Universities and non-profits are increasingly using Facebook Live to live-stream events, with Facebook Live videos being among the most discussed trends in social media during 2016. This post looks at what Facebook live is, examples of universities using it and some tips we picked up at Hubbub after live-streaming our conference!
Facebook introduced live streaming to allow users to broadcast their own videos and engage with their friends through them in real time. It is available to all Pages and profiles on Facebook for iOS and Android and it’s as easy to go live as to take a photo.
With 77% of millennials consuming live content on mobile, it’s a great opportunity for universities to engage students. Notably:
If you’re using it through a Facebook Page, here’s how to go live:
Higher education can use Facebook live as a way to increase awareness and build a community of engaged students, alumni, and followers.
Facebook live streaming can be used for:
University of Essex used Facebook live in this case to provide a sneak peek of its graduation, bringing the ceremony closer to the rest of its audience in real time.
Texas Christian University used Facebook live to stream its team’s preparation for the football game with Texas Tech and the engagement indicated that its Facebook followers were happy to feel part of the game.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health used Facebook live to stream a Q&A on the future of the affordable care act. There was a problem with the orientation during the first minute, so they edited the description to acknowledge it.
We decided to try out live streaming during our Hubbub Conference in December.
Here are our own practical tips, from the early stages of planning to the actual streaming and the results of it.
The first step was to create a Trello board (we’re probably addicted to it!) to organise the planning and the tasks we need to assign to each person.
This step included the logistics of the streaming:
It may be a good start to decide on the sessions you’re going to stream.
This may depend on specific speakers, but also on the time they will be presenting.
If you’re aiming for a global audience, the first session might be quite early in other time zones.
By the time you pick the sessions, you are ready to announce the exact time of streaming.
The second part of the planning included the task of finding the best ways to promote the forthcoming streaming.
View image on Twitter
As it was our first live video on Facebook, we wanted to ensure that it reaches our audience, that’s why we promoted it through:
Once we’d tested everything, we were ready to go live.
You may find these tips useful at that stage:
View image on Twitter
No matter how prepared you are, there’s always something you might miss and you only find it out in the least expected moment.
In our case, there was a problem with the orientation of the video. The phone was placed horizontally on the stand, the screen was properly rotated, but Facebook was still displaying the video sideways.
What we learned afterwards was that there have been reported some glitches on Android phones when trying to stream horizontally and that was probably our case, too.
This resulted in starting the streaming session with the wrong orientation, which we managed to fix with the help from the rest of the team through direct messages.
We were very pleased with the results of our first live streaming experience on Facebook.
According to Facebook, Live videos are more likely to appear higher in users’ news feed, especially when the sessions are still live.
This means that Live videos are expected to grow even more popular, as a new way to create visual content, engage with your audience and promote your company through an event.
Is it time to try them out?