Facebook endures as the social media king, and the company’s internal team is making sure that doesn’t change.
One striking enhancement to the social network’s video streaming platform is Live. Announced last summer, Live initially was only for those who Facebook deemed as public figures, including Kevin Hart, Ian Somerhalder and Donald Trump.
Just a few days ago, word came from Facebook that individuals and verified pages (which include many large news organizations) can now use Live. Anyone with an iPhone, the Facebook app and a strong fiber optic connection can broadcast in real time to the world.
The best part? It's super easy.
How to use Live
Go into the Facebook mobile app, and go to where you normally post status updates.
Click the new icon on the bottom of the screen.
3. Add a compelling description to tell followers the synopsis of the story and why they should view your content.
Guidelines for effective live streaming
Interact with viewers. Live enables followers to feel included in private, behind-the-scenes moments. As with Periscope and Meerkat, you can invite followers to become part of the experience.
Go long. The longer the broadcast, the more opportunity there is for people to drop by and watch. Before starting a segment, determine how long it will be. This affords followers time to jump into the live stream.
Be open to experimenting. The Live feature is not yet available to all brands, as it must be accessed through an individual’s account. PR pros can prepare for a brand launch by getting acquainted with the new app. Facebook tech pros say all brands will have access “soon.” In the meantime, you can learn the features through your personal account.
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Live streaming for PR
What does this mean for the future of public relations? Astute PR pros’ strategic plans already have video projects that include both edited and live segments on a variety of platforms. Keep in mind that your approach and content will differ between live and edited pieces.
Facebook isn’t the only social network ramping up efforts to stay relevant. Periscope is exploring ways for its streams to autoplay in Twitter feeds .
More refinements are expected from Facebook, Periscope, Meerkat and Blab as all platforms battle to reach—and maintain—the coveted top spot.
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a content-focused public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Connect on Twitter: @LisaArledge.
This article was created in partnership with MediaSource.