Facebook Live Now on Business Page Desktops
The video update expands businesses' options for connecting with their audience, writes Sherry Bonelli.
Have you checked your Facebook business page lately? If you use a social media tool like HootSuite or Buffer to manage your social media posts, you may not even have noticed that you have a little surprise waiting for you.
Yes, Facebook Live video is now being rolled out to desktops and laptops! Before this rollout, Facebook Live video streaming required you to use a smartphone or tablet that used the Facebook Live API. This new feature means that streaming Live video about your business, products, or services just got a whole lot easier because you can now broadcast through your computer’s web browser directly to your Facebook page. (If you’ve ever tried to stream a Facebook Live video from your smartphone, you’ll know what an improvement this is.)
To see if you have this new Facebook Live feature on your business Facebook page, just login to your page and you should see a “Start a Live Video” button:
Currently this feature is only available to businesses and brands with Facebook Pages, not individual users, but we suspect that it’s going to be rolled out to everyone soon. (Heck, who wouldn’t want to see their grandchildren streaming live on Facebook?)
Facebook is also making it easier for companies who use Facebook Live streaming for their business. Before, only Page Admins could use the Live feature and actually stream video, but now Admins can designate employees/users as “Live Contributors” (a role that allows people with that privilege to stream live to the Page.) This means that members of your team can have access to Facebook Live streaming for spur-of-the-moment company news and information they’d like to share with the world.
Facebook also recently introduced a scheduled live streams feature so advertisers and publishers can make announcement posts promoting upcoming Live broadcasts. These new features just show how serious Facebook is about live video — and why you should probably pay attention, too.
Why Should Businesses Care About Facebook Live?
According to eMarketerLive, 36 percent of internet users said they watched live video (November 2016.) The projections for the number of live streaming viewers (using a variety of platforms, like YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Instagram Live and others) in 2017 are even higher.
Many businesses wonder why they should even care about live streaming. Worried that videos must be filmed in a studio with professional lighting and cameras, many business owners shy away from the very thought of streaming live. If you’re like that, it’s time to take a breath and jump in!
Your customers crave information and content about what you have to offer. And one of the most engaging ways to share information with your audience is through video. Video is interesting and visual — and is much more entertaining than reading a social media or blog post.
With live streaming, you have the chance to really connect with your audience, answer their questions in real-time and share product and service tips and tricks — so that you become the trusted source.
If you’ve watched live streaming videos from other business owners – even the professional digital marketing gurus – you’ll find a consistent theme: none of them are perfect! And you don’t have to be perfect either. That’s the beauty of live video – people expect it to be organic and natural, just like you’re having a conversation with them. That’s what makes it such a great vehicle for promoting your products or services!
There are several tools out there that will make streaming through Facebook easier and more robust: ManyCam, Wirecast and BeLive.tv are just some of my favorites. Using these tools just makes the whole “live” experience even better.
Go ahead. Check and see if you can stream live on Facebook and just go for it!
**Sherry Bonelli is the Local Search Evangelist at BrightLocal. She leads BrightLocal’s Research & Content programs and champions the needs of their SEO Agency and SMB customers. Having worked in digital marketing since 1998, Sherry has a Master’s Degree in Internet Marketing along with numerous digital marketing certifications. In her “spare” time she is a volunteer mentor for the SCORE East Central Iowa Chapter where she coaches small businesses on how to use digital marketing effectively. Sherry frequently gives workshops and speeches on digital marketing topics to local business owners. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.