Should Brands Adopt Facebook Live?

Dec 11, 2015 Stephanie Fergione

Throughout 2015, brands have been jumping on the live-streaming bandwagon – adopting these new apps to give their followers a live look at events, show them how to use a product, or launch a real-time Q&A with a celebrity or spokesperson. My fellow InkHousers have already shared the basics of the top live streaming apps Periscope (which was just named Apple's App of the Year) and Meerkat, but this month a new player joined the race - one that will undoubtedly place fear in their competitors.

This week Facebook Live, Facebook's live-streaming platform, started rolling out to all users after being in beta mode with high-profile brands and personalities. It goes without saying that Facebook inherently has a leg up in the live-streaming world - the original social network has 1 billion active users every day, whereas Periscope and Meerkat are still building their user bases, with 10 million and 2 million, respectively. Periscope and Meerkat are still very much the new kids on the social media block and lack brand awareness compared to other visual social networks like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine.

Aside from its massive user base and prominence in the social media landscape, Facebook also provides analytics and advertising capabilities that are still not available on the competing live-streaming services. Meerkat and Periscope users can see how many people join a live stream and engage with them directly, but beyond that, interaction is fairly limited. Facebook's robust engagement tracking and targeting could make their entry in this space a game changer.

So, does that mean if you're using Periscope or Meerkat you should jump ship to Facebook? Before you do that, here are some things to consider:

  • Your Facebook followers are probably a lot different than your Meerkat fans. Periscope and Meerkat are definitely built for a younger, hipper generation, who we know are using Facebook less and less. Tune into what your Facebook fans engage with the most (do a deep dive into your Facebook analytics), and tailor your live-streaming efforts to align with their interests.
  • The Twitter-Periscope connection. When Meerkat first launched, it had access to Twitter's social graph, but soon after Periscope launched, that was revoked. It's safe to assume that Twitter won't want to play nice with Facebook Live either, so Periscope will still have the leg up in its connection to your Twitter follower base.
  • Has it moved the needle in your social efforts? If you've been using Periscope and Meerkat and have been making new and meaningful connections, and feel a difference in the engagement you're getting, there's no reason to leave it for something shiny and new so quickly. It's wise to wait a beat and see what could happen with Facebook Live, before cutting the cord on your current live-streaming platform.

I've already seen some brands on my Facebook feed testing out Live, and in the coming months it will be interesting to see the effect it has on its competitors.

Topics: Twitter, Facebook, Social Media, Video
Stephanie Fergione

Stephanie is a vice president at Inkhouse, providing strategic counsel and developing integrated PR programs for clients across the healthcare, B2B and consumer tech, education and fintech industries.

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