How Facebook Live Worked for My Business

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Live video is all the rage, with Facebook prioritizing it above other content types and rewarding those who use it. Facebook reports live video is watched three times longer than archived video. Early this summer, I challenged myself to try out some Facebook Live video to see if it would live up to the hype. I'm excited to share the results with you.

Facebook breaks down video views by time watched a few ways in its analytics: Videos watched for 3 seconds, videos watched for 30 seconds or to the end and videos viewed to 95%. 

The top three videos viewed for 3 seconds or longer were my first video announcing my Facebook Live Challenge, Identifying who you're talking to in your content and why you should be building your email list. Now, it's not that hard to get to 3 seconds of video views, especially when you consider that Facebook automatically plays video in the feed.

So, let's take a look at the top videos watched to 30 seconds or more. When I look at the sheer number of views to 30 seconds or more, the top three videos are the same as before, though email bumps up to second place. However, when I look at the percentage of people who saw a particular video and watched it for at least 30 seconds, my video on how to reduce, reuse and recycle your content tops the charts at 7.69%. How to amplify your content with visuals comes in second at 6.78% and my bathroom renovation sneak peek is third with 5.38% of viewers watching at least 30 seconds.

Something important to keep in mind is at the time of this experiment, I was hovering around 75 followers on my page and I was posting these videos organically, meaning I did not boost them with any paid support. Therefore, my impressions on these videos were relatively low. That said, I surpassed my followers with each video, leading me to believe that Facebook was delivering my content to people they thought would find it relevant even without me spending a dime.

I didn't get many watches to 95% of the video or beyond, which is fine. It could mean I got to the end of my main points and people decided to log off. This would bug me if I was aggressively trying to build my email list or sell a product, but the point of these videos was truly to help others.

Now, all of that is fine and dandy but what happens when I compare performance of my Facebook Live posts to regular image-based posts? For starters, live video blew image-based posts out of the water in terms of impressions (the total number of people who saw the post) by 243%. So nearly 2.5 times the number of impressions for a live video post.

Reach (the number of unique people reached) was much of the same story with live video surpassing video by 240.5%. Again, nearly 2.5 times the number of individual people saw my video posts.

Engagement rate was a little different but that's to be expected. Typically, the more impressions you have, the lower your engagement rate is going to be (odds of engagement seem to decrease the larger your audience is.) In this case, my live video posts achieved a 5.67% engagement rate while my photo posts achieved a 6.51% engagement rate - nearly 1% higher.

The good news is, my primary objective on Facebook right now is ultimately awareness - I'm trying to get my name and my brand out there so people begin to know, like and trust me. The videos also continue to receive a little engagement beyond the initial time period of measurement (I only measured the month of June to keep it simple.) All that said, I'm so happy of the way Facebook Live worked out for me and I am looking forward to implementing it more moving forward!

To wrap this up, if you're feeling the urge to try out live video to gain brand awareness, I say jump on the bandwagon and give it a try. Check out my blog post on 2017 marketing trends to get some tips on making Facebook Live work for your brand.

Looking for more on Facebook Live? Have an idea for a Facebook Live you want me to do? Let me know in the comments.