by Eris Doble

Today, businesses rely heavily on social media to come up with unique and refreshed ideas to market their products. While a solid argument could be made as to what platform is the best one, Facebook has always been at the top of the rankings. One of its latest initiatives has only solidify this even further—Facebook Live.

Facebook Live is a platform that allows people to stream video in real time, and offers viewers the capability to interact with the live feed.

Many brands have quickly taken a liking to this feature for so many reasons. For starters, Facebook Live promises authenticity. The end-users are given the opportunity to intermingle through “liking” and “commenting” as the live stream is playing, rather than it being a one-way conversation, like Snapchat for instance.  It is a mode that combines connection and interaction together keeping the audience fully engaged. According to Digital Marketing Strategist and Global Ambassador of Post Planner, Rebekah Radice, As users clamored for access to brands, brands jumped on live streaming. They saw it (and still do) as an instant opportunity to create a better brand experience. From BMW to Starbucks, Nestle and Doritos, brands were eager to share their thoughts… And their experiences in real time.”

Brands throughout various industries have been testing the waters of Facebook Live in their own unique ways such as Birchbox, Tastemade, and Tough Mudder. Here’s how each of these companies utilized this feature to push product, create brand awareness, and connect with consumers in effective and successful ways:

Birch box is a monthly beauty subscription service that uses Facebook Live as a Q&A series, where the brand showcases its new products and allows the audience to ask questions about “what’s in the box.” It’s a fun and visually appealing way for Birchbox to sell its products, while engaging with its customers and helping them to become more familiar with the brand.

Tastemade is a video app that allows people to share recipes, meals, and engage in conversation about food. Since it already uses video as its primary platform, it’s no surprise that it would have eventually turned to a live streaming service for marketing. Tastemade uses Facebook Live to execute a live video feed of the content that’s already on their app This is done through the “Tiny Kitchen,” a series that focuses on cooking various dishes in real time. The brand further involves the audience by asking them for feedback and suggestions for recipes, and directs them to download their app to share more meals. Tastemade has seen wild success from this, as many of these live streams have obtained millions of views and interactions.

Tough Mudder is a brand that offers challenging training programs and obstacle races that push people to their ultimate limits all over the country. Because it is a company that sells a service rather than a product, the brand’s approach to Facebook Live has been different to companies like Tastemade and Birchbox, yet still very effective. For example: Kyle Railton, also known as Coach T. Mud, broadcasted his Merrell Michigan Training Event. This gave viewers and potential participants an idea of what the different challenges and training programs consisted of. It was used as a way for potential clients to become familiar with the brand, and see the quality and results of the programs before deciding to invest in them.

Although Facebook Live seems easy, efficient, and worthwhile, it of course still has its flaws. There are technical glitches and lagging that can occur due to connection issues, making the live video static and annoying to view. It also is a major battery killer, and uses up a ton of data if you aren’t on WiFi. Nonetheless, it’s still a platform that has many advantages for brands who are looking to engage more directly with their audience and consumers.