In early October, Facebook announced the launch of three new features: Video Premieres, Live Polls, and Top Fans badges. They tested some of these in beta with select brands and influencers earlier in the year. Based on their success, these features are now being expanded to all Pages. Whenever new Facebook updates are released, brands pay attention. Facebook updates typically mean something new that either hinders or enhances their marketing strategy. Fortunately, these features all fall in the latter category.
To understand how each of these updates work, read on! I’ll also offer my top suggestions for how you can use them in your own social marketing strategy.
3 Essential Facebook Updates to Enhance Your Marketing Strategy
On the whole, social media posts with video drive 12 times the amount of shares than both text- and image-based posts combined. When that social video is a live video, it generates 6 times the engagement of a traditional video post.
It’s no wonder Facebook would try to find a way to make on-demand video feel live—and that’s exactly what Facebook Premieres is: a way to watch pre-recorded videos live.
This is great news for brands, as fans prefer live video anyway. Over 80% of consumers would rather watch live video from a brand than see a standard social post.
What is it?
With Facebook Premieres, all Pages can turn a pre-recorded video into a live event. That means you get access to all the functionality, live discussion, and fan excitement available with live videos.
Like Facebook Live, Premieres get a special red badge indicating they’re a Premiere. While your Premiere airs, fans can like, comment, and share in real time. You can also schedule a Premiere up to a week in advance, guaranteeing views during the Premiere and getting fans excited in the meantime.
When you schedule a Premiere, it creates a post to your Page. On this post, fans can RSVP, request notification reminders, and comment with you and each other about the upcoming Premiere. When your Premiere goes live, this announcement post transforms into the Premiere itself, maintaining all the previous discussion and engagement in one place. Once your video ends, the post transforms back into a regular, on-demand video post, so your fans can see how popular your past Premieres were.
If fans opted in to reminders, they’ll receive a notification when your Premiere is about to go live. Once they click through, they’ll be greeted with a 3-minute countdown clock, building anticipation.
Premieres appear on your Page and in the News Feed, and some Premiere content is eligible for additional distribution through Facebook Watch.
How do you use Facebook Premieres?
To create a Premiere, you upload your video to Facebook like you would a regular video, except that you select the Premiere option. This is the only time you can select the Premiere option, so pay attention. Then, you’ll schedule the launch time (there needs to be at least 10 minutes lead time) and finish uploading the video like a regular post.
There are a few exceptions for Premieres. For example, you can’t Premiere multiple videos at once, and you can’t re-Premiere a previously Premiered video or a Facebook Live. For the most part, though, any new video you upload to Facebook is probably eligible for Premieres.
Applications for marketers
With Facebook Premieres, your video is no longer just a video; it’s an event. As such, you should promote it far and wide. Tell all your fans about it, whether they like your Facebook Page, are in a shared Facebook group, or follow you on Twitter or another platform.
If you promote your Premieres effectively, don’t be surprised if you start see your Facebook Likes tick up. By giving fans a piece of content they can enjoy exclusively on one platform, you give them a compelling reason to follow you there. And, not only is the feature itself great for marketing your brand, but by showing you’re on top of the latest Facebook updates, you’ll become a “go to” example for on-the-ball social media marketing.
Now, you just have to make sure it’s content that’s worth watching. Try one these ideas:
- Develop episodic content. Each week, get your fans to tune in live for a tutorial or expert interview. Bonus points if that expert is also an influencer. Half of millennials would stop what they’re doing to watch a new video from their favorite influencer, according to Google.
- Film events and conferences you host or attend. If you’re sponsoring, you can even share a video of your team being goofy at your booth during some downtime at the conference. Then, post it to your page later, right before the conference lunch break, to send attendees your way.
- Hype your upcoming product launch. With this idea, you’re essentially producing a commercial for Facebook. Create a Premiere to get viewers looking forward to your launch, in order to boost sales when the product officially arrives. Nearly 75% of people have bought a product simply after watching a video. Plus, consumers retain 95% of a marketing message when they see it in video format, as opposed to only 10% for text ads.
- Hint at a surprise. Film an interview with one of your influencers, or have them share a tutorial. Then, when you announce the Premiere, promote them as a mystery guest. Give hints as to who it might be. This will not only drive speculation and discussion, making fans even more excited to tune in, but you’ll get some insights of other influencers your fans are interested in, so you can partner up with them in the future.
Facebook Premieres gives marketers the best of both worlds. You can retain the quality standards of a pre-recorded video, while enjoying the increased engagement of a live audience.
Take advantage of that extra time you have to make your video polished. Incorporate on-screen elements like text or stickers to call out specific quotes or pro tips. Add music and sound effects. In short, include all the professional elements in your video that are hard to achieve with a live broadcast.
