videos on your Facebook. All you need is a smartphone, and you’re good to go.
Facebook Live rolled out to all users in April of this year. But you may have seen the feature used before that. Beginning in early August 2015, celebrities with a verified Facebook page tested Facebook Live. Martha Stewart, Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Serena Williams were a handful of the lucky few to first live stream on Facebook.
Their videos each got about one million views. Plus, people watched Facebook live streams three times longer and commented 10 times more than they did on regular video, showed initial Facebook data.
Facebook Live has proven its staying power—for now. It already brought us Chewbacca mom, live streamed the shooting of Philando Castile, and broadcast all the U.S. presidential debates.
How do I use Facebook Live?
For info on how to stream Facebook Live with professional recording equipment, click here.
1. Open the Facebook Page Manager app on your mobile device.
2. Click “Post.” Then select the video icon, which looks like a camera with an eye.
3. Allow Facebook access to your camera and microphone.
4. Press “Continue,” and you’ll be walked through a brief tutorial.
5. Choose your privacy setting. Public will likely work best, but consider other options.
6. Decide whether to see or hide comments and reactions.
7. Write a description of your live video. Make it inspiring! You want your readers to click and watch your video. Also, be sure to include a few strategic keywords.
8. Adjust your camera, perfect the lighting, and ready the background.
9. Lights, camera, action! Hit “Go live.” You’ll see a countdown for 3 seconds before you’re officially streaming. Your video will then be visible in the news feed and should rank and appear higher than usual. Facebook gives more rank and preference to live steams.
10. You can stream for up to four hours. If you enabled comments/reactions, they’ll appear at the bottom of your screen along with the number of viewers.
11. Done? Hit “Finish” to end the broadcast, and be sure to save the video to your camera roll. Your stream will also remain on your timeline.
What content should I stream on Facebook Live?
Below are a few types of content that perform best on live streams. Scroll the list and see if any seem like a fit for your bank.
Behind the scenes. Humanize your brand and bank by sharing a bit more about how you work, beyond what users already see on your social platforms. Of course, be conscious of what information you’d like the public to know. For example, a short, sweet conversation with a teller at your bank could work well. Your goal should be to show a face behind your brand and capture an “off-the-cuff” moment.
Stream live events. If you’re already hosting an event, share it with those who couldn’t make it. Designate a live stream MC to walk viewers through the event, interact with the attendees, and capture the event’s happenings.
Q&A. This one’s easy! Simply open the floor for questions. Keep in mind that you don’t have to answer every question asked. To focus this event, you may want to highlight one topic per live stream, like the rollout of your bank’s new online system.
Share your bank’s story. When customers hear your brand story, they connect with you. One of the best ways to do this is to detail the origin of your bank. Tell the story honestly. It’s ok, and even encouraged, to detail the obstacles you overcame. It makes it more relatable. Or, try sitting down with your CEO, founder, or manager, and have a genuine conversation about their path and passions.
Debut breaking news. Facebook Live can replace the press conference. Draft your statement, and take the news live, on your terms.
Emma Fitzpatrick is a Philly-based freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social marketing and short, snappy writing. Pick her brain at [email protected].
Online training in Facebook from ABA.