Yesterday (May 18, 2016) Martha Stewart took to Facebook Live and showed people how to make a shrimp cocktail.  It went like this:

Martha is LIVE demonstrating how to prepare a Perfect Shrimp Cocktail and answering all your questions.

Posted by Martha Stewart on Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Here’s a link to the video if you need it.

Let’s break it down:

  • Several thousand people tuned in live to her event.  22 hours later, 150,000+ have watched the video, 6,000 people have reacted to it, 3,000+ have commented, and it’s been shared 800 times.
  • She delivered useful, valuable, topical how-to content to her audience.
  • She took questions in real time and adjusted her content on the fly to accommodate them.  “What’s a good rule of thumb for shrimp per guest?”  Besides the obvious value here, it creates significant delight for her audience to be interacting with her.
  • It seems clear the the technology used here was a smartphone.  Period. Which reminds me, if you’re interested in shooting awesome video with your smartphone I have a course you might enjoy.

More nuanced insights:

  • Martha Stewart is a pro.  Unfazed by technical, logistical, or performance stutters.  A career in front of a camera has of course made this second nature – it’s her job – but her poise, ease, and comfort are something to emulate.
  • She has somebody else managing Facebook while she manages her lesson.  It lets her concentrate on what she’s doing while still interacting with her audience.
  • This is the future of television.  Or what television could have been.  Far beyond the “second screen” of Twitter or Facebook activity sitting secondary to isolated broadcast, this makes a cooking show interactive.  In a few short months it’ll be quaint that I found this impressive, like when we first “pinch-to-zoom” photos on our smartphones and said “whoah.”  This kind of broadcast will be commonplace.  Look for somebody to do a “choose your own adventure” short film where the audience gets to impact what the hero does next.

You can leverage this same potential and power.

  • With one client, we’re exploring the idea of having a webinar, and then continuing the webinar with Facebook Live “after show” for those that can join us for a more intimate experience.
  • Make your how-to videos that I spoke about in this post a LIVE event, and then embed them on your site for later viewing by others.
  • Include a Call to Action at the end of your videos to extend the potential relationship.
  • Give your audience a few choices on what they’d like to see you cover next time and begin creating content that’s directly attached to your value proposition as defined by your audience or customers.

Facebook Live can be an interesting, meaningful, powerful vehicle for your content strategy and can amplify so much of what you might already be doing with screencasts, how-to video production, webinars or learning content.  I don’t know much about Martha Stewart and I’m no fan of seafood, but Martha knows how to *takes off glasses* cook up some great content.

Here’s what I’d like you to do next:

It doesn’t have to be Facebook, but think about some unique ways you can engage with your audience. Twitter has live events, YouTube does too. Or consider a webinar. Something that lets people engage, interact, communicate and learn from you and your expertise.

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