Live videos generate 600% more interactions on Facebook


Buffer Social report 2018 offers insight into how 60% of social media marketers posting live video events reported success with this strategy. This is important because Facebook’s new algorithm prioritizes posts that generate discussions. According to Facebook, live videos generate on average six times more interactions than other videos. This makes live video an effective form of outreach and community building to help stay relevant on Facebook.

Will live videos rank higher on Facebook?

In the January 12, 2018 Facebook announcement about their new feed algorithmAdam Mosseri, Head of News Feed, specifically mentioned live videos as the type of Page post likely to appear higher in members’ News Feed:

What types of Page posts will appear higher in News Feed?
Page posts that generate a conversation between people will appear higher in the News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussions among viewers on Facebook…”

Live videos generate an average of 600% more interactions on Facebook

Facebook’s announcement pointed out that live video generated on average “six times” more interactions. Interactions are a key metric for ranking higher in subscriber newsfeeds.

“…in fact, live videos generate on average six times more interactions than regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook spark discussions among their followers, as do celebrity posts.

Live videos featuring relevant people

This last part on live videos featuring “celebrities” generating important interactions is interesting. A celebrity can be anyone who is of interest to a group. For example, a Facebook group on a topic might host a live interview with an influential author in that niche.

Live video is popular in Facebook groups

The Facebook representative also said that live videos could generate interactions that will help Facebook groups rank higher in Facebook feeds and stay relevant to users.

“In Groups, people often interact around public content.”

Live video can help local businesses

Facebook was enthusiastic about live videos to promote local businesses. Frankly, it’s hard to see how this will help a local, blue-collar type service industry (e.g. plumbers and moving companies). But it can be useful for Facebook pages and groups owned by art galleries. When an art gallery organizes a vernissage, it can also broadcast it live on its Facebook page. Stores that host product-related seminars and events can also host live videos on their Facebook pages.

Instead of relying on people showing up at the store for a class or seminar, those who can’t physically attend can watch via live video. For example, a business that sells knitting supplies but also runs knitting classes can post it as a live video, encouraging them to buy supplies in person or online. Here’s what Facebook said:

“Local businesses are connecting with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And the news can help start conversations about important issues.

Only 31% of businesses use live video

Buffer’s 2018 Social Status Report confirms the observation that live video is a powerful social media tool. But he also reported that only 31% of businesses use this method to build community and sales.

Should you use live video in 2018?

60% of social media marketers who posted live video (across all social media platforms) said live video was effective. However, only 31% of social media marketers said they use live video, which is a 5% growth from last year.

Every year more and more businesses are discovering the benefits of live video publishing. It’s the direction businesses are headed, as many are discovering it to be an effective tool for growing sales. Live video is an option any social media manager might want to consider in 2018, especially if Facebook is a major part of your social media strategy.

The full buffer 2018 State of Social Google Sheets is available here.

Images from Shutterstock, modified by author


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