Doing a Live Video Broadcast on Social Media? Follow These Tips

Hitting the “Start Live Video” button on Facebook Live or your social media site of choice can be intimidating. Even people who do live streams all the time likely get butterflies before beginning a live broadcast. But as with most things in life, practice and preparation are two key ingredients for a successful live broadcast. 

In this post, I’ll help you choose a social networking site for your live broadcast, share a few basic live-stream formats, equipment you’ll need, how to prepare, and ways to make the most of your effort. Follow these basic tips and you’ll be well on your way to live stream stardom. 

Which Social Media Platform is Best for Live Streaming? 

The first thing you’ll want to consider is which platform to use. This mostly depends on where your largest, most-engaged audience is, and which platform will get you the most exposure. When Facebook Live first launched, it made a huge splash and was an immediate success among early adopters. But since then, other social networking sites have launched live broadcasting features of their own and you may find success on a platform other than Facebook. In this post, I’ll be sharing ideas that cater to Facebook Live as that is what I am most familiar with. However, the same principals can be applied to most other social media sites.  

What Format is Best for Live Streaming? 

There are three basic formats to consider for a live broadcast: single shot, one-on-one interview, and the walk and talk format. Of these, the single-shot method is the simplest, but requires the most preparation because it means you’ll be speaking directly into the camera, making sure to get all your main points across.  

With a one-on-one interview, you’ll have a little more freedom to ‘wing it’ as you’ll be relying on your guest to fill most of the time. With the interview format, it’s important to have a set of questions ready to go; just as a reporter would.  

Finally, the walk and talk format requires the least amount of preparation, but also runs the risk of being a bit boring if you don’t have a solid game plan or are not in an interesting environment (such as a busy tradeshow floor or a behind-the-scenes look at a major sports venue).  

There are plenty of other live-streaming options such as broadcasting a keynote speaker at an industry event, hosting a live Q&A, or running a whiteboard session, but the above-mentioned formats can all be achieved with nothing more than a smartphone and a good Wi-Fi connection. However, even if you plan to simply broadcast straight from your smartphone, you may want to consider a few pieces of equipment to ensure a high-quality live broadcast.  

What Equipment is Needed for a Live Broadcast? 

Again, all you really need is a smartphone and a strong Wi-Fi connection. Of the three formats I discussed earlier, the one-on-one interview can benefit the most from some additional equipment. Luckily, you still do not need much and can easily put in an order for each item on Amazon. Here my recommended items: 

  1. Tripod with 3-way head. Having something to stabilize your phone during your live stream is easily the most important aspect of a high quality live broadcast. Although a video shot using a smartphone’s native camera app generally comes out looking smooth, that image stabilization is achieved using tech within your phone, which unfortunately does not carry through during a live broadcast. Use a tripod. You can spend hundreds on a good tripod, but I recommend the middle-of-the-road Manfrotto Compact Advanced Aluminum 5-Section Tripod Kit with 3-Way Head
  2. Smartphone Clamp. This is a mandatory item if you plan on using a tripod. This is what screws into the tripod head and holds your smartphone. You can find them for about $5-$10. You can get a spring-loaded version or screw-adjustable version.
  3. Lavalier Microphone. If you’re planning on shooting in a noisy area (such as a trade show floor or busy city street), a lavalier (or lav) mic can help cut out much of the background noise and only pick up the voice directly in front of the mic. Even if you’re filming in an quiet room, the audio quality will be greatly enhanced with the use of an external lavalier mic. Although I have not used this particular mic, this dual lav mic from MAONO should get the job done. If you want to do walking interviews, you might want to invest in a wireless mic system or even a handheld mic. If you’ll be using an iPhone 5 or newer for your live broadcast, you’ll need one of those pesky headphone dongles.
  4. LED On-Camera Light. Good lighting is crucial to shooting a high-quality video. While it’s preferable to find a room with abundant natural light or use a soft-box light kit, a simple on-camera LED light works well in a pinch or just to fill in any shadows cast on your subject. This one on Amazon has everything you’ll need and only costs 38 bucks.
  5. L Bracket Camera Mount. If you’re going to use an LED light, this is what you’ll mount it on. With an L bracket, you also have the option of adding a shotgun mic or an additional LED light. This one on Amazon is only $10.

