When it comes to social media, Facebook is undeniably king. That’s why businesses bend over backwards to try and engage with users via the social media platform — and it’s also why they’ve been working hard to take advantage of Facebook’s video capabilities.
With the launch of the new Facebook continuous live video API, those capabilities have drastically expanded.
Announced in April, this latest expansion of Facebook Live will enable users to stream 24-hour live coverage of anything and everything — from a window filled with adorable puppies to the backstage goings-on during an awards show.
Facebook Continuous Live Video Growing
A few weeks on, the new Facebook continuous live video API has grown by leaps and bounds. Over 100 broadcasters have already hopped on the bandwagon, and global brands are leveraging these new platform capabilities in order to reach users in new and engaging ways.
Disney has used Live API to hand fans sneak peaks from the red carpet, CSPAN has used it to bring viewers closer to this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner and Bleacher Report has been using it to answer questions about the NFL Draft.
“We’ve already seen some interesting use cases — for example, it was used by explore.org to power nature cameras — and we’re looking forward to seeing what Live API developers come up with in the future,” Facebook video head Fidji Simo told TechCrunch. “We expect developers and publishers to get creative with this new capability.”
That being said, there are plenty of ways that smaller businesses can get creative with the new Facebook continuous live video API.
According to Simo, restaurants can utilize Facebook Live in order to walk diners through a typical service, cottage manufacturers can showcase their processes and B2B companies can stage live tutorials. Weather-driven industries like ski resorts or surf shops can even host a continuous stream of local weather conditions so that customers from across the globe know when it’s time to come in.
Better yet, businesses can then directly interact with those viewers in order to generate leads and forge stronger consumer relationships.
“Live video on Facebook is truly interactive ,as broadcasters engage with their commenters and respond to their suggestions and questions,” Simo said. “In fact, from initial data, we’ve seen that people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos.”
Continuous streaming isn’t the only new addition Facebook is making to its Live API. The social media giant will also enable businesses to post videos that are only visible to users based in particular locations that are relevant to that business.
Businesses can also select a video to expire after a certain amount of time in order to generate a sense of urgency around their continuous stream — and Facebook has introduced an age-gate that ensures underage users cannot view certain videos. That will prove a huge benefit for alcohol brands or local bars looking to leverage Facebook’s Continuous Video Live API capabilities.
“We’ve been humbled by all the amazing and creative ways that people have used Facebook Continuous Live Video so far, and we’re committed to creating the best experience for everyone who wants to create, watch and interact with live videos on Facebook,” Simo said. “We’ll keep working to bring you the best ways to broadcast, interact with, and discover live video. Stay tuned.”
This article, "How Can Businesses Use Facebook Continuous Live Video?" was first published on Small Business Trends
This Founder Launched a $14,000 Smartphone Immediately After Laying Off Employees at His Other Startup
Pinterest has been rolling out a steady stream of updates this year, including changes to its algorithm and affiliate policy. If you use Pinterest as a marketing channel for your business, then you need to be aware of those Pinterest 2016 changes to really make the most of the platform. Here are some tips for pinning on Pinterest in 2016.
Helpful Pinning on Pinterest Tips
Create an Affiliate Strategy
One of the biggest changes that Pinterest recently announced is that the site will again allow users to share affiliate links on the platform. So if you’re a blogger or influencer, you can use Pinterest as a way to increase your affiliate income. And you can now actually share those links directly on Pinterest, instead of just posting links to your website or a landing page that includes your affiliate links.
Connect with Pinterest Influencers
If you’re a small business that wants to increase sales through an affiliate program, this new change also offers a new opportunity for you. You can potentially connect with influencers who are popular on Pinterest with your target audience. The fact that they can share affiliate links directly on the platform could make your affiliate program even more attractive to them.
