There’s just something about the word “live” that makes many of us clam up. Do I really want to be on Facebook live? Couldn’t I just video something, edit it, and then post it like always? Sure, you could. But there’s something almost magical about sharing a moment with your audience.
That moment was at the fingertips of the editors at Parents Magazine on Facebook, literally. Earlier this week they went live with an incredibly difficult to obtain toy, the Hatchimal. It’s an egg with an electronic toy inside that, with your love and attention, hatches. You don’t know which creature is inside until the big reveal.
In the hundreds of other videos on the same topic, the hatching happens within 15 minutes. Plus, the editor in the Facebook Live video had previously hatched a Hatchimal, so she had experience. Yet when they went live and she started rubbing, patting, tapping, holding, putting down, twisting, and gently shaking the egg, nothing happened.
Minutes rolled into an hour, which proceeded into a second hour, and nearly hit a third. Yes, you read that right. They remained on Facebook Live with the laziest Hatchimal on earth for almost THREE HOURS.
While nobody included me in the wrap-up meeting, I have to believe that didn’t go exactly as planned.
What they did right:
- They researched. They knew the product and had already handled it. They knew, statistically, that the Hatchimal would hatch within 15 minutes, which is a reasonable amount of time for a Facebook Live event.
- They went live with an incredibly engaging topic. At one point there were over 26,000 people watching.
- They committed. The presenters were NOT giving up.
- They kept things breezy and light. It would have been incredibly easy to get and appear frustrated.
- They had reinforcements waiting in the wings, ready to go. That toy got passed around several sets of hands. Being in it for the long haul will require more than one on-camera personality.
3 ways to save a Facebook Live event that isn’t going as planned
- Set a time limit. At some point it makes sense to end scene, especially if things are going as planned. They may have considered returning in 30 minutes with an update.
- Have a Plan B. In this case, a Plan B may have been to have an already hatched toy ready to feature. I like to call that channel my inner cooking show. You know, put the casserole in the oven and, voila, there’s a perfectly prepared one ready for us to feast our eyes on.
- Have a secondary topic ready to go. If your objective is to live hatch a toy and the toy simply won’t cooperate, turn it into a conversation about the hottest toys this year or the best types of toys for a certain age group.
Facebook Live is a great way to connect with your audience in an on-the-spot and authentic way. Some of the best live videos are spur-of-the moment and unscripted. But if you’re going on with a specific objective, prepare. You won’t regret it.