Preparing for a Live Broadcast 

Once you’ve chosen which platform you plan to live stream from, decided on the format, and purchased any needed equipment, it’s a good idea get everything set up and make sure it is all working the way you envisioned it. Take a photo of your setup for reference when you’re setting up for the actual live stream. Take notes and write out a checklist of items to remember to have on hand for your live stream – this is especially important if you’ll be broadcasting on-location. 

While you can’t actually start a live stream, you can at least set everything up and do a dry run. If you’re planning to interview someone, practice with a coworker or friend so that you feel comfortable with the questions you plan to ask. This is also a time to review your video to make sure you have the shot you want. 

Along with a basic equipment check and practicing on camera, you’ll want to do the necessary prep work before you head out to your live broadcast location (whether that’s at your office or in another city at a trade show). Be sure to reach out to any guests or interviewees well in advance to make sure they’re comfortable doing a live broadcast. Once you have their confirmation, it is a good idea to let them know the basic format and send them any questions you plan to ask, or if they’ll be on camera alone, exactly what information you’d like them to share.  

For a Facebook Live, you’ll also want to create a document with copy included in the post or any preview posts. This includes a short, descriptive headline, correct spellings and titles of any guests, and a longer description of your video. You may also want to draft out and schedule tweets or posts on other social sites to cross-promote the live broadcast.  

What to do after Shooting a Facebook Live Broadcast 

One thing that’s nice about Facebook Live is that you have the option to download the hi-def version of the video. But beware – you must download this immediately after your broadcast ends and before posting to your page. If you wait until after uploading the post to your feed, then you can only down load the lower quality video that was shared live (usually 360p instead of 1080p). Once you’ve saved the high-definition video, you can then make any necessary edits and share to other social sites (YouTube, LinkedIn, IGTV, and so on). Here are a few ideas for getting more out of your video: 

  • Embed the video to your website 
  • Share video in an email 
  • Cut video into smaller snippets for use in multiple social media posts 
  • Create GIFs and pair with direct quotes from the video 

Although a live-video broadcast can be intimidating, it is often well worth the extra legwork for the engagement it can bring to your overall social media marketing strategy. With a bit of preparation and some practice, live streaming will become easier and even fun over time. What tips do you have for going live on social media? 

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Social Media Rundown: More Facebook Data Issues; Shoddy Twitter Verification Process; Pinterest IPO

This week’s Rundown includes a fresh round of Facebook data breaches, a healthy IPO for Pinterest, and more social media news. Plus, learn how to combat social media algorithms and take a look at the future of social media with Mark Schaefer.

Social Media News

  • Facebook Says It Uploaded Email Contacts of up to 1.5 Million Users (Reuters). Yet another privacy breach from Facebook: The company harvested the email contacts of new users without their knowledge or consent when they opened their accounts. The company said it is now deleting the data. Meanwhile, it’s Instagram product experienced a data breach of its own when millions of Instagram users’ passwords were exposed to staff.
  • Twitter Secretly Verified Jack Dorsey’s Mom and Thousands of Others Despite ‘Pause’ (Mashable). “Celebrities, and others with backchannel connections to the company, are able to become verified as Twitter ignores everyday users and those without insider access.” And now I know why Twitter keeps rejecting my verification requests.
  • A New Twitter Account Is Outing Shoddy Reporting in Science Stories (Quartz). Here’s a new account you might want to follow: @justsaysinmice tweets about stories that rely on a study of mice to make claims about human health.
  • Pinterest Shares Jump 25 Percent on First Day of Trading (The New York Times). Pinterest stock began trading at $23.75, putting the company’s value above its last private valuation of $12 billion. Pinterest is about interacting with celebrities or broadcasting one’s life. Instead it is meant to be more personal. Its 250 million monthly active users use the site to plan important aspects of their lives, including home projects, weddings and meals.
  • 15 Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook (Wired). Here’s your weekend long read: “The confusing rollout of meaningful social interactions—marked by internal dissent, blistering external criticism, genuine efforts at reform, and foolish mistakes—set the stage for Facebook’s 2018.”

Learn

  • How to Make Your Website and Social-Media Presence Bulletproof Against Algorithm Changes (Inc). This article includes four ways to keep your web traffic up and three ideas to consider when building out your social media content strategy.
  • Social Media Shakeout: Why the Future of Social Media Is Hazy (businessesgrow.com). Mark Schaefer gives a brief rundown of what’s next in the world of social media — from AI and 5G to regulation and consolidation.

