“When Facebook Live became available, it changed our approach to social video completely.”
Before Facebook Live, Scholastic's videos were highly produced, shot in a studio, and included static backdrops and props. According to Morgan Baden, Scholastic's VP of Social Media and Internal Communications, they “worked just fine,” but there was nothing inventive about them.
All of that changed with Facebook Live. At SocialMedia.org's Member Meeting in Los Angeles, she shared a presentation on how easy entry, an instant connection to your followers, and flexibility made a big impact on Scholastic's social video approach.
Facebook Live gave special events as well as “business as usual” more exposure.
For example, for the release of the eighth Harry Potter book last year, Scholastic stopped traffic on Broadway to put on a flash “Muggle Mob.” Hundreds of fans read Harry Potter books aloud in the street and turned in unison as a banner for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child unfurled. Then, they passed out their books to the crowd.
She says Facebook Live makes it easier to get more out of these hyper-local events in front of the public and to let people who can't be there still feel like they're witnessing the magic.
At the office, Facebook Live allows her team to make the most out of the everyday work they're already doing.
For example, with Facebook Live, they can hold a Q&A with the editor of their Scholastic books flyer, go behind the scenes with a librarian, or interview an illustrator or author who stops by their headquarters.
Morgan says, “It's not unusual for me to get a call saying ‘Someone important is in the office, can you drop everything and come do some social with them?'” Facebook Live makes it easy to pull off on-the-fly content like this.
In one Facebook Live video, Jason Tharp, creator of Super Monsta Friends, did a live sketch.
“The benefit of Facebook Live is flexibility.”
Morgan says that unless you're a media or news organization, your audience doesn't expect Facebook Live videos to be highly produced or stylized. All you really need is a tripod and some good lighting. “Even our great, highly produced, in-house videos pale in comparison to our Facebook Live numbers.”
Since the platform notifies fans that are logged in about each Facebook Live video, Morgan says 12-percent of their fans on average have that content delivered to them organically.
Her tips for a great Facebook Live video:
- Experiment, but be strategic: Mix in your last-minute videos with a broader, longer planned content strategy.
- Determine the sweet spot for your video length: At Scholastic, they've shared videos ranging from eight to 25 minutes, with their key times running from 12 to 14 minutes.
- Promote the video in advance: Morgan recommends cross-promoting on Instagram and Twitter and sharing your schedule on Facebook.
Finally she says to ask yourself this: “What is the selling point of your product? What are people interested in? How can you reflect that on Facebook Live?”
Watch Morgan's full presentation from our Member Meeting in Los Angeles here. Morgan Baden has been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2010. We profiled her career path last year on this blog. Follow her on Twitter.