When Facebook Live was introduced, my first thought was: “Oh, no. Facebook is pitching us another last ditch effort to try and stay relevant to the younger crowd.” Relentless notifications of people I barely knew, going “Live,” flooding my newsfeed with real-time videos of strangers being, well – strangers, made it easy to write off however useful Facebook Live could prove itself to be for me.
Now, nearly a half-year later, I am just starting to realize the capabilities of Facebook’s new take on this somewhat ancient concept. In the last few years, video-sharing has become crucial for companies and brands to connect with their publics through social media platforms across the board. As a PR student and intern, I have learned that consumers respond best to companies who work hard for consumer interaction – whether it be through responding to Tweets made by consumers or face-to-face interactions at special events. Facebook live ties both of these truths together in a package that is easily accessible to consumers everywhere.
Facebook Live enables you to record video directly from your Facebook page with a mobile device, allowing your connections, or “friends,” to see what you see in real-time. So while your aunt might make a Facebook Live video of her cats playing with a paper bag she just emptied the groceries from, a successful fashion boutique might share a video of a ribbon cutting ceremony at the opening of their newest location.
Debatably, one of the coolest aspects of Facebook Live, is that it evens the playing field for those who might not be able to afford the promotion of their ideas or events. There is no cost for this feature, giving anyone with a camera the capability to broadcast live to anyone they need to.
Facebook Live is re-engaging millennials as their favorite companies are sharing videos on a platform that is easily attainable for them. The possibilities Facebook Live has presented to both creators and consumers from a PR standpoint is incredible and I can’t wait to utilize this tool in my own work, engaging my followers and giving them real-time updates on the projects and events they’re interested in.