Scholastic: Facebook Live Video — Live from Member Meeting 41

Coverage of this session by Maria Villaseñor of Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

1:30 —'s Charlotte Bumbulis introduces Scholastic's VP of Social Media and Internal Communications, Morgan Baden.

1:31 — Morgan: Scholastic is the world's largest distributor of books. I want talk about streaming video, because it has changed the way we look at content. Before Facebook Live launched, obviously we had a video strategy. We really had produced videos. We brought in lots of experts and had scripts and props. There was nothing inventive about our videos, and it worked just fine.

1:32 — Morgan: Then, Facebook Live came, and it really changed the way we looked at videos. After Facebook Live video, we had a refreshed approach to content. Engage, Reach, and Connect.

1:34 — Morgan: The first use case we have is for live and special events. We had a “Muggle Mob” and hosted a live reading outside of our headquarters. We decided that was a perfect opportunity to create a Facebook Live video. If this had happened before Facebook Live, we would've just recorded it and had a highly produced video after the fact.

1:36 — Morgan: Another example use case is to do a monthly series where we interview the experts who create flyers for Scholastic's reading club and get an inside look on what goes into it.

1:38 — Morgan: Another use case allows for us to be creative with our content. We had an illustrator come into the office, and we decided to test out Facebook Live. We sat him down and simply gave him a blank piece of paper and a Sharpie. He talked us through as he sketched out a scene. When people think of Scholastic, they think of only books, but it's a great way to give people a behind-the- scenes look into the company.

1:40 — Morgan: For our fourth use case, we had a summer reading challenge where we had a bus travel across the country to spread the love of reading. Because these events are so hyper local, we wanted to open up the possibility of showcasing the event with other regions.

1:41 — Morgan: Another example: We have a library at our headquarters. We get a lot of parent drive inquires asking what their children should be reading. So we produce monthly reading lists and this lets us provide a service to them.

1:43 — Morgan: Every year we let R.L. Stine take over our Twitter. This year we decided to host a Facebook Live event. This is an example of taking past success and re-purposing them for Facebook live.

1:45 — Morgan: What we've learned: There is so much room for flexibility. When I watch a Facebook Live video from a news organization, I don't expect to see a highly stylized video. We take that same approach at Scholastic. If you've got the great content, it will work. We've also seen that the numbers are much higher. We've seen that the highly produced video we have don't have as high numbers as our Facebook Live videos have.

1:47 — Morgan: This also allows us to serve up notifications to fans so they don't miss out our videos, versus missing posts from our timelines.

1:49 — Morgan: A couple of tips from our six months of experience, conduct lots of experiences, but be strategic. Try different kinds of videos. Another tip is finding a time that works for you. We've found that 12-15 minute videos is the sweet spot for us. Another tip is to go professional. Invest in equipment. The last point is to promote in advance. We like to create social media graphics to help promote future videos.


Q: Do you do any paid support for your Facebook Live posts?

A: Most of the time, no, but it depends on the situation.

Q: Are you letting people know about the videos you launch?

A: We try and give 24 hours notice but we also take time to create graphics for the videos as well.

Q: Were you on a wifi connection doing the video outside?

A: We've been on wireless every time.

Q: How does viewing of produced content compare to Facebook Live?

A: It really depends if we are boosting a video or not. It also depends on what the purpose of the video is for.

Q: How are you logistically organizing it?

A: The few times we aren't broadcasting from the office, it's been people from my social team who conduct the broadcast.

Q: When you're shooting something for live and canned, what is the production time like?

A: For our Muggle Mob we had four separate camera operators.

Q: How do you handle the legal restrictions that can arise doing live video?

A: We're a lucky brand because we're not bound by lots of regulations, but we also don't answer questions live. What we're going to do is handle questions offline and hand a moderator questions to choose from.

Q: How do you organize your content calendar?

A: We use an enterprise level social media management system. For long-term things that is just listed in an Excel spreadsheet.