Tech Watch: Wendy Thompson on how businesses can go live on Facebook

  • Didge
  • May 11, 2016
  • Erin McKenzie
Tech Watch: Wendy Thompson on how businesses can go live on Facebook

There’s a lot going on in the world of social media. Each week new updates see the platforms change and communication habits follow suit. So how can marketers keep up? In a new series we talk to people in the industry about what the updates mean to marketers. This week Wendy Thompson, founder and managing director of Socialites, explains how businesses can go live with Facebook Live.

Last month, Facebook added yet another feature to its social media empire with Facebook Live, allowing users to broadcast content to an audience of friends and followers in real time

Thompson compares the new feature to Twitter’s Periscope, saying it has the same functionality with people able to comment, 'like' and react in real time in the comment box beneath the video.

When people or businesses start a live-stream, friends and followers will get a notification alerting them to the stream, encouraging them to tune in and watch.

Thompson says the New Zealand Olympic Team has been using the feature to capture special moments from the athletes while ASB live-streams from its event sponsorships.

She also says Spark Lab, a series of seminars run by Spark out of Auckland, uses Facebook Live to share some of the most popular sessions with people around the country. Those streams last the entirety of the hour-long sessions, so Thompson says she's yet to see a time limit on the feature.

With people able to give reactions including 'love', 'haha', 'wow', 'sad', 'angry', as well as 'like', a connection can be made between the viewer and the broadcaster. This is further increased by the ability for questions to be asked in comments and answered by the broadcaster in real time.

Because of this, people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos compared to regular videos, according to Facebook.

As well as streaming to all friends and followers, people and businesses can go live in Facebook Groups and Facebook Events to share things with particular people, or those who weren’t able to attend in person.

When the live-stream is finished, the videos stay on the Facebook page, and Thompson says Facebook media spend is able to be added to increase the overall reach to target audiences.

To go live, Thompson says businesses should use the Facebook mobile app and click on the new circle icon. See the steps below.

Thompson encourages all businesses to go live in Facebook Groups and Facebook Events to share things with particular people or those who weren’t able to attend in person.

However, keep the following in mind:

  • The resolution is not high-definition so don’t expect a super clear image 
  • You do have to be careful with sound, background noise can be a problem
  • It’s pretty much impossible to test, you need to be ready to go when it’s on.
  • Tripods are your friend, use them.

Wendy Thompson is the founder and managing director of Socialites, a full-service social media agency.

  • Tech Watch will look at a new tech update every Wednesday.
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