Chart of the Week

The Six Most Popular Digital Marketing Channels with Small Businesses (MarketingProfs). Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents say their business engages in social media marketing; the same proportion also use a website to market their firm.

Top 6 digital marketing channels for small businesses.
Social media and the company website are neck and neck as the most important digital marketing channels for small businesses.

Social Media Rundown: Facebook’s Pivot to Privacy; Instagram Dominates Engagement; Zuckerberg Gives Up on China

Facebook and it’s pivot to privacy.

The big news this week is Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of a ‘privacy-focused vision’ for Facebook in which he proclaims private messaging is the future. This fits well with the news back in January of Facebook’s plan to make Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, all work in harmony. It also shines some light on the continued decline in Facebook Page engagement and the fact that more young people are leaving Facebook for other services like Snapchat and Instagram (see the ‘Chart of the Week’ below).

Social Media News:

  • Mark Zuckerberg Believes Facebook’s Future Is Private Messaging (Recode). “I expect future versions of Messenger and WhatsApp to become the main ways people communicate on the Facebook network.” —Mark Zuckerberg. Here’s Mark’s full statement.
  • Instagram Is an Engagement Powerhouse (Axios). Despite having less than half of Facebook’s monthly active users (MAUs), Instagram’s top 10 accounts generate 6 times more interactions than Facebook’s most-engaged accounts. It’s worth clicking through to the article to see the included table listing the incredible engagement stats from Instagram as compared to Facebook and Twitter. The top Instagram account had more than 1 billion interactions in the 3-month period.
  • Mark Zuckerberg Tried Hard to Get Facebook into China. Now the Company May Be Backing Away (BuzzFeed News). After 10 years of courting Chinese officials to hopefully get Facebook’s China ban lifted, Zuckerberg has thrown in the towel. “As we build our infrastructure around the world, we’ve chosen not to build data centers in countries that have a track record of violating human rights like privacy or freedom of expression,” Zuckerberg wrote on Wednesday.
  • Twitter Will Let Users Be Much More Specific When Reporting Tweets with Personal Information (The Verge). “Now, when reporting a tweet that contains private information, users will be taken to an additional menu allowing them to specify whether the tweet contains contact information, a home address or physical location, financial information, or ID pictures or numbers.”

Learn:

  • How to Get Twitter Followers: 44 Tips and Tricks That Actually Work (Hootsuite Blog). If you’re wanting to boost your following on Twitter, this list is packed with ideas.
  • 5 Threats to Your Nonprofit’s Reputation on Social Media (Social Shake-Up blog). Fake news, fake accounts, fake comments. It’s a good idea to at least be aware of these potential threats.

Chart of the Week:

U.S. Users are Leaving Facebook, New Study Shows (Mashable). Facebook now has about 15 million fewer users in the U.S. than it had in 2017.

As Facebook becomes less cool, Instagram and Snapchat pick up more users.

What was the biggest social media news you read about this week?

Social Media Rundown: Twitter Daily Active Users; Unsend Facebook Messages; New Facebook Fact-Checking Partner; Facebook Turns 15

As the lowest-scoring Super Bowl game in history played out in Atlanta, viewers got a little bored and turned to social media to make fun of Adam Levine’s lackluster halftime performance and the oddly familiar pattern of his tank top.  And one Fox News anchor took to Twitter to boast about her beautifully made queso dish, not thinking she’d become a viral sensation.

Considering Super Bowl ads were costing brands some $5.2 million for a :30 spot, hopefully the slow game meant viewers who stuck around for the full game were also paying more attention to the ads. Maybe not, but there were some good Super Bowl commercials this year. You can see my top five Super Bowl ads on my blog.

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Discloses Daily Active User Count for First Time (Axios). Twitter has 126 million daily active users — 60 million fewer than Snapchat, and less than a tenth of Facebook’s main app. Twitter also reported it has 321 million monthly active users, down from 330 million a year ago.
  • You Can Now Unsend Your Facebook Messages If You’re Quick Enough (Mashable). You now have a 10-minute window to delete sent Facebook messages.
  • Facebook Adds New Fact-Checking Partner (Axios). Shortly after Snopes, one of the first online fact-checking websites, announced it is reevaluating its relationship with Facebook, the social network has added Lead Stories as a new fact-checking partner that specializes in hoax debunking as well as fact-checking.
  • Happy Birthday, Facebook! These Are the 10 Most Important Moments in Your Not-So-Great Relationship with the News Industry (NiemanLab) The sub-heading to this article says a lot about where the company stands today: Why only 10 on its 15th birthday? Recently, we discovered an error in our internal metrics that may have overstated the number of items on this list. We are very sorry for anyone affected; we take any mistake seriously. Also, be sure to check out the special birthday video for Facebook from The New York Times.

