We investigate publishers’ top Facebook Live videos for what trends are driving engagement right now.
As Facebook Live continues its mission to become a vital part of your newsfeed, it’s imperative that publishers learn how to master it. As with any social media format, different trends ebb and flow for what will appeal to viewers.
This in mind, we took a look at the Live videos and publishers that dominated engagements in December 2016, paving the way for what tactics will work in 2017.
Opportunities for Smaller Publishers
Looking at English-language publishers in our news category for December 2016, we can see that there’s quite a good deal of variety. The list isn’t dominated solely by the biggest names in news.
Smaller, regional publishers made the rankings for the month. In the top ten alone, there were three publishers from Tampa Bay, Florida, and two from Seattle.
The most engaging Facebook Live video for news publishers came from a regional publisher in Seattle, KIRO 7 News.
The top video covered the startling death of Debbie Reynolds, a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher. Viewed over 28 million times, the Live video streamed the breaking news announcement rather than writing updates or tweeting.
Over 440,000 people reacted to the video and it was shared over 381,000 times. People posted over 85,000 comments on the live-stream, with KIRO 7 News commenting updates and links to relevant articles.
Experimentation of Hard and Soft News
With Facebook Live still in its infancy, publishers are still playing around to determine what is the most compelling to viewers.
Let’s look at our top publishers again. Fox News saw nearly 4 million engagements on their Facebook Live video, making them the top news publisher of Live video for December. Let’s take a look at their top ten videos.
There is an assortment of both hard and soft news here. While there were three political videos that one might expect from Fox News, there was also three Live videos on Santa’s Christmas journey, two videos about the birth of eagles, and one about astronaut John Glenn’s passing.
These all saw significant likes, shares, and comments, showing that it’s worth serving up a variety of different topics to your viewers. Let’s jump into some of the overall content trends of December.
Collectively Celebrate the Holidays
Half of the top ten Live videos of December were videos tracking Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve. The data comes from NewsWhip Spike.
Beyond just news publishers, Facebook announced that Live video broke records on New Year’s Eve, as people live-streamed their festivities around the globe.
Just like we’ve noted that sports on social media lets fans connect to others with their passion around the world, Live video is doing this for the overall human experience.
No matter where people are, they can see how others are celebrating right now, and interact with one another through comments and reactions.
Breaking news stories also drove significant engagements on Live video. Some of the top stories were celebrity deaths, the Berlin Christmas market attack, and the U.S. electoral college’s voting in of Donald Trump. The Daily Mail saw almost all of their top Live videos come from breaking news stories.
This trend is changes the norm of reading news articles ‘after the fact’ or following along on Twitter. For people who want to be as up-to-date as possible on every development of a breaking news story, following along Live fulfills that need.
Unlike television, there is the social aspect too, where users can share the video with others, ask questions in comments, and feel connected to the story.
While people will gather around a celebrity’s residence or favorite haunts to lay their tributes, social media allows people to gather from wherever in the world they are. A Live video lets people feel like they are paying their respects too.
Viewers can comment with their own memories of the deceased, and news publishers can highlight those comments or collect a few of them for a later story.
Watching the ‘Wow’ Moments
The live birth of an eagle was also a major story for news publishers. Several publishers had it as one of their top Live videos for the month.
As we’ve seen for more focused publishers and brands like National Geographic and NASA, scientific, natural, and technological innovations draw big engagement.
These videos allow people to watch something they wouldn’t see everyday, adding a moment of wonder into their daily lives. Again, they get to feel that they’re experiencing it along with all the other people watching, creating a sense of community.
As we start the new year, we’ll be watching to see which of these trends hold, and what new trends emerge.
Want to explore the top Live video right now, across any industry or vertical? Take a free trial of NewsWhip Spike.