5 Steps To Hosting a Successful Facebook Live Video

If content is king, then video content is…emperor? You get the idea: it’s important. If you’re not pushing video content, you’re missing a huge opportunity to reach more eyeballs on your social posts. Video often performs better across all channels and tends to generate more reactions. One easy way to introduce more video into your content calendar is to host Facebook Live Streams. Seem daunting? Don’t stress: we’re bringing you the top 5 tips to hosting a successful livestream:

Find a Good Videographer
This one may seem simple, but it’s often overlooked. Not every videographer has Facebook Live experience specifically. This makes all this difference – you need someone who knows how to make the audio sound right on the livestream platform, for example (and someone who is flexible enough to be able to adjust if something like audio isn’t sounding right when live). It’s also helpful to work with a videographer who has experience incorporating drone footage or other shots into a livestream as this will make for a more engaging and dynamic experience for your audience. Check out how this videographer used drone footage to capture the incredible New Year’s Eve fireworks show over Reykjavik, Iceland.   

Plan Ahead
Once you’ve got your videographer nailed down, it’s time to start prepping the flow of the live stream and the copy you want to accompany the post. What time are you planning to go live? Will you have a countdown running before the video starts? If so, what will the graphic and copy be? These are all important questions to align on prior to starting your stream. It’s also helpful to send your videographer exactly what title and description you want the post to have so there are no discrepancies in messaging. You can simply send this info over in an email beforehand so they have the info readily available to copy, paste. 

Promote it Ahead of Time 
Let your audience know in the days and/or weeks leading up to your livestream that the video is coming! We typically recommend starting promotions about 1-2 weeks before the livestream. You can create a Facebook event ad and cross-promote on other social channels to get as many folks as possible over to your page at the time you plan to go live. This is a great way to ensure your video is reaching people as soon as it starts.

Engage with the Viewers
It can be helpful to post a prompt in the copy of your post description that encourages your audience to engage with the video. Something as simple as, “let us know where you’re watching from!” is a fun way to create a stronger sense of community among the folks collectively watching the livestream together. From there, you can respond to any questions that may arise in the comments or simply react to people commenting how much they’re enjoying the show!

Boost it Afterwards 
Just because you streamed a video live doesn’t mean it’s limited to that timeframe. Boosting the video on Facebook after the live stream is over is a great way to reach more folks who might not have been able to tune into the video at the specific time it went live. Any amount of budget is helpful in boosting the post across Facebook, and since it’s video content, there’s a good chance it will perform well on the platform.

Remember to keep an eye on the comments to see what people enjoy most about the kind of content you’ve created and incorporate that feedback into your next video. It can be helpful to debrief with your social team and/or videographer afterward as well to talk through what worked well and what you can improve on next time.

Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments below or on LinkedIn! 

Instagram vs. Snapchat: New Snapchat Redesign 2020

Snapchat is testing two different redesigns – which means it’s time for another update in our Instagram vs. Snapchat battle!

Snapchat Redesign

Snapchat hasn’t had a significant redesign since late 2017, and it’s not hard to see why. Its last redesign was barely tested before it was rolled out worldwide with little warning, losing it millions of users. Its growth since the update has been slow, but currently 218 million people use Snapchat every day. In this time, however, its competitor, Instagram Stories, has grown to 500 million daily users.

Snapchat’s 2020 Update Features

Snapchat’s update is hoping to highlight the features that are unique to the platform. One test is focusing on easy access to the Snap Map and its original content, while the other works to integrate top news headlines from reputable sources.

new snapchat update 2020 new snapchat update 2020

Snapchat Features Test One

The first test separates the different Snapchat features into five screens instead of the current three – one for messages, the homescreen, and the Discover page, plus a swipe down for the Snap Map. The screens will be, from left to right, the Snap Map, messages, homescreen, “Community” page (a new name for the Discover page), and a new screen exclusively for Snapchat’s original content. This test also includes a navigation bar that allows you to rapidly tap to different screens instead of swiping across all five, as seen below in images provided by The Verge.