Learn:

  • How to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences: The Complete Guide (Hootsuite). Facebook Lookalike Audiences are used to reach people similar to your current customers, offering more value on ad spend. Read on to learn all about this Facebook Ads tool.
  • 7 Proven Tactics to Boost Your Customer Engagement on Social Media (Social Bakers). See how learning about your audience, replying to messages, and showing brand personality can help you establish a connection with your community and encourage brand engagement.

Chart of the Week:

Instagram Engagement: Everything You Need to Know [Exclusive Stats] (Social Bakers). Instagram maintains higher user engagement as compared to Twitter and Facebook.

Instagram engagement chart from Socialbakers.
Instagram might not have the biggest audience size or the highest activity volume, but it is clearly the most engaging.

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Research (er, Spy) App; EU: Combat Fake News, or Else; YouTube Cracks down on Toxic Videos

As usual, there’s plenty of negative Facebook news this week. Also in the news section, YouTube takes measures to crack down on toxic videos. And the biggest news might be the Chart of the Week showing that Instagram Stories now has 500 million daily active users; that’s way more than Snapchat.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Pays Teenagers $20 a Month to Monitor What They Do Online (Vice News). Facebook bought access to teenagers’ and young adults’ data by paying them to install an app that reveals everything they do online, paying up to $20 a month for installation of the Facebook Research App. Seems totally ethical. Axios has more insight into this news. And in related news, Facebook shares shot up after strong Q4 earnings despite numerous data scandals.
  • Google, Facebook, Twitter Must Do More Against Fake News: EU (Reuters). Failure to do more to combat fake news and disinformation in the run-up to European elections could mean the companies will face regulatory action, the European Commission said.
  • Facebook Roadblocks ProPublica’s Ad Transparency Tool (Nieman Lab). ProPublica collected 100,000 Facebook ads — and to whom they were targeted — through a browser extension installed by 16,000 volunteers. Its reporters used the tool to report on the targeting strategies of politicians and political groups, misleading tactics, and the fact that Facebook’s ad archive kept missing the very ads it was supposed to openly store. Meanwhile, the company is giving some power back to its users — but very slowly.
  • YouTube Will Crack down on Toxic Videos, but It Won’t Be Easy (Wired). The video-sharing platform plans to reduce the spread of toxic videos by limiting how often they appear in users’ recommendations. I’m not holding my breath.

Learn:

Chart of the Week:

Facebook Plans New Products as Instagram Stories Hits 500m Users/Day (TechCrunch). Roughly half of Instagram’s 1 billion users now use Instagram Stories every day. By the way, Snapchat is on the decline and now has about 186 million daily active users.

Instagram Stories has left Snapchat in the dust.

Social Media Rundown: Original Tweeter Tag; Record-Setting Fine Against Facebook; Proactively Closing Nefarious Facebook Pages

Some interesting news out this week in the world of social media. First up: An op-ed in the New York Times describes Twitter as “the epicenter of a nonstop information war.” That description couldn’t be more accurate and the piece is worth a full read.

Also in Twitter news, the company is testing an ‘original tweeter’ tag to make it easier to tell who started a thread. Should be helpful.

And what week would be complete without some scandalous Facebook news? This time around, it seems the company may finally have to pay a price for its privacy practices related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal — by way of a record-setting FTC fine.

Finally, be sure to check out the learn section and the Chart of the Week to learn the secrets behind news feed algorithms, managing a Facebook Live, and a look at worldwide social media use.

