Here’s How Brands Should Be Using Facebook Live

GE, Florida's Natural and Lightricks show us how it's done

Viewers of Facebook Live videos comment 10 times more than they do on videos that are not live. Photo Illustration: Dianna McDougall; Sources: Getty Images, Facebook
Headshot of Molly St. Louis

If you’re a theater geek, then you probably know that Mean Girls is coming to Broadway with a brand new script written by Tina Fey. And if you’re not a theater geek, you might be wondering why people would pay hundreds of dollars to see a live show based on an iconic film and rewritten by a television writer when they could very well Netflix the original, buy the soundtrack, or, you know, wait for it to be made into a movie musical.

The answer? It has something to do with getting a live, authentic experience.

When you see a Broadway show, its pretty cool to know that you’re watching something real that has not been edited, chopped, spliced, dubbed over or re-taken. You’re getting to see a real actor giving a real live performance that will never quite be the same. Plus, you’re sharing it with a room full of people who you can discuss it with as you wait in line for the bathroom at intermission.

Well, it might be appropriate to say that Facebook Live is the Broadway of the tech world.

It’s the live thing that makes it special. Fans know it’s being done in real-time and without an editor, so it feels very intimate and connective. Recent reports also show that viewers of Facebook Live videos comment 10 times more than they do on videos that are not live because they can engage in the real-time conversation with other viewers. That’s one advantage Facebook Live has over Broadway, because if you talk or text during a performance, Patti Lupone might cut you.

Like most new platforms, Facebook Live has had its growing pains, working past connection speed issues and slow loading times in its early days. But it appears the kinks have been worked out and brands are using the platform in some really inventive ways.

Here are three brands that are killing it on Facebook Live:

1. Florida’s Natural

The 2016 presidential debates left a lot of the country frazzled, annoyed or downright angry. So the marketing team at Florida’s Natural orange juice decided to lighten the mood a little by teaming up with Funny or Die to create their own debate: Pulp, No Pulp, or Some Pulp.

In this impeccably acted Facebook Live video, three candidates (Pulp, No Pulp, and Some Pulp, respectively) campaign for America’s love … Fox News-style.

Two more livestreams continued the conversation through a variety of debate styles, generating over 514,000 views and over 7,500 social engagements. It’s pretty amazing to see how deeply the general public feels about pulp (or lack thereof!)


2. Lightricks

When you have raving fans, they tend to become your best advocates; the best way to create mega-fans is to make them really, really good at using your product.

The folks at Lightricks understand this profoundly, which is why they started a Facebook Live campaign to show users how to create really remarkable pieces of photo art. For example, in their latest video, a designer details each step to creating a mesmerizing desert scene cube using Enlight Photofox.

Unlike the usual tutorial videos, Facebook Live allows the audience to respond to the presenter via the comments section and they actually get their questions answered. This not only increases audience engagement, it allows for better product innovation.

“We believe that what makes these Facebook Live tutorials unique is the genuine interaction between our app users and ourselves,” says Daphne Kasriel-Alexander of Lightricks. “We haven’t noticed competitors offering this, and we’re unsure why, as it’s so valuable all around.”

3. General Electric

GE got all fancy with their Facebook Live campaign and actually hosted a 360-degree livestream called “The Creators Circle” in which they highlighted the brand’s Relax, Refresh, and Reveal LED light bulbs.

Over the course of a three-hour livestream, host Nina Hajian interviewed social influencers Cat London, Dschwen and Alicia D’Angelo in creative spaces engineered towards their artistic expertise (with the appropriate light bulbs to match, of course). Viewers of the 360-degree livestream could move from room to room to see how each influencer was using their bulb during the creative process.

The Creators Circle certainly delivered the cool factor by allowing users to turn their phones or tablets and see a 360-degree view of the room, but it was equally impactful to see these beloved influencers in creative spaces, doing what they do best. This campaign reached 1,961,249 to date, with 919k views and 2.8K engagements.

At the end of the day, human beings want to connect through shared experiences–whether that means sitting in an auditorium to watch a play or rushing home to see a special livestream. When brands use technology to create a one-of-a-kind, interactive experience like these ones, viewers just can’t resist.

@MollStLouis Molly St. Louis is a freelance writer for Adweek.