Engaging Social Media Audiences Through Facebook Live


There is no doubt that social video (including Facebook Live) is on the rise and is to your advantage to integrate it into your arts organization’s social media strategy (you do have a social media strategy, don’t you?). While some live videos can be elaborately planned productions, they can also be as simple as an impromptu shout-out to fans from a backstage dressing room.

Live video was introduced on Facebook in August 2015. Since then, marketers across all sectors have witnesses the power of live video. Here are some statistics from Hootsuite and Insivia that demonstrate the impact of video as a strategic marketing tool:

  • Video consumption accounts for one-third of all online activity
  • 92 percent of mobile video consumers share videos with others
  • Live videos are commented on 10x more than regular videos
  • Live videos are viewed 3x longer on average than regular videos
  • Live videos appear higher on a news feed than native or non-live videos

Live streaming now has it's own category in high profile awards ceremonies, such as the Shorty Awards, indicating the staple that it has become in social media. Produced by New York-based technology company Sawhorse Media, the Shorty Awards honor the people and organizations leading the charge in social media innovation. Winners are selected through a combination of public votes and scores awarded by a panel of leaders in technology, journalism, business, and culture. In April 2017, the winners will be announced at a live ceremony in New York City that will also be live-streamed on the web. Among a sea of nominees in tech, business, and pop culture, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts clinched two nominations for the 9th Annual Shorty Awards.

Lincoln Center is currently nominated for “Best Use of Facebook Live” and “Best in Live Event”. The nominations recognized “A Day in the Life at Lincoln Center”, a live-streaming initiative that was broadcast via Facebook Live on October 7, 2016. Streaming from 12 locations with three camera crews, “A Day in the Life” featured each of the 11 organizations that reside on Lincoln Center’s 16-acre campus in approximately 10 hours of exclusive video content.

“A Day in the Life” encouraged interactive viewership by launching competitions, engaging with fans’ comments, and providing discount codes to select performances and events. While hundreds of viewers logged in to view the live-stream, the total reach of “A Day in the Life” was over 10 million impressions. The event received national press coverage, and viewers from around the world were captivated by the content. Following the live stream event, Lincoln Center uploaded excerpts of the day’s content on its Facebook page so that fans could still watch, share, and comment on videos. 

Source: Lincoln Center Facebook Page (@lincolncenternyc)

Source: Lincoln Center Facebook Page (@lincolncenternyc)

Want to see who else is nominated for a Shorty Award? See the full list of categories and nominees here.

It is easier than you might think for you to get in on the Facebook Live action (and potentially put your organization in the running for a Shorty Award next year). In fact, the current iteration of Facebook Live allows Pages and profiles to broadcast live video using only a smartphone. Follow these easy steps to begin your organization's Facebook Live video:

  • Step 1: Using a smartphone, log into Facebook as a Page administrator.
  • Step 2: Tap the Live icon on your status bar, as if you’re going to publish a post.
  • Step 3: Write a brief, informative description to let your audience know what you’re streaming.
  • Step 4: Follow the prompts to allow access to your camera and microphone, and begin your live stream!
  • Step 5: Enjoy some Facebook love from your followers and respond to comments (where appropriate).

Has your arts organizations experimented with Facebook Live or another live-streaming platform? Tell us about it below!