Video Tip: The Power of Facebook Live

by | Nov 29, 2017 | Video Tip

On September 11th every year, we film Buglisi Dance Theatre’s The Table of Silence Project performed on Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center.

We always stream the Table of Silence Project on YouTube, and this year we also decided to do a simultaneous stream on Facebook Live.

We know social media, especially Facebook, helps dance companies reach much wider audiences with their videos. Reaching new viewers and expanding the shareability of this important project is important to all of us. We wanted to do everything in our power to make that happen.

Our team has the equipment and the know-how to make live video a beautiful, high-quality reality on Facebook and YouTube. It’s something we love to do for our clients, because it’s exciting and in-the-moment! There are always some nerves involved. Anything can happen while live!!!

To prepare for live-streaming, our team conducts several tests to make sure internet connection and speeds are working great. We check off every box we can to ensure that things will run smoothly and work properly the day of the shoot. And we always have our troubleshooting hats on and some back up plans just in case.

What we were excited about on Facebook is the ability to reach new people who didn’t necessarily know about the performance already.

Many of our YouTube viewers for Buglisi’s Table of Silence are watching because they follow the company or already know about the tribute from previous years – they might find the YouTube stream from links on Buglisi’s website or through their email list. These viewers are already a part of our dance and arts community. This year, even more people discovered the work via Facebook Live and those viewers may not have ever seen the Table of Silence Project otherwise!!

The beauty of Facebook Live is not just a wider group watching your video, but a large number of impressions or quick glances at your company.

Facebook Live is such an effective way to get in front of people!! The average watch time per user may not always look that impressive, but the fact that you get anyone’s attention at all these days is impressive! Because Facebook has put a lot of its energy into making live video an important part of the user experience, they push out your live events to many more folks through unpaid reach (at least for now). And the more viewers who see your activity, whether they watch the full event or not, the more your brand becomes recognizable, familiar, of raised significance.

Here’s a look at some of the stats from
Buglisi’s first Table of Silence Project on Facebook Live when we first reviewed what happened! (You can see these numbers continue to increase, now with 40k+ views):

38,496 VIEWS
586 SHARES
23,974 MINUTES WATCHED
13,846 10-SECOND VIDEO VIEWS
125,655 PEOPLE REACHED 
3,364 ENGAGEMENT (REACTIONS, SHARES, COMMENTS)

We’re excited to see these numbers grow even more next year. Live video is a wonderful way to raise awareness of your dance company, to let people in on your artistic process, to share special peeks inside your arts organization and to bring new fans and supporters into the fold.

Here’s something for you to think about while you plan for 2018 — how can you use live video next year to grow your audience?

Let us livestream your next big thing!
Get in touch: studio@nelshelby.com 

Nel Shelby is Video Producer at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and Owner & Filmmaker for Nel Shelby Productions, her New York City-based company dedicated to dance videography and editing. Nel shares her mission to preserve and promote the art of dance with her husband, Christopher Duggan, a dance and wedding photographer. They collaborate on projects with dance companies of worldwide renown, up-and-coming choreographers, dance educators, dance schools and more. Nel is also the proud Director and Producer of PS DANCE! — a New York Emmy-nominated documentary about dance education in NYC’s public schools.

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