Digital Snapshot | Facebook Live

Contact Theatre tell us how they have been using Facebook live...

Here at Contact we’ve been experimenting with live streaming on social media for around a year, using both Periscope and more recently Facebook Live.

What initially appealed to us about using Facebook Live was the sheer simplicity and ease of access it offered compared to Periscope, where we had to log in to an entirely separate app to film a live stream. Moreover Periscope did not allow us to save any of our streams for longer than 24 hours. Facebook Live seemed like an exciting new option so we decided to trial it at some recent events.

Our first foray into Facebook Live was only a couple of months ago, when we streamed the press launch of our upcoming autumn season. The set up proved really easy - we opted to use a tripod as we were streaming a static set up – and after subjecting my Facebook contacts to a brief trial run on my personal account we hit the ‘Go Live’ button.

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Within a couple of minutes we had people joining the live stream to see what it was all about, and whilst the majority of people dropped in for a couple of minutes here and there, we did have some dedicated viewers who stayed with us for the full 45 minute stream. By the end of the broadcast over 60 people had joined us, and many more have come back to view the video on our page after the event.

We also chose to stream a recent debate about young people’s reactions to the EU Referendum (part of our international festival, Contacting the World). We planned to use Facebook as an interactive tool where audiences watching the live stream could join in the debate by submitting questions and voicing opinions in the comments. It also provided our young marketing team, I:CON with a hands-on training opportunity as they were able to experience the set up and filming (at which they did a stellar job) first hand.

We had notified our Facebook audience in advance that the live stream would be taking place; and throughout the broadcast we had around 70 views. We also had numerous questions and comments to put to the panel through the Facebook comments, which really helped to drive the discussion and help Facebook viewers feel engaged.

Overall we’ve had some brilliant success with using Facebook Live - over 1300 total views and the videos have had some of the highest levels of engagement we’ve seen on our page. This might have been to be expected as we have a really engaged audience on Facebook, but the live aspect seems to really appeal to our followers over traditional video content. Whilst there are a few issues still to iron out (like the inability to change the orientation of the camera without moving the phone or that it is not currently available on desktop) the marketing team at Contact is really keen to keep experimenting with it, so keep an eye on our Facebook page and make sure you join us for our next live stream.

Charlotte Bryan, Contact Theatre