When to use Facebook Live to tell a story

Dec 12, 2016
When to use Facebook Live to tell a story

The future of social is here and it’s going to be streamed, live and in color.

Video has slowly taken over the internet. It’s not something that happened overnight -- this has been a steady progression and all social networks have responded to it. And it’s not just short-form video (#RIPVine) anymore, it’s longer form video which allows you to truly tell a story, showcase a product and so much more.

So when is video the right medium for your story or product promotion? This article is going to help you figure that out.

Public relations professionals and journalists can use Facebook Live as a tool. Brands can use it, product creators can use it. It is the best way to share -- in your own words -- why this piece of content is so vitally important to your audience.

We’ve seen, more than ever before, the power of using social media to tell your story. That’s not a political statement -- it is an observation on the power of being able to control your story or shed light on a particular issue. From activists to politicians, everyone with a message has used live video to transport their followers to a specific time, place or event that promotes an overall subject or objective.

For Journalists

Nowadays, most journalists are telling their own stories AND providing some sort of multimedia asset to go with it. If you’re not doing this yet, good for you, but that doesn’t mean you get to sleep on the video trend. It means you need to test what your personal audience is looking for and then make a use case for it in your storytelling.

Snapchat is quickly becoming one of the most innovative social networks. And, if you think about the origin of many of these social networks, it’s providing a service very similar to AOL. From chat to messages to news, it is a one-stop shop for content.

What makes the Snapchat video so enticing to the next generation of news consumers? Yes, the fact that everything is in one app is appealing, but more than that, it’s the fact that they can see what’s happening RIGHT NOW.

Behind the scenes content is one of the best things to share on social and on the Web -- how many “web-exclusives” have you done in the last 5 years? If you can turn Facebook Live into an exclusive conversation that is only available to your Facebook community, imagine the return on that time investment?

Here are three ways to identify a good Facebook Live story:

1. Behind the Scenes. Are you interviewing someone about an issue that your audience would be interested in? If you’re a local reporter, the answer is, more than likely, yes. But what if you’re covering tech or lifestyle? You can still find interviews that would be appealing to your fans. Maybe you’re a digital content producer and you haven’t done a lot of on-camera work, that, in and of itself, would be appealing to your fans because they may have only read your words and hearing them would be a totally unique experience. Are you going somewhere? Driving to an interviewee’s office or home? That’s a great opportunity for a Facebook Live. Are you showcasing an editing project or a an editorial meeting? Not all of these are great for public consumption, however, you could do one Facebook Live editorial meeting per month to give your fans a behind-the-scenes look at the process.

2. First on the Scene. If you’re first to arrive, that’s a great opportunity to start a Facebook Live and continue it as the story develops. Use news judgment here, but this is a great way to share content in between live feeds for broadcasters and before the story is written for print/digital content creators.

3. Growing Your Brand. This is a controversial statement, but I believe journalists need to think of themselves as a brand now, more than ever before. And that means sharing tips, tricks and content on your pages that isn’t related to your place of employment. It could be an aftershow if you’re on-air, or a between takes video, or, if you’re a print/digital content creator, it can be about a new tech tool that helps you get the job done. Building your brand is not counterintuitive to being a good journalist -- cultivating a relationship with your sources is your number one job and by offering them exclusive live content, you’re creating another path to a solid relationship.


For Public Relations Professionals

Facebook Live videos are very popular among magazines and television show production teams. What does that mean for you? Well, it’s another way to get product or expert placement and it’s another way to create buzz for a brand with a growing social following.

Here are two ways to pitch Facebook Live for your clients:

1. Brand. Have a product or brand mention be featured in a Facebook Live run by an expert or by the staff/talent on a morning show or other on-air partner. Include talking points for the product or have the expert mention the brand organically. This is something that is often paid advertising but it is very seamless. You can even offer the fans of the Facebook brand/content creator a special deal on the products from the brand you’re representing and make that the shout-out.

2. Talent/Expert. If you’re representing a person, it’s a lot easier to get them featured on a Facebook Live. The best way to do this is to have your client start hosting their own Facebook Lives on a monthly or weekly basis and then engage brands or products as part of the broadcast.

The Most Important Thing?

The most important thing to know about creating quality Facebook Live content is to tell a good story. Content -- no matter what medium or device you use -- will always be king. You can have 1 million followers on Facebook and if your Facebook Live video is of a blank wall, you won’t get the engagement you need or want to move forward in the digital space. However, if that blank wall is being painted by famous instagram pup-personalities, then you have got yourself one heck of a Facebook Live.

For more of my tips, visit my Facebook page where I go live at least 1x per week! http://facebook.com/vixreitano for more.

Victoria "Vix" Reitano is a Social Media Strategist, Editorial Marketing Expert, and a Content Strategist and Creator. She appears on-air (NBC, CBS) to share the ins and outs of social media for brands, individuals, entrepreneurs and job seekers. She is the Founder and CEO of CreatiVix Media, a boutique digital agency based in Manhattan. To learn more, follow her on Twitter @vixinthecity and Instagram @vixinthecity.

Photo via Pixabay

About the author

International Speaker. Chief Marketing Strategist for Brands, Entrepreneurs & Influencers. New Yorker. Blog: vixinthecity.com CEO, @CVMGroupNYC.

Signup for the Muck Rack Daily email

A digest of journalism, written by journalists, delivered to your inbox daily.