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Social media marketing: Facebook's Live Video map might be cool, but is it useful?

As we explained in the last issue of our monthly newsletter, Facebook has introduced Live, a video streaming platform built into the social network, which allows users to broadcast themselves direct from a smartphone to anyone they like- from private friends-only streams to public showpieces. For our lowdown on that, click here.
Further headlines have since been made with the unveiling of a supporting global map, which highlights when streams are going live, but more crucially where they are coming from. Whilst this only works if someone has a broadcast set to public, and has shared their location, there have already been warnings in the press aimed at parents, who need to know about ways their children could be located, and stop that from happening.
That rather dubious subject aside, the idea is certainly pretty cool. It’s a great way to find out who’s active in your region, and, perhaps even more interestingly, tune in directly to what’s going on in a part of the world you’ve never been before. We are, after all, curious creatures by nature. So far so intriguing from a public perspective. Could brands exploit this tool in any way, though?
We think so. Here are a couple off the top of our heads, suitable for social media marketing folk, along with anyone else using Facebook for professional ends.
Tracking down local Facebook vloggers
It’s not rocket science. If people are broadcasting and want to be found, chances are at least they believe they have something important to share, even if everyone else disagrees. Although still in its early stages, we are bound to see prominent live vlogs and vloggers specific to Facebook Live emerging in the coming weeks and months. Only time will tell whether they will eventually have the same reach as YouTube’s equivalents, but there’s no harm in keeping track on and working with both.
Trend analysis 
This really comes down to data- the more you have the more you can learn (in theory). If we can see where live streams are coming from, we can work out prominent vlogger backgrounds for those streams in each region. In turn that can tell you a lot about what’s popular in those areas. At the moment it sounds like a nightmarishly long-winded job, but really it’s not going to take that long for the industry to start looking at services that can do this for you- think of it like an aggregator for live streams.
If you’re thinking about going live with your own brand(s), then it can pay dividends to know when the most popular times to broadcast are in your locality. Hardly challenging to calculate, just look at when the most blue dots are augmenting your section of the map and there be the answer. More effective still would be looking at peak times for relevant streams- you’re probably going to get more B2B stuff taking place in working hours, for example- and then tailor campaigns around this.

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