Facebook Live for Business: Benefits, Examples & IdeasMarch 26, 2018
Marketing strategies have come a long way since the “Mad Men” days. While campaigns once relied on television, radio and print ads, they’ve now evolved to include live-streaming video and interactive content that directly engages current and potential customers. And Facebook Live is the best platform for engaging viewers through video.
We recently published The Wowza Ultimate Guide to Facebook Live Streaming, which covers tips and tricks for successful streaming, what equipment to use and content ideas for any industry. In this post, we’ll share a few insights from our guide that show you how to capitalize on Facebook Live.
- Benefits of Facebook Live for Business
- How to Use Facebook Live on a Business Page
- Facebook Live Business Ideas and Examples
- Brands Using Facebook Live Well
- The Easiest Way to Use Facebook Live Video for Business
Benefits of Facebook Live for Business
Marketers around the world are finding that video content really works: Businesses that use online video grow revenue 49 percent faster year-over-year than those that don’t, while 59 percent of global marketing professionals say video has the best return on investment of any content type. And a staggering 78 percent of executives who use live video for business say it offers deeper interactions with viewers.
There are many benefits of using Facebook Live for business, including:
- Access to the world’s largest online audiences through a platform they already use every day.
- Unique features for audience engagement, such as real-time commenting and Live Reactions that allow hosts and viewers to interact.
- A flexible platform for either internal or external business use.
- Built-in analytics capabilities to track video performance.
- The ability to boost live videos as paid ads to reach even more viewers.
How to Use Facebook Live on a Business Page
So, how do you live stream on a Facebook Business Page? It’s a common question, since live video on Facebook Business Pages is not quite as straightforward as it is on personal profiles.
There are a few different ways to get started:
1. Go live from your phone using the Facebook Page mobile app.
To live stream on Facebook Business Pages from your phone, you must first download the Facebook Page mobile app. Then, follow these steps:
From your Business Page, click the “Publish” button, as if you’re going to update your status.
This will open the post window; at the bottom, select “Live Video,” denoted by the red camera icon.
Select “OK” from the prompts to give Facebook permission to access your device’s camera and microphone (if you haven’t already).
Where you see the prompt “Tap to add a description…,” write an informative description that grabs your audience’s attention and tells them what to expect from your live stream.
Hit the red “Go Live” button, denoted by the camera icon, at the bottom of the screen—and your broadcast will begin.
This is the simplest way to use Facebook Live for Business Pages—however, it also produces the least professional results. Many organizations want to create streams that look and feel polished, with high-quality audio and video, rather than risk shaky, low-resolution mobile video with inaudible sound.
Want to learn how to use Facebook Live on Business Pages to create truly professional broadcasts? The following approach is the one we recommend, and is also highly recommended by Facebook:
2. Use the /live/create portal on Facebook to stream from your camera, switcher or professional production equipment.
Using the new live-streaming portal, you can connect your consumer- or professional-grade camera, switcher or production equipment and create a stream using the familiar Facebook interface. We recommend this method because it’s the most reliable way to deliver high-quality live broadcasts, which helps build your brand’s reputation and reach. (To learn how to choose the right studio setup for your company, read our Facebook Live Equipment and Production Guide.)
Here’s how to get started when using professional hardware or software for Facebook Live video on Business Pages:
Navigate to the www.facebook.com/live/create portal in your web browser and click “Create Live Stream.”
Facebook provides everything you need to direct your encoder or cloud transcoding service to publish a live stream, including the necessary RTMP publishing information. This allows you to easily connect your hardware or software encoder by clicking the “Connect” button at the top-right of the screen.
(You can also click “Camera” to enable the built-in camera on your laptop or other device; however, both Wowza and Facebook strongly encourage the use of a dedicated hardware encoder.)
Before you go live, you’ll also need to set your encoder or transcoder to meet Facebook’s streaming requirements. This is the step people struggle with most. If you don’t provide the proper stream settings, performance will be dramatically degraded—or worse, the live stream simply won’t work. Make sure to test your encoder to make sure you get this part right.
Every time you create a stream in the Facebook Live streaming portal, it will generate a unique stream key (as shown above). Enter this key into your encoder settings in order to properly configure it before going live.
In the right-hand pane, enter a title for your live stream, as well as a detailed description for the post that tells your followers what to expect. You can also choose a destination for the post, and change the sharing settings if necessary.
After you’ve connected your live-streaming software or hardware encoder and entered the necessary information, at the bottom of the right-hand pane, click either the “Schedule” button to schedule your broadcast for a future date, or the “Go Live” button to start streaming right away. Now you’re ready to deliver professional Facebook Live business productions to massive audiences around the world!
Facebook Live Business Ideas and Examples
You’ve learned how to create a live stream—now, you’ll need to determine what your Facebook Live videos will be about. From mom and pop shops to the Fortune 100, here are just a few of the best Facebook Live business content ideas:
Show Off Your Products
Create an interactive segment to showcase your company’s products and services, and answer questions from the audience. Host a hands-on training that shows new users how to get started. Conduct a tutorial with existing users walking them through advanced functionality. Go live with product updates and Q&As when new features are released. Or host a live unboxing to build excitement for a new product, and conduct Live Reactions polls to see what viewers think.
