By October 1, 2022, Facebook users would no longer be able to host any Live Shopping events, new or scheduled, on the platform. The announcement came shortly after it was reported that TikTok halted its plans to bring its own live eCommerce venture, TikTok Shop, to the U.S. and mainland Europe.
Brands and consumers alike have to bid farewell to what Facebook Live Shopping offers: A fusion of the excitement of live videos and the convenience of online shopping. And while the looming demise of the Facebook feature doesn’t necessarily raise the eyebrows of many, some brands may be taking it harder than others.
Read on to learn more about the news and what businesses can do in turn.
What Is Facebook Live Shopping?
In 2018, Facebook Live Shopping was introduced through beta testing and a series of small-scale runs. The Facebook feature was made available to the public in 2020 as a means for retailers to create shopping events while
The social media giant began testing “Live Shopping for Creators” in the last quarter of 2021, allowing brands and content creators to cross-stream on both pages rather than restrict viewers to one. Furthermore, to spread awareness and encourage bigger brands to experiment with live shopping on Facebook, the company introduced “Live Shopping Fridays.”
With live shopping on Facebook, you can:
• Create a product playlist to customize the streaming experience.
• Launch Facebook live videos through mobile or desktop.
• Demo your products while live streaming on Facebook.
• Allow viewers to purchase directly from your livestream shopping event.
Why Is Meta Shutting Down the Facebook Feature?
Facebook explains in its announcement,
“As consumers’ viewing behaviors are shifting to short-form video, we are shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s short-form video product.”
For a while, the livestream shopping feature was a game-changer for retailers and consumers, but interest took a downturn along the way. While the rest of the world progressively favors short-form content like Reels on Instagram and Facebook, China makes an exception as livestream shopping continues to be prevalent for its retail and eCommerce businesses.
Since Facebook is banned in China, the substantial Asian market couldn’t be tapped by the social media company, which could have been enough to keep its livestream shopping feature alive.
Facebook Live Videos Are Here To Stay: Retailers Can Still Sell While Live Streaming on Facebook
Live selling on Facebook can continue but minus the features (customized product playlist, product information and purchase options). So if your brand could do without the features, then, by all means, indulge your customers and let them continue live shopping on Facebook.
However, if you need help selling on Facebook live videos with the lack of features, a Facebook marketing expert can help your brand turn to effective workarounds.
Facebook Marketing Expert: Short-Form Videos Are the Way To Go (Reels on Facebook and Instagram)
In the announcement, Facebook suggests testing Reels on Facebook and Instagram. Then, to promote deeper curiosity and interest, you can tag products in Reels on Instagram or roll out Reels ads.
It’s fair to assume that TikTok would be the most popular platform for watching short videos. However, YouTube claims to have about 80 percent of the American market over the age of 16. Interestingly, Facebook ranks second with about 61 percent user share. With 53.9 percent, TikTok comes in third place.
YouTube and Facebook outrank TikTok because a short-form video is defined as lasting less than 10 minutes.
Facebook video statistics:
• Facebook Reels are now in 150 countries. (Meta)
• Facebook is second to YouTube in live video, with 42.6 percent of user shares. (eMarketer)
• Facebook beats out TikTok for short-form videos with 60.8 percent of user shares. (eMarketer)
Instagram video statistics:
• Ninety-one percent of active users watch Instagram videos weekly. (Meta)
• 675.3 million users can be reached with ads on Instagram Reels. (Meta)
• Ninety-two percent immediately act when they see something on Instagram. (Meta)
These figures highlight why brands should focus more on short-form videos in their social media marketing strategy.
“Facebook and Instagram will reward users using the channels’ different elements,” said Alyssa Tear, Thrive’s senior social media manager and resident Facebook marketing expert.
“Don’t fall behind, and start testing short-form videos today!”
Capitalize on These Types of Videos for Social Media Marketing
Reels have rightfully redefined the way people consume video content. The platforms, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, provide viewers with entertainment and information while equipping social media experts with a powerful tool to engage and convert on social media.
User-Generated Content (UGC). Consumers generally prefer UGC, providing a stronger impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions than videos created by brands or influencers.
As per a HubSpot research blog, UGC provides a good return on investment (ROI), with 40 percent of social media experts surveyed labeling it as a high-ROI format.
Banking on UGC is a tactic many brands do today; even content creators do this with the rise of reaction videos. Without using a lot of resources, content creators and brands have the power to stir strong emotions that could lead to purchases simply by sharing one another’s content.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Creating a summary of answers to frequently asked consumer questions can simplify your audience’s purchase journey. FAQs may relate to common inquiries about your products or general industry concerns for which people seek solutions.
As such, it’s wise to make it a practice to weigh in on relevant trending topics so your audience would learn to view you as an industry expert.
Behind-the-Brand. Customers seek out brands that are authentic and transparent on social media. So if you’re selling on Facebook, nourish your current customers and pique the interest of new ones with behind-the-scenes (BTS) content. For instance, you can shoot a day in the life of a CEO video.
A Sprout Social study reveals that customers tend to feel more connected to brands that show the people behind the company. Meanwhile, 70 percent of respondents indicated they connected with brands more when the CEO was engaged on social media.
Trends. Spare a few minutes regularly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram Reels and visiting the profiles of other creators to see what they’re sharing. Keep an eye out for songs, audio clips or dance trends that repeatedly come up, and jump on the trend before it becomes woefully outdated.
Many leverage trends to promote their products organically. With trends, you don’t need a large budget to raise your brand’s awareness and potentially go viral.
Explainer. Google reports that instructive how-to videos with titles like “for beginners” or “step by step” increase global watch time by more than 65 percent yearly. The data show how much individuals rely on videos to acquire knowledge, including how to use products and develop new skills.
Since explainer videos help viewers in their daily lives, they are the ideal added-value material. As a result, brands that prioritize educational videos for social media marketing foster greater demand and brand loyalty.
Turn to Thrive’s Video and Social Media Marketing Experts
If there’s one thing brands should take away from the Facebook Live update, it’s the emphasis on short-form videos, which account for more than half of the top 20 Facebook posts in the fourth quarter of 2021 (Integrity Institute).
When video production and marketing are strategically executed, they are an excellent means to target specific users at the decision-making stage of the buyer’s journey, turning decision-makers into paying customers.
Some brands, understandably, may still find it challenging to shift to Reels on Facebook and Instagram because they’re accustomed to lengthier videos. However, with Thrive’s social media marketing experts, brands successfully capitalize on short-form videos.
“Our teams at Thrive can help you put together your video strategy from concept to social,” Tear said. “We work alongside you to brainstorm, film and edit your videos to reach your goals.”
Get in touch with our team for a free video marketing consultation.