Take Your Branding into Account
Another change to Pinterest, at least on some of the mobile apps at this point, is how your boards and pins appear on your profile. For example, instead of just showing each of your board names and cover images, profiles on the iOS app now shows each board title over a sort of collage of the images you recently pinned to that board. So since Pinterest users will be able to see more of your actual pins when visiting your profile, it may be worth it to put more care into choosing pins that fit, or at least don’t totally clash, with your style and branding.
Don’t Rely on Repin Counts
On the web version of Pinterest and some mobile apps, the repin counts of each pin also appear differently. So if you’ve noticed much higher engagement numbers on your pins, it’s not because they all went viral overnight. Pinterest has just changed the repin counts to now display the overall engagement numbers for each pin, rather than the engagement each pin has gotten just since you repined it to one of your own boards. So you can no longer use those repin counts under each pin as a measure of engagement.
For that reason, using analytics on Pinterest has become even more important. If you have a Pinterest business account, then you have access to analytics that can show you which of your pins are performing well and which ones are getting lower engagement. You can also use services like Tailwind to measure that engagement. Having that information can help you determine which pins might be worth promoting further or if there are any that you may even want to delete from your boards. It can also help you determine general trends in what’s popular so you can better determine your strategy for pinning on Pinterest going forward.
Keep International Users in Mind
One of Pinterest’s big goals with the recent changes is to appeal more to a wider base of users, including those outside of the U.S. A lot of those changes so far have simply been design and usability tweaks. But if all goes as planned for Pinterest, that means there could potentially be a larger base of international consumers on the platform going forward. So if that fits with your target audience, it could be worthwhile to create pins that are more geared toward international consumers, rather than only focusing on those based in the U.S.
Consider Promoting Popular Pins
Like other social media platforms, algorithm changes for Pinterest can make paying to promote certain posts a more viable option. If your pins aren’t getting as much engagement as you’d like to see, you can pay to boost a pin or two to increase your reach.
Optimize Boards for Search Engines
In addition, getting your posts found on search engines also becomes more important thanks to algorithmic changes. So if you don’t already, change the names and descriptions of your board to include some relevant descriptive keywords. The captions of each of your pins should also include some relevant descriptions so people can better find the content that is going to interest them on Pinterest.
Don’t Solely Rely on Group Boards
Pinterest continues to offer the opportunity for pinners to invite other pinners to their boards, creating group boards that can help increase the reach of your pins even further. However, group boards aren’t as powerful now as they once were. You can still use them, especially if you use just a few with just a few different pinners. But don’t rely as heavily on them. And make sure you pin valuable content to your individual boards as well.
Treat Likes More Like Pins
Also in some of the mobile apps, you’ll notice what appears to be a separate board that includes all of the pins you’ve liked on Pinterest. Before, users could still view the pins you liked on Pinterest, but they had to actually click on that part of your profile. Now, it shows up on your profile like the rest of your boards. So make sure that you’re okay with those pins appearing on your actual profile.
Share Genuinely Helpful Content
One thing that hasn’t changed about pinning on Pinterest is that users want to find and save valuable content. So the pins that you share should always be relevant and helpful to members of your target audience. If you take that into account, you’re more likely to get higher engagement on Pinterest. And that higher engagment can lead to even more reach on the platform.
Don’t Rely Completely on Pinterest Traffic
If anything, the Pinterest 2016 changes and changes or any other social platform serve as a reminder that you don’t have full control over how you’re able to reach people using those tools. Pinterest can be an incredibly useful tool for reaching certain audiences. But that doesn’t mean that you should only focus on Pinterest and discount every other marketing channel out there. Pinterest is likely to keep making changes to its platform – some of them will likely help your reach and some might hurt it. So be prepared by not focusing too heavily on any one platform, including Pinterest.
Do you have any additional tips for pinning on Pinterest? Please share in comments!
Pinterest Photo via Shutterstock
This article, "12 Tips for Pinning on Pinterest After the New 2016 Changes" was first published on Small Business Trends