Three takeaways from #FacebookRagan

By Katie Stiefel

If I could “like” the Facebook Leadership Communications Summit I attended in February a hundred times, I would. Not only because I had the opportunity to meet inspiring communicators from across the globe and eat lots of delicious food (while trying not to gain the “Facebook 15”), but because of the knowledge I gained from each speaker about the social platforms I utilize most.

While there was so much to learn from speakers such as the President and CEO of Edelman and the Media Research Manager of Facebook, there are three key points that had the most impact on me and my role as a communications specialist.

1) Everyone can be a visual storyteller (and should be)

Use all your senses to take a photo.

My favorite presentation was the opening keynote given by Artist in Residence of Instagram, George Lange. Instagram is my favorite social platform, and it was fascinating to hear about the process he uses to take photos. He’s been taking photos every day since the age of 7 and uses all of his senses when he’s taking photos.

I’ve never thought about photography this way. I always think about the composition of the photo as it relates to how it will make the viewer feel. But it makes sense — the quickest way to evoke emotion is to engage all of the viewer’s senses. Taking pictures that viewers can’t just see, but can taste, smell, feel, and hear, place them in the scene. All of a sudden, the viewer and the photographer have a creative connection.

George Lange has taken the only known posed portrait of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Tell your story like you’re talking to your best friend.

Lange also said he tells stories as if he’s talking to his best friend. Every photo is like telling a story quietly and intimately. The viewer can become immersed in the authenticity of your photograph.

#TeamMoonsail helps clients understand how to take and choose great photos, so these tips to capture the viewer’s interest are things we’ll keep in mind when we are advising on how to connect with the person on the other side of a computer or phone screen.

2) Facebook Live is here to stay (so embrace it)

Visuals help us tell powerful stories, be it a photo or video. Video on Facebook is big — and growing quickly. More content means more sharing of content. 68% of viewers share the video content they watch via their mobile devices. Of these Facebook videos, there is a 3x longer watch time per video view of Live videos. Katie Richman and Kelly Davies Michelena, Media Solutions Program Lead and Production Partnerships Lead at Facebook, say that Facebook Live is working so well in terms of viewership due to the following factors:

  • Immediacy and interactivity
  • Unique perspective
  • Social connection
  • Authenticity
  • Excitement and surprise

Since live broadcasting on Facebook became available to all U.S.-based iPhones and Androids in January 2016, those at Facebook have noticed what seems to be working for businesses:

  • Episodic and thematic, such as a news series  
  • Behind the scenes glimpses
  • Thought leadership at company events
  • Important announcements

During #TeamMoonsail’s mini-retreat in February at the California Academy of Sciences, we produced our first Facebook Live video. This was an exciting, Facebook Live-worthy moment because we were together as a team in an interesting place, and had an orca skeleton hanging as a background.

Facebook is placing a huge emphasis on live video and offers the biggest audience. Here are more tips on producing the best quality live video to gain the highest reach.

3) Leaders at every level should be on Facebook

Facebook Live was just one way that attendees at the conference learned how to build a connection between senior executives of a company and their employees, customers and prospects. C-suite leaders can use Facebook and Instagram to share messages that get noticed and shared, and may boost your organization’s reputation.

Don Baer and Matthias Lufkens of Burson-Marsteller presented a study released by their company of how world business leaders use Facebook and Instagram. It includes best practices and in-depth analysis of leadership on social media. The report notes that there is not a magic formula to create posts that will drive engagement, but general trends that receive a significant amount of it.

According to the report, there are five different personas that business and world leaders display that generate followers and engagement:

  • The Family Guy/Gal
    • Balances family with work, shares slices of life, makes meaningful connections
  • The Carrie Bradshaw
    • Posts in their own words, relishes self-expression
  • The Kramer
    • Stokes passions of followers, trolls opponents
  • The Ashton Kutcher
    • Captures life as it happens, uses multimedia to add vibrancy to posts
  • The Hannah Horvath
    • Casual approach to social media, honest to a fault

At Moonsail North, we encourage clients whether they are in a leadership role or not, to respond to followers on social media, be themselves and to utilize new features on different platforms to keep followers interested.

For more tips and tricks learned at the Facebook Leadership Communications Summit, and photos of Facebook headquarters, visit our Twitter and Instagram.