Going live to stand out from the pack

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By Graduate Consultant David Abbott

In the current media landscape, where platforms to distribute information are continually evolving, it is more important than ever to keep your finger on the pulse to identify new ways to ensure your message is being heard by your target audience.

While it may be intimidating for some to present to the public in a live and unedited manner, Facebook Live allows you to do just that, and it is quickly becoming a popular and effective tool for businesses to share their messages.

Here at Font we have utilised Facebook Live on a number of occasions, both for the benefit of our business, such as the 2017 – 2018 Tasmanian State Budget wrap, and for the benefit of our clients on other appropriate projects.

Recently, you might have also noticed The Mercury using Facebook Live a lot more frequently to broadcast various press conferences, including the finish of the recent Sydney to Hobart yacht race, as well as the first Leaders’ Debate in the lead up to the Tasmanian state election.

Facebook’s popularity doesn’t need introducing. With around 15 million unique monthly active Australian users, the significant reach opportunities the platform offers are clear to see.

One major challenge businesses face when using Facebook to promote their offerings however, is how to leverage this reach and convert it to engagement.

Facebook prioritises live video in its algorithm, meaning it is more likely to be seen by followers. Facebook made this decision because live videos are viewed around three times longer than previously recorded and edited videos.

Facebook Live videos also provide completely unique content, a sought-after characteristic in a saturated online environment where everyone is trying to stand out.

Another beauty of the Facebook Live medium is that it is extremely cost effective, only really requiring a smart phone and an internet connection, two things which are readily accessible to most.

While obviously not as polished as a professional video, the rawness and authenticity of a Facebook Live video gives messages a more personal nature, making it an ideal medium to interact with audiences.

This is not to say you should ‘go live’ for the sake of it. Facebook Live videos should still be planned out, not necessarily scripted to each second, but entered into with an outline of what you want to say or share.

Perhaps most importantly, content for the video also must be something your audience will be interested in viewing.

If you have an exciting new announcement, or frequently asked questions that need answering, I would encourage you to consider using Facebook Live to connect with your audience.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said “Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket, anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world”.

This was a power once reserved for mighty media conglomerates, and while it may seem like a big step out of your comfort zone, with a solid plan in place and proper execution, this power can be a very effective communication tool for your business.

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