Create an Interactive ‘Talk Show’
Live stream a regular segment where you cover industry news and events, and take topic suggestions from followers. You can designate certain staff members as regular hosts and bring in customers, partners or industry experts as special guests for live Q&As. This helps position you as a thought leader and builds authority for your brand. Even better, it personalizes the interaction between your company and your customers, and gives them an outlet to vent frustrations or make suggestions.
Train and Onboard New Employees From Anywhere
Facebook Live isn’t just for your customers—you can also live stream internal training and onboarding videos for employees and contractors. In fact, a recent survey found that among companies using live video in-house, the top two use cases were training retail associates (56 percent) and training sales representatives (50 percent).
Live training videos are especially helpful for remote workers, or for positions where employees need to learn hands-on at their desk or workstation. You can even leverage the recorded assets for those who miss the live broadcast, or use them as refresher courses.
Streaming onboarding videos with human resources staff before new employees start can help them get acquainted and feel welcome before they even arrive for their first day. Even if they work remotely, give them an in-person introduction, and conduct a virtual tour of the office to provide a sense of connection. This is also a nicer format for discussing new-hire forms and company policies than simply emailing a giant folder of documents.
Conduct Meetings Everyone Can Interact With
Your organization probably holds all-company meetings to outline upcoming goals and priorities, past achievements and current setbacks. Conducting these meetings on Facebook Live brings everyone together to discuss company business—especially for large, global enterprises with dispersed offices across the globe. Broadcasting CEO town-hall meetings is another top use case for in-house live streaming, reported by 48 percent of organizations in a recent survey.
The Facebook Live interface allows every employee to participate as if they were there, by submitting questions and feedback through comments and Live Reactions. The Facebook Live API also allows you to broadcast slides and screencasts, so viewers can see your presentation in crystal-clarity.
Let Your Customers Tell the Story
Since 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, live streaming actual customers talking about your products and services is an excellent marketing tactic. Bring in satisfied customers and let them talk firsthand with online audiences who are interested in buying. The more authentic the testimonials, the more compelling they’ll be to current and potential followers.
Brands Using Facebook Live Well
Need some more help getting started? Here are a few of the best brands on Facebook Live:
Our #FacebookLive with Jen Atkin of Ouai Haircare and Christophe Robin Paris was a hit. Watch again to find holiday hairstyle inspiration.
Posted by SEPHORA on Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Cosmetics and personal care company Sephora hosts “Ask Me Anything” sessions with popular vendors, who answer questions and offer beauty advice.
Unveiling Wowza #ClearCaster
Posted by Wowza Media Systems on Thursday, October 26, 2017
Our own weekly Facebook Live talk show, “Going Live With Wowza,” touches on new products, trends and updates from Wowza and the streaming media industry as a whole.
Going LIVE now to share holiday stories and show you what my favorite gifts for the holiday season are! Come watch along, send me questions, and tell me what you like getting for the holidays. In collaboration with JCPenney . #JoyWorthGiving #ad
Posted by Aja Dang on Friday, December 16, 2016
JCPenny teamed up with model and influencer Aja Dang, who recommended holiday gifts from the retailer in a Facebook Live broadcast.
We’re live on Tipsy Tricks talking cheerful cheek looks with Benefit makeup master José Rivera!
Posted by Benefit Cosmetics on Thursday, September 29, 2016
The Easiest Way to Use Facebook Live Video for Business
With most hardware encoders, it’s important to note that your team will need to manually configure the device before each live broadcast to ensure the stream settings are right. This can be a bottleneck to efficiency and a major challenge for those who aren’t streaming engineers.
However, there is an “easy” way to stream professionally to this platform: by using a Facebook Live encoder that integrates with the updated API, such as the Wowza ClearCaster™ appliance. Recognizing that encoder configuration is the primary reason Facebook Live broadcasts fail, Wowza Media Systems built this device working directly with Facebook, with the aim of simplifying live encoder configuration—by removing it altogether.
ClearCaster is the only device in the drop-down menu in the Facebook Live streaming portal, and it can easily be paired with a Facebook account, where it automatically receives the optimal stream settings via the live-streaming API. Every detail of the streaming configuration process, including the streaming URL, stream key, resolution, bitrate, frame rate, key frame and sample settings is fully loaded, without you ever having to think about it.
In addition, ClearCaster provides an exclusive “Talent View” option (which is a live HDMI output from the device), which the people on camera can reference and interact with. For businesses, this means the presenter or host can be facing an on-stage monitor, where they can see and respond, in real time, to feedback from the online community. Whether you’re demoing a new product or leading an all-hands meeting, this is an incredibly interactive use case.
What’s more, if you project the Talent View during your broadcast, you can connect customers and employees all over the world—allowing online and in-person members to see and respond to one another’s comments, building community and authority around your brand.
With these tips, your business can capitalize on the power of the world’s largest social network and market more effectively. Want to learn more about creating professional Facebook Live broadcasts? Download The Wowza Ultimate Guide to Facebook Live Streaming, and subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss an update.
Facebook Marketing Resources (Facebook)