Buffer’s State of Social Media report gives businesses and marketers insight into the impact of social media on businesses at the end of 2016. The report focuses on social media trends, and the findings are amplified further with Facebook announcing Live Audio.
Facebook Live Audio launched on December 20. The program is launching to a limited number of authors and publishers.
Live Audio will expand to all users in 2017. The service is a complement to the company’s Live Video service. Real-time broadcasts allow publishers to reach a larger audience, and there will be a low-bandwidth version available to better accommodate listeners.
BBC World Service, Britt Bennett, Adam Grant and Harper Collins are a few of the top publishers chosen to test the service. Live Audio will run in the back of any Android device, but iOS users will need to remain on Facebook to continue listening to their broadcast.
Pages will gain Live subscribers, and notifications of a Live Audio stream will be sent to all subscribers.
Radio stations could use the service to broadcast their programming, Q&As can be performed, musicians can broadcast live studio sessions, news stations can broadcast their news on the platform, and so much more.
Marketers will use the service to connect with listeners in a more intimate way.
Content creators and podcast creators are lining up to use the service to connect to their live audience. Sam Ovens, a consultant that uses e-learning to fuel a $10 million business, is able to use Facebook live to connect to his students and answer questions live to connect with members.
Buffer’s report found that 93% of marketers are using Facebook. Facebook ads further attracts 91% of marketers. The social media platform’s addition of Live Audio and Live Video allows marketers to further expand their reach and build their brand.
Customer support via Live Audio is also possible, with consultants, product creators and large manufacturers able to use the platform for customer service.
The report found that only 21% of businesses use social media for customer support. Brand awareness through Facebook is a key proponent of many businesses. A staggering 85% of respondents stated they use Facebook for brand awareness.
Community engagement was the second most popular reason participants used Facebook. Around 71% of respondents used the social media platform to connect with the community.
Live Audio is a tool brands can use to fuel brand awareness and community engagement.
Facebook remains the leading platform for marketers. Twitter comes in at a close second followed by LinkedIn, which 65% of businesses use for marketing.
The rise of Live Audio may help Facebook further curb fake news, or it can amplify the fake news issues currently plaguing the platform. The problem is causing the company to suffer fines. German authorities are discussing potentially heavy fines against the social media giant.
German authorities will allow Facebook to address fake news in a 24-hour period. If the website doesn’t address a news story that’s fake, the site will be levied a fine.
Pew Research finds that 62% of U.S. adults receive their news from Facebook. Live Audio may impact these numbers further.