Social Media News:

  • Opinion: Never Tweet (The New York Times). Twitter “is the epicenter of a nonstop information war, an almost comically undermanaged gladiatorial arena where activists and disinformation artists and politicians and marketers gather to target and influence the wider media world.” I’d say that is a pretty accurate description these days.
  • Twitter Testing ‘Original Tweeter’ Tag to Distinguish Who Started a Thread (TechCrunch). The new feature makes it easier to find posts from the original tweeter within a thread, but may also help curb abuse on the platform.
  • U.S. Regulators Have Met to Discuss Imposing a Record-Setting Fine Against Facebook for Privacy Violations (The Washington Post). The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly considering a “record-setting” fine as the result of its investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The penalty is expected to be much larger than the $22.5 million fine on Google in 2012.
  • Facebook Warns Groups and Pages It Could Proactively Shut Them down for Being Fake News Networks (Fortune). The move is designed to keep page managers from skirting Facebook bans by using pages they already manage to re-post the content Facebook removed from their shuttered pages and groups. The move comes one week after it announced the removal of 364 pages that originated in Russia and were engaged in “coordinated, inauthentic behavior.” Here’s the announcement from the Facebook Newsroom.

Learn:

  • A Marketer’s Guide to Decoding Social Media Algorithms in 2019 (Buffer). Here’s a good look at all the major social media platforms, that is, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Read the post or listen to the podcast.
Signals that affect Facebook News Feed content rankings.
There’s a lot to consider when crafting a Facebook post.
  • 5 Steps to Your First Facebook Live (The Social Shake-Up). If you’re planning to do a Facebook Live broadcast soon, here’s a quick and easy checklist to run through before you go live.

Social Media Chart of the Week:

Number of Social Media Users Worldwide from 2010 to 2021 (In Billions) (Statista). We’re getting close to 3 billion social media users worldwide.

Number of social media users worldwide from 2010 to 2021.
In just a couple years, some 3 billion people will be using some form of social media.

Thanks for reading! Did I miss anything? Please share in the comments or hit me up on Twitter: @eric_wheeler.

Social Media Rundown: Cultbook; New Twitter Tools; Politicians Cannot Block Social Media Followers

Another fairly slow week in the world of social media. But the scathing CNBC piece about Facebook’s ‘cult-like’ workplace is definitely worth calling out. The bad press for Facebook just keeps on coming. Also, Twitter announced a couple new tools for publishers — one focused on events and another on improving analytics. A new ‘ice breaker’ feature may also be rolling out to all users soon.

Be sure to check out the learn section for tips on increasing social media engagement and a fun idea for improving engagement in Facebook ads.

Social Media News:

  • Inside Facebook’s ‘Cult-Like’ Workplace, Where Dissent Is Discouraged and Employees Pretend to Be Happy All the Time (CNBC). At a company-wide town hall in early October, numerous Facebook employees got in line to speak about their experiences with sexual harassment.
  • Twitter Gives Events a Boost with New Publisher Tools (TechCrunch). At CES, Twitter announced a new analytics dashboard and a separate dashboard for tracking information around both real-time and upcoming events. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a major improvement with Twitter Analytics, which has been lacking since inception.
  • Politicians Cannot Block Social Media Foes: U.S. Appeals Court (Reuters). A federal appeals court has ruled that a Virginia politician violated the Constitution by temporarily blocking a critic from her Facebook page.
  • Twitter Will Begin Testing ‘Ice Breakers’ to Spark Healthy Conversation (The Next Web). I’m not sure how this will spark ‘healthy conversations,’ but the new features include a way to display when a user is online, canned messages, and a new take on threaded replies.

Learn:

  • How to Increase Social Media Engagement: A Guide for Marketers (Hootsuite). This blog post has six ways to increase engagement, plus a simple definition of social media engagement, a few engagement tools, and how to measure engagement.
  • How to Use Quizzes in Facebook Lead Ads (Social Media Examiner). Seems like a neat way to create an engaging Facebook ad.

Chart of the Week:

Global Facebook Reach & Engagement (Smart Insights).

Although low, Facebook organic reach vs. page likes is not as bad as I might have guessed.

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Relaunches Search Ads; Government User Data Requests; Instagram ‘Creator Accounts’; Google+ to Officially Die

A relatively quite week in the world of social media. But two news items stick out. The first is the potential launch of Instagram ‘creator accounts’ for supporting social media influencers on the platform. The news isn’t Earth-shattering, but it goes to show just how important influencer marketing has become — it’s now fully part of Instagram’s business model.

The second big story is the end of Google+ after the search giant disclosed its second major bug in just three months. Again, not huge news as most anyone who’s used Google+ can attest that the social networking site was not only a social media ghost town, but also was riddled with spam, NSFW content, and was just generally difficult to use and understand. The bigger story is the data leak; if you still have a Google+ account, it’d be wise to shut it down immediately.

