Next month, Facebook celebrates the one-year anniversary of it’s Facebook Live feature. The new mobile feature changed the way fans and athletes communicate with each other and has become a crucial tool in establishing a personal brand.

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook Live so users could broadcast their lives in a spontaneous and unedited way. Now, because of this new technology, sports fans are capable of directly communicating with their favorite teams and athletes. Some of the most successful athletes have even capitalized off of the live option to provide fans a unique experience and grow their personal brand. With sports fans always seeking the newest information, athletes and teams have begun to use Facebook Live to provide fans with a behind the scenes experience they desire.

Here are a few ways you can use Facebook Live to enhance your personal brand as an athlete.

Go Live During Major Events.

When Peyton Manning decided to retire from the NFL, the Denver Broncos broke live streamed Manning announcing his decision. Within a day the videos of Manning and Denver Bronco executives announcing the retirement received nearly one million views, over 40,000 likes, 21,000 shares and 25,000 comments from people on Facebook. Major networks also aired the press conference but for Bronco fans on Facebook, the stream was a new experience for them. According to the Bronco’s director of digital, Ben Hunt the team had “so many fans thank us for posting the video on Facebook.”

Just imagine the amount of exposure your Live videos can achieve from fans that are following your journey to the top.

Increased Access To Players

Arguably one the best aspects about Facebook Live is the personal connection athletes can make with their fans. From streaming daily activities to workouts, fans want to see what goes on in the lives of their favorite athletes. This increased amount of access creates a personal connection between a fan and their favorite athlete. Therefore increasing the likely hood an athlete’s video will be watched and shared with others on Facebook, helping them grow their fan base.

One example would be Tennis star, Serena Williams. Williams took to Facebook Live to stream herself relaxing with friends in a hotel together. The 50-second video generated over 180,000 views, was shared almost 400 times and received 2,300 comments. The majority of these comments were fans expressing their love for the tennis star and how amazing it was to see her go live on Facebook.

Generate Hype
One of the most common uses of Facebook Live is to generate hype before a big game or the beginning of a new season. Take the San Francisco Giants, for example, the Giants posted a live stream of their empty stadium before the start of the season. The video was seen 165,000 times, generated 1,000 shares and 1,000 comments from fans eager for the start of a new season.

Athletes also go live on the bus ride to a big game, inside the locker room and during team celebrations. This type of content provides fans a level of insight never seen before and generates excitement from fans. Whether it’s pre or post game streaming fans want to be as much involved with their favorite athletes.

Rewarding Fans

Everyone loves winning free stuff and Facebook Live allows athletes a way to publicly show appreciation for their fans. Athletes can hold a contest via social media and turn to Facebook Live to announce the winners.

One example is Atlanta Falcon’s wide receiver, Julio Jones, who gave away a pair of Super Bowl tickets to a random customer.

Now that you have some tips on how to build your brand using Facebook Live, it’s time to go out and get streaming. But remember to think twice about what you post because once it’s up it’s online for good. Happy streaming!