Benefit Cosmetics LLC knows the recipe for how to make live videos that advance its branding objectives: take a large scoop of entertainment, add a splash of education and a whole lot of personality.

The formula is working so far for the cosmetics brand. Every Thursday Benefit shoots and distributes a live 30-minute video, dubbed Tipsy Tricks, via Facebook Live, a live broadcasting platform the social network made available for free to all Facebook users in April following an eight-month test. The show consists of the host, Stephanie, drinking a glass of wine while giving a makeup tip, talking about products and fielding questions submitted from viewers during the broadcast. Anywhere from a thousand to several thousand viewers tune in to the weekly live broadcast, says Claudia Allwood, senior director of U.S. digital marketing at Benefit, and total viewership for a broadcast ranges from 14,000-60,000 as more Facebook users watch the video in their Facebook news feed after the broadcast.

“Our live videos are a great way to showcase our brand and educate our consumers,” Allwood says. “It also gives us a forum to ask and answer questions.”

Tipsy Tricks will sometimes have a guest, such as James Charles, a teenage makeup artist with more than 400,000 followers on the Facebook Inc.-owned photo-sharing site Instagram, or a Benefit employee on the show. Host Stephanie also asks audience members what they are curious about and answers just about every question, even if they are off topic, Allwood says. All while she drinks wine.

“On Facebook you’re killing time, so we wanted to make it fun,” Allwood says.

Online retailers, especially ones with large social media followings, are dabbling with Facebook Live. While posting messages and prerecorded video clips on Facebook can be an effective way to reach consumers—1.1 billion consumers use Facebook each day, the social network says—much of Facebook for retailers has become pay to play, meaning most consumers won’t see their posts unless retailers pay to promote them. Live video distribution, on the other hand, is free and Facebook prominently displays the videos, often at the top, of users’ news feeds—at least for now. Based on the number of views and comments early adopters of Facebook Live are seeing, e-retailers using it are confident that they are…

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