Be sure to check out the lean section for some simple live video tips and an interesting experiment with Twitter threads.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Relaunches Search Ads to Offset Slowing Revenue (TechCrunch). Facebook is testing ads in its search results and Marketplace, directly competing with Google’s AdWords. The ads will be “repurposed News Feed ads featuring a headline, image, copy text and a link in the static image or carousel format that can point users to external websites.”
  • Twitter Says Governments Are Ramping up Their Demands for User Data (TechCrunch). According to Twitter, the company received 6,904 government requests for information on 16,882 accounts. Twitter turned over at least some data in 56 percent of cases. Most demands came from Russia and Turkey.
  • Instagram Will Offer Special Features to Influencers with New ‘Creator Accounts’ (Mashable). The app is testing “creator accounts,” which would add new analytics and messaging features geared toward influencers and other power users of the photo-sharing app.
  • Google to Close Google+ Social Network After Disclosing Second Bug in 3 Months (The Washington Times). After years of failure, Google is finally pulling the plug on its social networking site. A recent bug leaked the private information of 52.5 million Google+ users to developers, including their names, birth dates and email addresses, among other data. Time to make sure your Google+ account is closed; if you ever had one in the first place.

Learn:

  • 13 Live Video Marketing Strategies, Hacks and Tips (The Social Shake-Up). If you’ve ever considered doing a Facebook Live or other live stream event, this post is for you. From strategy and how to keep your broadcasts engaging to logistics and what gear you need, this post has it all.
  • Can Twitter Threads Increase Reach, Engagement, and Referral Traffic? An Experiment (Buffer). This is an interesting experiment that showed Twitter threads (a series of connected Tweets sent from one account) do in fact increase reach and engagement, but do not improve referral traffic. My takeaway is that it is worth trying if you just want to create awareness or drum up enthusiasm for a particular cause, event, or hashtag. For example, a Twitter thread could be used to remind your followers about the start of an online event by sharing the name and time of the event followed by what participants can expect and maybe a quote or two from the first couple speakers.

Chart of the Week:

Instagram’s Rise to 1 Billion Monthly Active Users (QuickSprout). I think this chart speaks for itself. Click the image for “10 Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2019.”

Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users in June of 2018.
Instagram has grown steadily since 2010 and shows no sign of slowing down.

Did I miss some major social media news this week? Be sure to let me know in the comments. 

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Data Privacy Saga; Giuliani Gets Pranked on Twitter; YouTube’s Story Feature Expands

As Trump’s cybersecurity adviser, you’d think he’d have some grasp of how the internet works.

The latest chapter in the Facebook data privacy saga reveals even more questionable business practices and leadership at the social media giant. I doubt anyone is surprised at this point, but I do find it fascinating how Facebook and its leaders keep digging themselves into an ever-deepening hole. Facebook continues to dominate the social media news cycle while companies like Snap and YouTube keep rolling out new features to try and stay relevant. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani seems to have no idea how the internet works, which is curious seeing as how he is Trump’s cybersecurity adviser.

In this week’s learn section, you can learn about the differences between Google Ads and Facebook Ads and also learn how to boost your Facebook ad relevancy score.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Used People’s Data to Favor Certain Partners and Punish Rivals, Documents Show (The New York Times). The Facebook data privacy saga continues on. In this chapter, unredacted documents show Facebook used data it collected on users to favor certain partners and punish rivals. The documents further illustrate how Facebook executives treated data as the company’s most valuable resource. Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg “were intimately involved in decisions aimed at benefiting the social network above all else and keeping users as engaged as possible on the site, according to emails that were part of the document trove.” You can go deeper with this story with the Axios AM newsletter.
  • Rudy Giuliani Is Trump’s Cybersecurity Adviser. He Might Want a Refresher (The Washington Post). Always remember to double check your tweets for possible typos, or in the case of Giuliani, to make sure you’ve added spaces between all your sentences. When text is butted up against a period without a space, Twitter assumes it’s a link and well, hyperlinks it. Click through to see his tweets. Direct quote from Giuliani: “Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message.” He clearly doesn’t understand how the internet works.
  • YouTube Is Rolling out Its Instagram-Like Stories Feature to More Creators (The Verge). YouTube Stories last for seven days on the mobile app, appearing for both subscribers and non-subscribers, and they’ll show up in YouTube’s “Up Next” sidebar beside a video. “The focus for YouTube Stories, which was first announced in November 2017, seems to be on community engagement and channel promotion more than day-to-day life updates.”

