Facebook Live: What We’ve Learned After 65 Videos

By Blaine Kelley

On April 2, Erlanger Health System broadcast live on Facebook from a picnic celebration for the newly acquired Erlanger Murphy Medical Center. While this wasn’t your typical Facebook Live from the health system, it did mark an important milestone – our 65th Facebook Live session. April 6 marked two years since Facebook rolled out the program to all users on the platform, with Facebook estimating 3.5 billion total broadcasts to date.

Companies use Facebook Live for different purposes; Erlanger discusses popular health concerns, demystifies new technology and takes viewers behind the scenes. Topics have ranged from endometriosis and new GERD procedures to sports health and the ever popular LIFE FORCE air ambulances. Erlanger’s marketing department partners with local ad agency, The Johnson Group, to plan and produce these weekly videos.

Taylor Hinton-Ridling with The Johnson Group has been an integral part of Erlanger’s Facebook Live programming.

“In 2018 alone, Erlanger Health System’s Facebook Live videos have been viewed for 30 collective days, or about 43,000 minutes,” Hinton-Ridling says. “Live video can be intimidating, but organizations shouldn't be afraid of it. Some pre-show practice, interesting or useful content, and a willingness to engage with your audience during the video - that's all you need to get started.”

Below are tips for beginner live social video users that we’ve picked up along Erlanger’s journey with Live:
  • Good sound and lighting are probably more important than the topic. If your audience cannot see or hear you, it doesn’t matter how great your content is.
  • Mix up the environment and set-up so viewers' brains don’t register the video as something they’ve already seen.
  • If the video is long, have the people in your video reintroduce themselves and the topic frequently to get new viewers up to speed.
  • Encourage people to turn on notifications so they can be alerted when you “go live". 
  • Be interesting. Move around. Give a sense of spontaneity and exclusivity. Choose shareable topics.
  • Address the audience as if you’re talking directly to them. Answer their questions live.
  • Tease something interesting that will happen or be shared late in the video. Give people a reason to stick around until the end.