Quality matters. According to 90% of fans, video quality is the most important element of a Facebook Live broadcast.
Facebook Live Poll
Transforming your video shares to Facebook from a traditional post into a Premiere is exciting enough, but another of the recent Facebook updates, Live Polls, provides a way to lift engagement during live videos.
What is it?
Launched earlier this year for creators, Live Polls allow Pages to create an interactive poll your audience can answer in real-time as they watch your video. If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it before on Twitch.
You can imagine how much this helps with audience engagement. Through a Live Poll, you’re providing fans with a way to share their thoughts, and see at a glance whether others agree. Plus, there’s something mesmerizing about watching everyone else’s answers start rolling in.
Before, creators and Facebook Live producers could ask fans to respond to a question by reacting. While this fostered engagement, it didn’t translate into any real understanding among the audience of how others felt. Live Polls changes that.
How do you use Facebook Live Polls?
For now, Live Polls are only available for live videos, although further Facebook updates have been planned that include adding Live Polls to on-demand video, so watch this space.
To create a Live Poll, you must be the administrator of a page. Then, follow these steps:
- Go Live by visiting facebook.com/live/create.
- Select your Page and the Camera tab.
- In the Interactive tab, enter your poll questions and answers. You can enter your polls here ahead of time, saving you the distracting task of having to think them up during the live broadcast. Polls can have 2, 3, or 4 answers.
- Click Save, and then Go Live.
- Once you’re Live, you can click Publish Now in the Interactive tab to share your poll. You can add more polls at any time during your broadcast by clicking Add Question.
Applications for marketers
Whenever you share on Facebook Live, prepare Live Polls for your broadcast. Facebook users spend 3 times longer watching Facebook Live videos, and engaging them with a poll only extends that viewtime.
- Create polls that invite fans to be part of your video brainstorming process. If you use Facebook Live to share a tutorial on one of your products, ask them which product they like to see featured next. If you’re regularly interviewing your influencers, poll fans on who they’d like you to interview next.
- You can also use polls to get real-time product feedback. If you’re showing off a product on Facebook Live, ask fans which feature seems the most useful. Now you know what to promote in your marketing materials.
- Discover your fans’ opinions regarding trending topics in your industry. Host a debate between opposing sides, and ask fans who they agree with.
Facebook Top Fans
Live Polls weren’t the only thing Facebook beta-tested first with creators. Their Top Fans feature performed so well with creators, that they decided to share the love with Pages, too.
What is it?
The Top Fans feature rewards a Page’s most active fans by giving them a special, yellow star “Top Fan” badge next to their name. Once a fan becomes one of the most active people on a Page—by watching their videos, reacting to, commenting on, or sharing their content—they’ll get a notification asking if they want to display the Top Fans badge by their name.
The genius behind the Top Fan feature is that the way to earn it remains elusive to fans. There’s no guide telling them the average engagement for a page, so they know they need to like X amount of your posts or share Y percent of your videos.
This sense of mystery builds FOMO, while also encouraging your fans to be more active than they might otherwise would, simply in the hopes of being recognized by this badge. Gamification is real, folks.
How do you use Facebook Top Fans?
To be eligible for the Top Fans feature, your Page must have at least 10K followers and use the video template. You can opt in from your Page settings. Then, the badge option will automatically appear for your most active fans, based on their engagement with any of your Page posts, including regular posts, videos, and Premieres.
Applications for marketers
While there’s no way for fans to know exactly how to become your Top Fan, that doesn’t mean you can’t nudge them in the right direction.
Make the Top Fan badge worth more than recognition. Announce extra perks that motivate fans to engage more with your page, in the hopes of receiving coveted “Top Fan” status.
- Prepare Top Fan giveaways, where they get a prize pack of goodies just for being a Top Fan.
- Send your Top Fans a free product, a one-on-one consultation with your support team, or an invite to a beta test.
- Give them a promo code for your website for a special discount or a free item with their purchase.
- Grant Top Fans exclusive access to an Ask Me Anything session with one of your influencers, or an open Q&A with your company’s leadership team.
How will you change your Facebook marketing?
All three of these Facebook updates promise great returns for marketers. But with any of these new features, use them judiciously. Have a strategy behind your content. Don’t use them just to use them.
Then, pay attention to what engages your fans. Experiment with the number of answers in your Live Polls, and how often you use them throughout a broadcast. See which type of Premiere content performs better. Consider new ways to recognize your Top Fans and encourage them to promote your brand across social media.
Facebook’s always creating new opportunities through Facebook updates for your brand to engage fans. Don’t miss out.