Learn:

  • Demystifying Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads (Angelic Digital via Medium). It’s basically a difference between paid social and paid search, but this short blog post gives a nice breakdown of the key differences.
  • 6 Ways to Achieve High Relevance Scores in Facebook Ads (Socialnomics). Higher ad relevance scores will lead to lower costs and better ad visibility leading. This article breaks down what the Facebook ad relevance score is, how it’s calculated, and ways to achieve a higher score.

Chart of the Week:

Social Platforms: Active Global Accounts (From Hootsuite’s Social MediaTrends Report 2019).

Social Platforms: Active Global Accounts
Facebook continues to dominate in the global monthly active user category.

Social Media Rundown: Facebook’s Data Dilemma; the Rise of Instagram Stories; A Twitter Edit Button?

FRONTLINE: The Facebook Dilemma
Watch the two-part series “The Facebook Dilemma” on PBS.

The New York Times published a rather scathing look inside the ongoing crisis at Facebook driven by privacy issues and the spread of disinformation. Although I haven’t read the full piece yet (it is quite long), it’s clear it takes particular aim at CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg for their negligence in allowing the company to get into this mess in the first place. If you find the NYT story of interesting, be sure to also watch the two-part documentary from PBS’s Frontline “The Facebook Dilemma.”

Instagram Stories have not only grown at an incredible pace (see chart below), it has also shown success in other ways, like the million-dollar business of designing people’s Stories. Some surprising news came from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey regarding a possible edit button for tweets. What might such an edit button look like? How many times could you edit a tweet? And for how long after it’s sent? That’s what the folks at Twitter need to figure out as they decide whether or not to roll out such a feature.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the Learn section for tips on building thought leadership and how to maximize your videos shared on social media.

Social Media News:

  • Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis (The New York Times). This is a long read that I’m planning to take on this weekend, but the key point is that both CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg bear direct responsibility for the company’s woes: “Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. At critical moments over the last three years, they were distracted by personal projects, and passed off security and policy decisions to subordinates, according to current and former executives.” On Sandberg: “While Mr. Zuckerberg has conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation.” So, Facebook is not exactly showing expertise in crisis communication. If you do read the full piece, be sure to also read Facebook’s response.
  • Facebook and “The Data Dilemma” (PBS Frontline). Speaking of Facebook, this is a nice video overview of what Facebook knows about you, and how it knows it – from the use of “shadow profiles,” to the main ways Facebook tracks you on the web, even when you’re not on Facebook. This is a companion video to the much longer two-part investigation of Facebook’s privacy controversy that you should definitely watch. It’s also on YouTube.
  • Designing People’s Instagram Stories Is Now a Million-Dollar Business (Fast Company). With 11 million users, at a rate of 100,000 app downloads per day, Unfold, the Instagram story template app, is set to bring in $2.6 million in revenue for 2018.
  • Dorsey Says Twitter Is Thinking About an Edit Button to Fix Typos in Tweets (The Next Web). Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company has to carefully consider use cases for the edit button before making it a reality – and it could potentially be tooled to help fix typos. In my opinion, this would be the biggest change in the company’s history; even bigger than increasing the character count to 280.
  • LinkedIn Expects Media Biz to Bring in $2 Billion in 2018 (Axios). LinkedIn’s increased ad revenue can be attributed to higher user engagement on the site, driven by recent changes to pages and the LinkedIn news feed.

Learn:

  • How to Use Social Media to Build Thought Leadership (Social Media Today). From sharing quality content and knowing your audience to providing original research and building a professional profile, this is a nice listicle of how to position yourself or your brand as a thought leader.
  • How to Maximize the Exposure of Your Videos: A Strategic Plan (Social Media Examiner). This blog post has a list of five ways to post, promote, and distribute videos more effectively.

Chart of the Week:

We Analyzed 15,000 Instagram Stories from 200 of the World’s Top Brands (Buffer). 400 million people around the world use Instagram Stories on a daily basis (with that number rapidly growing). Click the image for more stats and strategic insight into Instagram Stories.

Growth of the Stories Format from 2014-2018.
As Snapchat’s growth has been nearly stagnant for the past three years, Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp have seen explosive growth.

What are the top social media news stories and learnings that I missed this week?