Facebook Live Videos

A Facebook Live Primer for Non-Profits

I have a love/hate relationship with social media.

I love seeing other people’s pictures. There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing the faces of my friends’ kids. I get a meaningful glimpse into the lives of people I care about.

I hate social media for all of the junk. The irrelevant sponsored posts. The never ending spam (the bane of open accounts). But, I’m also a marketer. I know somebody has to pay for these websites. Advertisers pay for our attention.

All of this is to say, it takes something special in the social media space to get my attention. Why? Because I guard it so fiercely. SoMe has to #EarnMyLove.

Live Video Transformed

So what caught my attention recently? Facebook Live.

In a nutshell (and from the Facebook website):

Facebook Live lets you use your phone to share a moment instantly with the people you care about. This means your friends, family, or fans can be there with you, and you can respond to their comments and see their reactions.

Facebook Live In Action

Live video. Yawn. “Hey there Tomé, Periscope and Meerkat have been around for a while. What’s so special about Facebook Live?”

Ahh yes, what’s so special, Kind Reader?

Umm, the fact that there are over 1.59 billion monthly active Facebook users.

It’s the network effect. It’s the same reason so many of us (still) use Microsoft Office or iPhones. If most of our network uses one platform/tool, we’re apt to join them. Hence, the impact of Facebook Live on the adoption of live video.

The other day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I saw that my friend, Casey, was using Facebook Live. I clicked the play icon and was delighted to see Casey and his son just messing around. Right then, I knew this tool could be extremely useful to brands, non-profit or otherwise, to engage their fans online.

It’s only fitting that I asked Casey Palmer to offer up his two cents on the platform. Casey is a prolific social media user, content creator, and wicked smart dude. I consider his blog Tales from the 2.9 to be an extraordinary gift to the blogosphere. You must read it. Casey has partnered with many top brands to engage his audience in brand stories.

I asked Casey for his perspective on Facebook Live, especially as it relates to non-profit brands in Canada. Here’s our exchange:

PT: Facebook Live is going to crush Periscope and Meerkat. Am I right?

CP: It definitely is—and you know why?

Because it’s Facebook!

While Twitter has Periscope and Meerkat has been out awhile, you can’t argue with a site that has nearly one billion active users each day.

Live streaming video is the next logical step in sharing our stories from what we’ve been doing with our phones for years. The only difference is—instead of storing it all on our phones, picking and choosing what gets shared with the world, now it’s live and unedited, so our friends and family can feel like they’re right there with us!

PT: I think the vast majority of non-profits are behind the curve on social media use for engagement. More specifically, too many non-profits use social media as a megaphone instead of a platform to engage. But when you think about it, a homeless shelter or a food bank could be sharing emotional stories of transformation every single day. Other charities would have amazing stories of change too. How can non-profits start to share meaningful content through social media platforms like Facebook Live?

CP: It’s just like you said—the way we’re sharing our stories is evolving, and Facebook Live gives us the perfect opportunity to share stories in ways we couldn’t dream of before. With non-profits especially, they’ve all got a reason for existing—a purpose behind why they do what they do, and through live video streaming, they can really show it to the world!

Too many organizations are still stuck in the age of official copy and low-quality cellphone photos, but in a space where the competition is videos with a billion views and tales designed to warm our hearts, it’s time content creators step their game up should they want to make a splash in the digital world!

PT: How should any brand look to social media and platforms like Facebook Live to build awareness and create fans?

CP: Too many organizations invest loads of time planning how they’ll use social media and not actually using it. The existing platforms aren’t getting any younger and with new trends developing each day, the time is ripe to develop a footprint with new tools like Facebook Live before they become oversaturated and old news!

A Few Tips To Make The Most of Facebook Live

  • Consistency is key. Fans react best when they know to expect new content from you. Stick to a regular schedule that your fans can follow, and build your audience over time!
  • Give ‘em warning! Letting your audience know ahead of time when they should expect a broadcast gives a far better chance they’ll be there when you click the icon on your phone!
  • Be authentic. Don’t share for the sake of sharing. Don’t rely on a script. Don’t overthink the message you want to get out. Just take that phone and share some stories—it’ll feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the more stories will just make themselves known to you, so there’s no time like the present—let’s see some video, and let’s see it today!

Top 5 Facebook Live Ideas For Your Non-Profit

Recognizing that a majority of Give’s client base are homeless shelters and food banks, these Top 5 ideas for Facebook Live are geared toward them. Tweak as need be, the point being: it’s time to take live video broadcasting seriously.

  1. Executive Director Town Hall / Q&A
  2. Tour the shelter/warehouse
  3. Volunteer live feed during a special dinner (e.g.: Thanksgiving or Christmas) or food drive sort.
  4. Client interview
  5. Breaking ground on a new building/project

Give is a direct response fundraising agency helping Canadian charities raise more money. Wanna work together? You gotta get referred. We’re picky that way—and you’ll like us more for it.

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Give is a direct response fundraising agency. We help Canadian charities inspire their supporters to greater levels of commitment. Give was created for your charity and its supporters.