How to Use Facebook Live Comments to Excite Your Audience

September 14, 2016

Written by NewsWhip
facebook video

We explore how to ramp up your engagement during Facebook Live video by interacting with your audience in the comments. 

Publishers and brands alike are experimenting with Facebook Live to give their audience an interactive experience that engages them in real time. Given Facebook’s focus on all kinds of video in the news feed, it’s essential to find the ways to produce a successful broadcast.
Not only that, but Facebook is also promoting organic sharing. The news feed emphasizes what your friends and family are talking about, instead of media companies and brands that are removed from your life.
We’ve seen publishers acquiescing to this by building up strong communities around their content creators, like the Odyssey Online and INSIDER
One way to combine the two elements of video and organic sharing is by having social media managers and video creators engage viewers during Facebook Live during the time the video is live and directly after.

Context for Those Joining Late

When we analyzed BBC’s Facebook Live production for 30 days, we saw they’d often include commentary for those viewers who joined in late.
BBC News Live Video Comments
This is a great way to get new viewers up to pace and keep them from feeling lost. Since the majority of Facebook Live interactions happen while the video is actually live (link), you want your viewers engaged as soon as they tune in.
The Weather Channel also did this when they broadcasted Hurricane Hermine in Cedar Key, Florida.
the weather channel comments
Throughout the broadcast, they updated with their advisories, and told those joining in to stay safe in the hurricane. Brands are getting in on this too. GE, which has an innovative brand newsroom, has been taking on Live video as well.
GE volcano comments
Their community managers included updates in the comments during a live descent into a volcano. For those joining late, they could catch up on what was happening, and viewers could learn additional details they may have missed.

Link to Relevant Content

The comments also provide a great opportunity for you to direct your viewers to further relevant content. You can link to related stories or provide more information around the subjects featured in your Live video.
New York Times Facebook Live Video
The New York Times did both of these when we analyzed their Live video. They linked to other additional content, and would also give information around people featured in their Live video, such as an artist they had drawing the day’s news
Want to discover the Live video trends that will get your audience tuning in? Take a free trial of NewsWhip Spike to find what’s hot right now

Be Truly Interactive

One of the unique facets of Live video is that it allows for truly interactive experiences. We noted how both brands and publishers were making their live broadcasts into a game for viewers.
ASOS had a guessing contest where their community managers gave clues in the comments and identified winners. Business Insider tried out a 3D printing pen and interacted with viewers giving suggestions of what to draw.
ASOS live
Brands seem to be jumping in on the interactivity of Facebook Live with surprising adeptness. Keebler, the cookie brand with elf mascots, just did their first Facebook Live broadcast this month. They had viewers sharing memories of the cookies, and Keebler responded back in the voice of the mascot.
We’ve noted that access to industry experts and celebrities is a popular tactic for Facebook Live video. In the case of brands, access to mascots, founders, or other related figures may serve to be just as popular, even just in the comments.

Further Commentary and Insights

Facebook Live comments are also the perfect place to include further insights that may have not been included in the heat of the moment during the broadcast.
It can also be used to give access to people who were part of the action of a video. Red Bull did a Live video of taking part in a race, and after, answered viewers’ questions in the comments.
red bull live comments
These comments can be satirical as well. When the SPORT bible raced several snails against each other to coincide with the Premier League season start, there was not much action during the video. However, the real-time comments were humorous and tongue-in-cheek.
sport bible comments
For brands, this can mean the ability to provide real-time customer service and improve brand reputation. When Mercedes-Benz debuted a new luxury car during a Live video, they also directed viewers to more info about the car and customer service numbers.

What to Know

As Facebook moves closer to organic sharing being the name of the game, publishers and brands need to find ways to genuinely engage their audiences.
This includes building communities around their content creators, and making viewers feel like they’re part of the show on Facebook Live. With Facebook Live, people expect to be able to touch the news and the content they’re interacting with.
Social has bred a significantly more casual landscape for content. Audiences don’t want to be spoken to, they want to be spoken with, and have their questions, concerns, and thoughts heard as well.
The successful content creators will be the ones that realize this, and experiment with ways to engage with their viewers personally.
Spike strapline 3

You might also like

Six key features for newsrooms seeking a CrowdTangle replacement

Six key features for newsrooms seeking a CrowdTangle replacement

With CrowdTangle being deprecated in August 2024, many newsrooms are seeking an alternative for their social media news gathering, multichannel audience development, competitive benchmarking and developing ideas from social media trends. I recently spoke to Chris...


Related articles

The NewsWhip Note

Regular updates from the NewsWhip team on the crises, trends, and stories that are resonating with the media and public around the web.