Facebook Live: Business Maker or Breaker?

There was a time when going live multiple times a day, or consistently 90 days in a row would have a significant impact on your page growth. This was back in the day when the number of posts you made determined how favorably Facebook would place your content. In April 2018 however, all that changed. The “new” Facebook as envisioned in Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto brought with it an entirely new way of approaching content. A new algorithm that rewards quality over quantity.

With this change, Facebook effectively muted your entire business. Instead of delivering all content to all people, the algorithm now makes choices about what gets shown and what doesn’t. Furthermore, if you post consistently without getting engagement, Facebook demotes you. It will keep demoting you until your content inspires engagement. Unfortunately this means that the exact same tactic that helped you in 2017 will kill your business in 2020. 

Video is Still the clear winner

It is true that when all forms of content posted on Facebook are taken into consideration, live video still ranks at the top, receiving 600% more interaction than other types of posts. But there’s more to the story than that. It’s not a cause and effect situation, where simply the act of going live will attract new viewers to your page.

Why Does it Work for Some People and Not Others?

Frustrated FacebookI won’t deny it, the fact of the matter is that there are people who start going live every day, sometimes two times a day, and they see their sales skyrocket. However, just because there is a correlation between the two, it doesn’t mean that one directly caused the other. If that were the case, then all anyone would need to do to get their group members and business page followers up is go live every day for 30 days, or 45 days, or 90 days, and that would be that. And, if that were the case, then why isn’t every person seeing an increase in their viewership?

The reason is because Facebook is a complicated AI that no longer rewards people for simply posting or going live. It’s looking at a number of other factors when determining whether or not to show someone’s content to members of their audience. Factors like:

  • Is the content shared over Facebook Messenger?
  • If the content is Liked or commented on.
  • Has the content receives multiple replies?
  • “Meaningful interactions” between users

Which means that if you go live or produce content that doesn’t fulfill any of these priorities, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a blog post, an animated GIF, a prerecorded, or a live video – it’s not going to end up in feeds in a significant way. Which means in order for Facebook to prioritize your content, you need to (a) know who your target audience is so that you can clearly identify the content that will attract them and (b) use that information to create posts and videos that they want to engage with.

Reasons Why it seems to work for some

This also means that its highly likely that those who are seeing an increase in their viewership are observing the meeting of a many influencing factors like:

  • Type of content offered
  • Amount and type of words in the description of the live, use of emojis, relevant content tags
  • Distribution of interests in their audience base
  • Edgerank score prior to going live every day or multiple times every day
  • Target Audience/Ideal Customer identification and targeting
  • Engagement level on prior posts made recently in the day
  • How recently they connected with some raving fans who will share their content
  • Timing of their live show in accordance with their target audiences schedule
  • Shareability of the content within the live

What Happens if you just do it?

DisappointmentIf you simply go live each day just to go live, without taking the factors above into consideration a few things are likely to happen:

First, the more content you post that your audience doesn’t interact with, the more Facebook thinks that people just aren’t that interested in what you have to say.

Second, it starts to watch your behavior for signs of spamminess. Remember when you post multiple times a day on a page or group without interaction, Facebook starts to think of you as spammy, and it’s going to immediately try to protect people’s news-feed from your content by de-prioritizing it.

Third, you start to feel frenetic and panicky because no one is engaging. Which means you spend additional time creating more posts and doing more things on Facebook. This is in an effort to get your audience’s attention. Which essentially will result in exactly the opposite outcome than what you were hoping because you start to look frenetic and panicky to your audience. People shop from confident business owners, not scared ones. 

What do I do instead of going live all the time?

Going live is an essential part of your Facebook diet, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it every day. According to Facebook’s Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri, Facebook began to “shift ranking to make News Feed more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation.” Which means that in order for you to see the increase that you’re looking for in your viewership, you need to create content that connects people to each other.

It may sound like a tall order, but in order to truly grow your audience online, it takes 2 fundamental steps. These will impact every other activity you engage in on social media.

You can grow a successful business going live only once a week. 

So Are you saying I shouldn’t go live every day?

I just want to clarify that I am not saying going live every day is going to hurt your algorithm. I’m also not saying that if you’re seeing results from it that you should immediately stop. In order for that strategy to be successful, you need to take all impacting factors into consideration. Going live every day needs to be part of a content strategy.

You don’t want to consider it as the make or break factor. That if you do it you will succeed. If you don’t you will fail. There are plenty of people who are successful going live every day. There are a lot of people successful by going live once or twice a week. You just have to make sure you are taking other factors into consideration. You need to know why it works, so you can make it work for you.


Comments (4)

Thank you Minesssa. Thank you.

You are so welcome!

Thank you so much! You mentioned “if the content is shared over Facebook Messenger.” How do you suggest to improve this? Do you send a link yourself? I know I’ve been asking a lot of questions lately. 🙂

I don’t ever send anything over messenger myself, but if you are already actively engaging with someone over messenger, then they are more likely to see your content.

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