Trend alert: Live streaming

By: Nikki Mikolon

Social media streaming is increasingly popular. At first, users and businesses alike weren’t sure how to use it. Facebook used Facebook Live as an opportunity to launch its first ad campaign with the help of its users. According to an Ad Age article, “the social media platform has used content created by its own community in a series of quirky vignettes designed to show others what the product is about.” Facebook tried to advertise its uses in public areas such as malls, park, and bus stops. This was its way of showing people what to do. In addition to the exposure portion of this advertising campaign, Facebook wanted to have a second segment to show people how to use it. “The education segment consists of a series of tutorials that demonstrates how simple it is to go “live,” centered around themes such as showing off a hidden talent or getting something off your chest.”

Facebook vs. Everybody

After all of the random videos of users and other businesses, we are finally seeing some real content. Companies, brands, and even our friends are actually starting to post videos of what they are doing live, which is different from other social media sites with streaming abilities. Snapchat and Instagram both have a feature similar to this, but Facebook has the advantage. Many know that Snapchat is not live, but it does have sharing ability for users and brands alike that lasts only 24 hours. Instagram has also recently tried to get in on the live streaming action. The negative to Instagram’s live streaming feature is that after the video is over, it goes away. Instagram can surely use this to their advantage, but it’s not ideal for all. Facebook live streaming is the best in my opinion right now. They are able to notify users when you are live, and the best thing about Facebook’s version is the video does not disappear after the broadcast and anyone that missed it can still view the content.

Benefiting the companies.

The possibilities of live streaming for businesses and personal brands are endless. This is an outlet to allow businesses like newspapers and other informational sources to reach their older audiences in the spaces they are now “living” and consuming media in. This is an easy way to insert themselves back into the lives of consumers. Companies can get creative and schedule a live broadcast tied to their social media platforms, driving their viewers or followers to tune into their live broadcast at a certain time or date. The convenience this offers followers is incredible because they don’t need a special app. According to, 1.28 billion people log onto Facebook daily. The audience that newspapers and television stations are losing already use this platform. They can tune in from wherever they are, and watch later if they missed it. This could also be crucial for new broadcasters for breaking news and alerts that need to be spread quickly.

Benefiting the employees.

Live streaming abilities can be increasingly important to the employees of these companies. The fact is that live streaming can be 24/7 or whenever they want, needing constant content creation. Companies can develop these types of live broadcasting on their social pages, keeping viewers, but also keeping employees working on something every day.

Social media is forever growing. There is no need for companies to go out of business. They need to adapt and stay ahead of the trends, such as live streaming. Yes, social media platforms are designed for the consumers, but if done right, consumers don’t mind sharing the space.

Nikki Mikolon is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. As a Detroit native, she hopes to spend her beginning years working for the city and being a part of its renaissance. Connect with Nikki on Twitter @nikkimikolon.


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