LIVE on Social Media


Forget real-time social media.

Instead think about “live” broadcasting.  Or in industry parlance: live streaming.

A well-produced “live” show can bring events, product launches, and news announcement to new heights of audience participation and engagement.

Let me give you an example.

Recently, I was involved in a news announcement for a new non-profit organization in the online education space.  The non-profit was a collaboration between two big players in higher education.

The original plan to announce the creation of the non-profit included: write a news announcement to put on the wires, hold a press conference, and provide selected members of the media exclusive pre-briefings so they could publish their news stories on the day of the conference.

All smart and savvy ways to generate awareness and publicity in the media.

But media relations is no longer enough.

So we develop a robust network of digital and social channels for the new non-profit and developed content for the channels to coincide with the launch.  We designed and built a website as well as social channels on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  We developed rich and interactive pieces of content, including an announcement video.

But we wanted to add another layer so we decided to produce the press conference as a live broadcast.  We partnered with UStream to create an exclusive channel to broadcast the event.  We embedded the channel right to the landing page of the new website (we have also done this as an application on Facebook – basically creating a channel right on a brand’s Facebook page).

We used two cameras and our executive producer produced the press conference as a “live” TV show.

We used the social channels (and keep in mind these were brand-spanking new) to tease out the “live” event.  We used existing social channels of the principals to help create buzz and drive traffic to the website for the show.  We also contacted media and bloggers to urge them to watch, if they couldn’t attend (especially helpful for those who were restrained geographically).

The live broadcast added a sizzle of urgency, excitement, and exclusivity to the press conference.  And it went without a hitch and because it was produced by professionals it had “broadcast” quality.  Close-ups.  Distant shots.  Facts and figures displayed on the screen.  Live streaming at its finest.

The results speak for themselves:

  • More than 2,000 people watched the broadcast live.
  • More than 90,000 additional people from around the world watched the taped version of the broadcast within the next 48 hours.

And the cherry on top?  Media outlets and bloggers who could not attend the event watched the broadcast and pulled quotes from it to use in their reporting of the news.

The content you capture on video can be used in many different ways afterwards.  For example, the highlight video that was embedded in the live broadcast was then posted separately – as soon as it ran on the live broadcast.  That short video has generated more than 500,000 views on YouTube and UStream.

Of course, not every event or piece of news will generate this kind of audience.

But keep in mind that volume does not necessarily equal success.  Smaller, targeted audiences being shown the right content can be just as valuable, especially for B2B companies.

Adding live broadcasting, especially quality live broadcasting (take the amateur talking head on the web camera off the table – please!), is a wide open creative door for brands to utilize.

You are only limited by your imagination.

Have you watched “live” events on the web?  What are your thoughts about live streaming?

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