Snapchat Features Test Two

The second test keeps the Snapchat layout mostly as-is, but adds a “Happening Now” section on the Discover page. This section would place headlines from publications like NowThis, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post directly in-app. Each headline is only one sentence and opens when tapped to show a short news story and relevant image.

The Results: Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories

Both of these layouts offer elements that Instagram and Instagram Stories are lacking. The first emphasizes the Snap Map, and the second allows only select publications on the platform to clearly delineate the most trustworthy voices. Providing users with more legitimization than just a verified symbol can limit the spread of misinformation and build trust in the platform. Highlighting these unique features more directly will help Snapchat get ahead of Instagram.

What do you think of the proposed changes to Snapchat? Will either of the new rollouts sway you away from Instagram Stories? Comment below or let us know on Twitter!

5 Must-Have Skills For Every PR Pro

The public relations industry is constantly evolving, and PR professionals have the responsibility to grow and adapt to technology innovations and the media landscape to ensure the job is getting done. We’ve laid out the top five skills that every PR pro needs to be successful in a competitive field:

Adapt to the evolving media landscape 
Over the past 20 years, there’s been a stark shift from traditional print news to digital news, meaning PR pros have had to adapt to the expedited spread of information. Professionals who have welcomed digital news and all that comes with it have learned to write more tailored pitches, monitor news more consistently, and utilize social media to gain a more targeted understanding of the reporters they are pitching. Being an adaptive and quick learner is essential to mastering the latest technology which expands opportunities for creativity.

Creative thinking and problem solving 
With digital news platforms comes a crowded media landscape that PR professionals need to break through with creative thinking. To ensure clients stand out, PR pros must determine what factors make them unique, and be able to communicate that messaging to reporters in a way that grabs their attention and hooks their readers. Brainstorming a strong angle for your pitch, such as highlighting your client’s recent milestone or their connection to a current event, is helpful in getting responses from reporters. In some situations, PR professionals might feel like they’re struggling to form a strong tie-in, which is why being a creative thinker and problem solver is crucial for finding the storyline that sticks.

Strategic planning and thinking 
Every social post, pitch and campaign created for your client should be strategically crafted and evaluated. To begin the process, you must identify your clients’ goals and their ideal outcome. With clear objectives in mind, you should brainstorm specific tactics for reaching these goals. Lastly, and equally as important, you take inventory of your results and evaluate; noting your successes and what fell short will help in future planning.

Meticulous and efficient research skills
With each new project, event or client, PR professionals must heavily research to understand and be familiar with the brand, industry, and competing products or services in their market. Understanding the industry and competitive landscape will be crucial in learning the company’s mission, product and/or service so that you can have productive meetings with your client and ask the right questions. Wider industry research cannot go understated – familiarizing yourself with the field and its major players as a whole will enable you to see how it has evolved and where it’s headed in the future. This way, you’ll have greater success in recognizing significant news moments and identifying where your client can jump in on these moments and bring strong opportunities to them.

Strong writing skills 
Strong writing skills are integral for branding, storytelling, creating messages, and connecting clients with reporters. Whether you’re selling your client’s story to a reporter, or sending messages directly to the audience, compelling storytelling is a powerful tool that gives you the opportunity to grab your listener’s attention. With the audience’s attention, consistent and strong communication skills will help to create a positive brand image of reliability and expertise for your client.

What do you think are important skills to have as a public relations professional? Let us know in the comment or on Twitter!

Do you think you have all of the skills of a PR pro? If so, check out potential roles at BIGfish. We’re hiring!

Our Favorite App of the Month: Asana!

February has officially arrived, and with it, many New Years’ Resolutions start to dwindle away. But if your resolution was to keep yourself and your team organized, we have an app to keep you going strong! Read on to learn why Asana is our BIGfish team’s favorite app of the month!
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