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Pro's and Con's of Facebook Live

Videos have been around for a while. Thanks to the internet it's possible for you to watch endless streams of uninterrupted video. Whether you're watching Netflix or your favorite YouTube channel you've seen your fair share of them and businesses have since latched on to the fresh marketing medium that gets people talking the most. But just like technology the business industry is continuously evolving. We've moved from paper ads and mailing lists to social media and emails. What hasn't changed is the fact that businesses want to reach their audience in the most effective way, which means keeping up with the latest technological trends. Enter, Facebook Live. It seems to be a hot commodity in the marketing world with many businesses putting or keeping their brand in the spotlight by going live. It's a one-tap decision that has the potential to make or break your brand, so we've come up with a list of pros and cons to help make your choice a little easier. 

    Let's start with the pros. Facebook Live has a pretty high advantage already considering its location. With almost two billion users it's practically a must to include Facebook in your marketing, communications and public relations strategies. Most successful businesses have their own Facebook pages and maintain a strong following there, providing their audience with a form of direct communication. Using Facebook Live can keep your business relevant by utilizing that direct line you have to your customers and there's more than one way to do it. 

Get Personal

    Facebook Live can be used as a great tool for PR. It gives you the opportunity to interact with your audience in real time. You can film responsive videos in relevance to a previous blog post or make it a session for frequently asked questions, letting your customers know you've got their best interests in mind and you're willing to be real with them. Your audience wants to get to know you. This is a great way to humanize your brand.

Engage

    People spend three times as long watching live videos than they do previously edit film online. The number of people you can reach is mind blowing and with notifications sent directly to your followers whenever you go live you'll have viewers more often than not, but the longer you live to stream the more viewers you're likely to get that will share your video. Since viewers can comment on your video it gives you a chance to see exactly what your audience thinks and respond to them immediately. 

Share

    Facebook Live is also a great way to give your followers an inside look at your business. Think, behind the scenes and sneak peek clips. This is a great idea to keep your audience coming back. Show them what they would be missing if they missed your posts. What products are you about to release? What events are you promoting? Sharing this information through live video allows your customers to learn more about your business on an interactive platform and gives you the feedback you can utilize to make any last minute adjustments. 

    With all these pros you're probably not seeing much of a downside to this. Just as I'm sure you've heard there are two sides to every coin, and Facebook Live is no different. Here are some things that you might make you think twice. 

Technical Difficulties

    Facebook Live is a great idea but it might not be worth it if the video quality is bad or your sound is choppy. How long are you willing to watch a video that isn't buffering or, just as frustrating, has a grainy picture? Now, imagine trying to make a good impression on those things happening to you. Not a pretty sight, I assure you. You'll lose viewers simultaneously shrinking that window of opportunity to effectively reach your audience. 

Unpredictability

    Anything can happen in live videos. The risk you take when you choose to live stream is pretty high because there are still so many things out of your control that you won't be able to change. Technical difficulties fall under this category as well. It might not be your fault that your sound cuts out or the lights you set up start flickering, but your viewers could immediately lose interest and keep on scrolling to watch almost anything else. There's also the possibility that you could receive negative feedback during your video. But this isn't an email or a blog post, everyone watching can see that feedback that you really want to hide under a rock, and that is the opposite of what you want. 

Timing
   
Live streaming on Facebook seems like a fairly easy thing to do. All it takes is the tap of an icon on your Facebook home screen to get your message out there. The problem is you need to strategize about when you have the most viewers and how long your videos should be. That's more manpower and time that you need to account for and you might not have it. 
    The point is Facebook Live is a tool that you can use to your business' advantage. It's a great way to build a relationship with your followers and provide the personal side to your brand that your customers are looking for, but there are risks The question you should ask yourself is whether it's right for you. Who knew something as simple as tapping a button could be so risky but provide so many benefits? But as long as you have a strategy and you're willing to stick to it, you'll be able to determine its worth in relevance to your business. 
 

 

Sources:

https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-ways-to-use-facebook-live-video-for-your-business/

http://www.responsiveinboundmarketing.com/blog/10-pros-and-cons-of-facebook-live

https://www.auburnadvertising.com/articles/88-pros-and-cons-of-using-facebook-live-video-for-your-business

http://www.eventsforce.com/us/blog-us/infographic-the-pros-cons-of-facebook-live-and-periscope/