Buffer has just released its State of Social 2018 report. It is based on interviews with over 1,700 social media marketers. The use of live video is growing year over year. The report features insights into why some social media managers reported success with live videos while others did not.
Live Video is a Growing Trend
Publishing live video on social media platforms is not mainstream. However the practice is growing. This is what Buffer says about it:
Live video hasn’t yet caught on (only 31 percent of marketers have broadcast live video)
In our last State of Social report, 26 percent of marketers said they had created live video content. In 2017, 31 percent of marketers said they had broadcast live content—just a 5 percent increase…
While a 5% increase may not sound like much of an increase, that’s still an upward trend. This is a new way of communicating with customers and potential customers, but the evidence is that it is becoming more and more mainstream.
How Effective is Live Video?
According to Facebook, live video is six times more effective at generating interactions than non-live videos. Buffer’s 2018 State of Social Report indicates that of those who used live videos 60% reported they found them effective, while only 10% found live videos ineffective. That’s a remarkable statistic.
That feedback doesn’t tell the whole story, however. If you dig down into the data and count up how effective live video was, you get a different picture.
As you can see, of those 60% that found live video effective, the majority, 36%, found it to be somewhat effective, while only 24% found it to be very effective. This may be a normal distribution of success as in any marketing activity. It could also be a reflection that live videos are more appropriate for certain industries than others.
Why is Live Video Ineffective for Some?
Of the 10% who reported who reported that live video was ineffective, fully 92% of them indicated that they only rarely used live video as part of their social media strategy. Social media managers who reported a lack of success were using live videos only once every few months. That might indicate that those who found it ineffective weren’t putting much effort into live videos.
How Often Should Live Videos be Published?
While 55% of those who found success published live videos on a regular basis, 45% of those who found success published live videos every few months. However, if we break down those numbers by daily, weekly, etc. we get a different picture entirely. It turns out that only 1% of successful live video creators published videos on a daily basis. Below is a graph showing that the biggest group of successful publishers are actually those who published live videos every few months. Below is a graph showing the breakdown of how often live videos were published by those who reported that live videos were effective.
Quality not Quantity of Live Videos?
What separates those who found success posting live videos every few months versus those who posted at a similar frequency but found them ineffective? The survey doesn’t tell us. One can guess however that the relevance to users and effective promotion may have something to do with the success of those who posted live videos every few months.
The takeaway is that how often live videos are posted isn’t a guarantee of success. Like anything else, the quality and relevance to the audience may play a role. It may be that success with live videos may be similar to pay per click advertising, where context, relevance and answering the question of “What’s in it for me?” works best.
The full State of Social 2018 report can be downloaded here as a Google Sheet.
Images by Shutterstock, modified by Author
Graphs and bar charts by Author