How the new Facebook Live features are even better than you realise


It’s against best practice guidelines to start with a negative, but I’ve never been one for rules and taking lessons from the mistakes of others. Had I done so, then I would have found a tropical island to live and go fishing around, as an old man once advised me. But regardless, if I don’t acknowledge that Facebook Live has some very serious, unresolved issues then that would be exceptionally remiss of me, and despite all my failings, it’s never been said that I’m one to hide my head in the sand.

Facebook Live is a beast and it is growing. Like any unwieldy animal, things can go horribly wrong when it is let off the chain. So, let that be a broad warning to you, do your research and get advice from those in the know before you do any marketing activity on Facebook Live, but the pitfalls of social in marketing isn’t what today’s post is about. Rather, I’m going to imagine a scenario where everything is good and you’re able to use features in an amazing way.

Facebook recently announced new features coming to Live namely, Live Chat with Friends and Live With. This is on top of a previous announcement that its AR camera effects platform will be coming to Live. The savvy marketer will look at all the investment Facebook is putting into this side of its offering and recognise that this is the place to be focussing your channel activation. When a company like Facebook talks so frequently about a feature, then no doubt it wants it to be a success and will adjust its algorithm to help facilitate those early success case studies.

So, what could you do to activate a project using these features? Comments on Live video at the moment are great for vanity, Facebook themselves proudly boast that there are ten times as many comments on Live videos as there are on conventional recorded videos. When a stream goes well, it can look like the whole world is involved in your activity, great for a brand. In reality, there’s not a great deal of meaningful engagement so you may see little return.

Now, you can create a private chatroom and crucially you can invite new people. This could be as straight forward as give a selected gaming audience access to pro gamers in the lead up to an event like E3, or even if you’re in FinTech, building a thought leadership campaign with a select invite to those that are influential to join the club and discuss matters. This Live Chat with Friends feature has innumerable possibilities.

The second feature, Live With essentially makes your video calling public. A terrifying prospect if you select the wrong option when intending to have an intimate call with your partner but, how amazing would it be to get two influencers to have a call discussing key issues within their industry. With opposing views, you’d have an invited audience fully committed to every word said, perfect for the likes of Andrew Marr’s morning show or even if a retailer was bold enough to get two of the partners to debate the merits of their product over one another. I personally would love to see an Android versus iPhone debate over Live and would have no doubt that the likes of Carphone Warehouse would benefit hugely from hosting.

Clearly there’s lots to consider but if done properly, and not too overly orchestrated, this could be a fantastic new medium for brand to reach their audience through. Or it could just be another Facebook product that’s forgotten about in a few months’ time.


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