Earlier this year, we were introduced to Facebook Live, a new feature on Facebook that enables schools (and regular Facebook users) to capture real-life moments on their page. And while Facebook live has taken the broadcast industry and 2016 presidential election by storm, it's off to a slow and steady start amongst school marketers.
Despite its slower-than-expected adoption among schools, Facebook Live is one of the best ways to engage with your audience for a few reasons:
- Posting with Facebook Live is easy – as long as you have a mobile device or tablet and a WiFi connection, you can go live!
- Facebook videos increased 360% across everyone's news feeds from 2014-2015
- Facebook live posts are automatically favored by Facebook's complex algorithms
- People spend 3 times longer watching Live video, compared to other types of video
- It's becoming a growing trend, as company Facebook pages streamed almost 200 live videos in June of this year — 6 times as many as they streamed in January
This feature is not only easy to use, but you can also keep track of who is tuning in, and their real-time comments and reactions — meaning anyone who can't be there still feels like they can be a part of what's happening at your school.
Many independent schools have already started using the feature during this school year to upload videos that are simple, yet give a great, authentic inside look at life on campus.
Let's take a look at a few examples:
Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT went live earlier this school year during their Club Fair.
Westover School in Middlebury, CT caught this awesome flash mob on video during their live video.
This student from Trinity-Pawling in Pawling, NY made his Facebook Live debut in a timely fashion as he informed Facebook fans of the Trinity-Pawling World Series Giving Challenge while the games were still going on.
Avon Old Farms School in Avon, CT caught a glimpse of this soccer game in the beginning of October.
Forman School in Litchfield, CT was excited to share this as they expand their campus with a new Performing and Visual Arts Center.
Though all of these videos show something different, they all show a part about their school that is special, making it worth watching. The videos are a great way to get students and families interested in what's happening on campus while the events are going on so they don't miss out.
Free Report: The State of Social Media Marketing Among Schools
When else should your school go live on Facebook?
Here are four popular ways schools are using Facebook Live:
1. Orientation and Revisit Days
Go "live" to show off campus, the fun student body, and the authentic story behind why your school is the best. Posting these live videos will be a great opportunity to interact with prospective, new and current students and their families. You'll have full coverage of what's happening during their first few times at your school.
2. Special guest speakers
Want to set your school apart? Go "live" when special speakers come to campus and have a mini-interview session if time allows. Set your school apart by promoting who will be coming to campus and the plethora of connections you have. This is another perfect opportunity to have well-known figures endorse your school within your community.
3. Any other big event at your school
We all know good marketing practice is to promote your events in advance. Facebook Live is another new tool to capture the progress of what goes into these plans, as well as capturing the big day when the event is actually happening. This behind-the-scenes peek will set your school apart because your followers will get to see more of the personal side behind students, faculty, and staff, and what makes your school awesome.
Take a look at your calendar and think about the events you may want to stream live on your school's Facebook page. Because these videos can be saved onto your Timeline, current and prospective families can go back and watch it again, making the videos a piece of valuable content– how cool!
Many other social channels, such as Twitter and Snapchat, are also bringing the live video feature to their platforms, too. Schools will be able to capture some of the biggest moments through video instead of photos, creating a more interactive experience for communities on social media. Because your number one goal, of course, is to engage your families and prove ROI, the future of live social video for schools will be one to look out for as the demand for video expands online.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Finalsite's newest member to the Marketing Team, Stephanie brings a fresh new marketing perspective with her background in social media, communications, and radio broadcasting. Stephanie is passionate about helping schools stay ahead of their marketing goals by tracking new trends and developments. She is also a practicing musician (singer/songwriter) and loves to expand her creativity in DIY projects.