Live-streaming is a fun way to feel as if you are part of the action, and it’s an excellent way to connect with companies, products, and people you like. Organizations and even just everyday people are finding creative, and often times entertaining ways to use it (remember Chewbacca mom)?! If you check your Facebook newsfeed now, then I’m sure at least half of your feed would be some type of video clip or Facebook Live.
Facebook Live is one way to better engage with your association membership and to create a more authentic connection with your audience. Now I realize the idea of appearing “Live” might seem a bit scary, but just because you’re doing something in real-time doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared ahead of time!
We hosted our first Facebook Live in honor of our latest Aptify Product Release. It was an exciting affair, and we hope to do more of it in the future. If you’re interested in using Facebook Live to increase member engagement at your association, here are a few lessons we learned.
The following is an excerpt from Angie Karpouzis’s blog post “Three Facebook Live Rules to Captivate Your Association Membership” in the Aptify blog.
1. How you live stream is as important as what you stream
It’s easy to get caught up in being concerned about picking the right topic and ensuring what you decide to stream is relevant and interesting to those watching it. And it is. I would add to this necessity, that you need to equally plan for how you are going to do the live stream.
First, is to ensure you have a device to stream from, something with good video and audio that is also connected to the internet. The live stream will only work if you have good internet connection, so that basement rave is out of the question if you can’t get a wifi signal.
In both the Australian and North American offices, we used our iPhones, souped-up with audio attachments. I used the Rode Mic for iPhone, which captured the audio of the event really clearly, connected to my iPhone 6 on a selfie stick. Remember, you can get away with sub-par vision (like in your dark, fluorescent-lighted conference room) if you have great audio.
Also, be sure you know how you are going to complete the stream. During some of my test runs, I struggled to get the Facebook iPhone app to even make the stream live. After a bit of research, I found that downloading the Facebook Pages Manager App made filming and posting the stream much simpler. With a cleaner interface and fewer steps, I was able to get our event live. My point, do your research and do a practice run. You don’t want to get caught out missing the event because you don’t have the right tools at the ready.
2. Set the scene for success
With your tools in place, be sure to properly prep your team and the space you’ll be filming in.
With the Sydney Team, I ran through an agenda of what the live stream would entail, when they would be prompted to speak, and what I was expecting from them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we rehearsed, but I was very clear with what my expectations were, so we were able to get the ideal finished product in real-time.
No one likes to see an empty room, so be sure to decorate accordingly. Our launch was a party, so we had balloons, streamers, and party food that complemented what the live video was for. You can do that same for any style of live stream. Live streaming an awards gala? Be sure to have some of the certificates or the awards on hand so people can put the event in context.
Finally, the devil is in the details, be cognizant of the tiny details that will make your event pop. For example, at our North America party, at the last minute my colleague remembered to purchase disposable champagne glasses for toasting. Now say she had forgotten this detail, everyone would have been drinking celebratory champagne out of coffee cups, and that would not have matched the style of the live stream. These small details can add context and pizzaz to your stream, so be thoughtful.
It never hurts to experiment so consider giving it a try at your organization! After all, it’s always better to find new ways to better engage with your membership, rather than simply doing what you’ve always done in the past. More engagement and interaction with your membership is never a bad thing!
Check out our 50 Ways to Boost Association Membership eBook to get even more ideas on how to increase member engagement and grow your membership.