The launch of Facebook Live, where verified celebrities are able to broadcast directly to fans, is sure to be getting a lot of people excited, ourselves included! Not only does it allow us to get up close and personal with our favourite stars but it’s also a strong indication of the things to come. With Facebook (undeniably the most popular social media platform on the globe) getting on board with the live-streaming craze, does this mean that other social channels are going to be forced to follow suit? Will it soon be a case that social media is built around the same principles as FaceTime and Google Hangouts? Perhaps we’re beginning to notice a shift in user traits by swapping the LOL’s, BRB’s and TBH’s with face to face interaction, via streaming?
Looking at the larger picture, the rise of livestreaming and social integration will get marketers thinking about what it could do for brand awareness and customer engagement. Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and tennis star Serena Williams are among the first celebrities to use the service, and although it may appear like a light hearted way for celebrities to interact with trusty fans, sponsors and marketers may will see this differently. In this context the live streaming service will provide ample opportunity for A-listers to promote upcoming events, whether it be a new film release or a product launch. So now what was initially perceived as a relationship from celebrity-fan is now crossing into the territory of seller-consumer. And the fact that you’re broadcasting live to your social media fan base doesn’t only mean that you’re integrating with those that use the platform on a day-to-day basis, but you’re also targeting those that care about your brand the most.
The fundamental point that we’re trying to get at is that maybe it’s time that brands (regardless of size) start to think about how they’re going to utilize the free service if and when it becomes available to all. Certainly from a psychological point of view live streaming/interacting with a brand could be perceived as a more engaging experience. There are a whole heap of marketing events such as Q&A’s, in-depth interviews or lectures that could take place on the streaming service, plus it will accommodate to those users that are ‘on-the go’.
We all know that live visual streaming isn’t anything new, even within apps. We have services out there such as Meerkat and Periscope who continue to battle it out to be the dominant force, but the introduction of Facebook Live appears to be something of a game changer. Unlike the pair, Live will allow you to watch the video on the figure’s site and will only be deleted if done so by that person. In terms of marketing opportunities these videos can be used time and time again which both saves time and resources at a later date.
What Live may prove is that if you take a popular service and include basic yet effective upgrades it may have the capability to oust competition completely, purely because they’ve listened to what consumers want. At a point in time where more and more people are using social media, Live has ensured that users encounter less fuss as possible (note: changing to different social accounts) in order to be closer to the stars.
This said, the latest release is still in its honeymoon stage and the success of it will be reviewed at a later date. One thing is clear however, social media has never been as exposed as it is now to the power of live-streaming, and may well prove to be a key area that marketers thrive on in the not so distant future.