In the battle for reach Facebook Live Video wins

Facebook Live Reach Data

Facebook Live Video is with us and starting to make quite an impact on timelines, not least because of the algorithmic boost it enjoys.

We’ve known for sometime that Facebook Video outperforms pretty much every other content type but the new kid on the block, Facebook LIVE Video does even better.

Of course Facebook is keen to reward Pages that play with it’s sparkly new toy, and this week I’ve been riding the coat tails of that generosity with some Facebook Live experiments.

We know that nowadays average organic reach for Pages is generally in the single digits. If you are approaching 10% reach you are generally doing well.

I’ve posted 15 Facebook Live videos in the last week and have enjoyed an average reach of 34% with those pieces of content! Proof indeed that the algorithm loves Facebook Live video. It seems that not only does Live Video get surfaced easily, it is also positioned relatively high in fans’ newsfeeds. Facebook also publishes push notifications, with which it alerts users to a broadcast going live from a page they’ve liked. Counter intuitively, users have to click on the “Subscribe” button in order to opt out of these notifications.

Below you will see some Insights data from a typical month on the Musicademy Facebook Page. I’ve annotated the screen grab so that you can see a little more information behind some of the better performing pieces. This is a standard mix of links, text updates, an image and native Facebook video.

typical reach figures

This was a pretty good month for organic visibility with some “sticky” pieces that seemed to really chime with our fanbase. As often happens I curated some relevant content from elsewhere which did well and we wrote a blog post as well as released a couple of video pieces that went down well with both our audience and Facebook. So not a bad month at all with well above average reach.

But I was itching to play with live video and when on Saturday Musicademy ran a training day with a number of live workshops we took the opportunity to film a number of these using Facebook Live.

Simulcasting with Facebook Live

I discovered that you can simulcast, namely show two different live video feeds at the same time on the same Facebook Page. This is particularly useful for brands at events and conferences.

With 15 broadcasts on a single day, we really hit the newsfeed hard. Fans loved it. We had people joining us from all over the world commenting how much they were enjoying the live broadcasts. Of course the novelty factor is strong at the current time. As we always say, with new content types, the early bird gets the worm.

And early birds are currently being richly rewarded by Facebook with a significant boost to reach for those exploring live video.

Look at how consistently good the reach figures are in comparison with the previous month:

Facebook Live reach figures

The main learning here is the sheer consistency of good reach figures with live video. None were anything like the huge (near viral) pieces we had enjoyed in the previous month, but the average reach, even of the worst performing live video was amazingly high. And of course each of these videos lives forever in the Page’s video collection and can be added into Playlists, embedded on blogs etc etc.

Musicademy had some great results with the odd non live video post in recent weeks with a few pieces that might be described as reasonably viral, but for solid, reliable reach, Facebook Live is, for now at least, the way to win at reach.

But what of the backlash?

Reports are starting to come in of user frustration with Facebook Live notifications in their newsfeeds so do be aware that not all fans will be delighted with brand’s sudden embrace of video.

Digital Trends confirms that Facebook has pushed live video feeds to the top of news feed thanks to the recent algorithm update but also reports that users are taking to Twitter to complain about the proliferation of Live notifications. A new setting is apparently in the works which will enable users to unsubscribe from Live notifications.

Watch The Digiterati on Facebook Live

You can watch a 2 hour Facebook Masterclass that we live streamed recently.

Other posts about Facebook Live you might find helpful

Facebook Live Getting Started Guide

8 ideas for using Facebook Live

Top tips for using Facebook Live

Marie Page

About Marie Page

Marie Page is one of the UK’s leading Facebook marketing experts. She is a founding partner of digital marketing consultancy The Digiterati and the Digiterati Academy e-learning portal for marketers and entrepreneurs. Her award-winning Master's Dissertation was the culmination of three years' academic research into Facebook that resulted in a book (and companion online course) 'Winning at Facebook Marketing with Zero Budget' that became an Amazon bestseller. Marie's work on the Facebook News Feed algorithm was featured in The Huffington Post. A recognised thought leader on social media, Marie is often approached by journalists for comment in articles such as this Telegraph article. She was also interviewed for ITV's Tonight show on Facebook privacy issues in relation to advertising. Marie is a regular guest on digital marketing blogs and podcasts including Social Media Examiner and Smart Insights. In 2018 she is speaking at Brighton SEO, Europe's biggest search and marketing conference. Marie is also author of two Smart Insights books: 'Smarter Guide to Facebook Marketing', now in its fourth edition, and 'Facebook Ads Guide', both edited by Dr Dave Chaffey.