Facebook live case study

You are currently reading the Case Study in a five part series, click here for the intro and ToC

Regrettably, I’m unable to show any of our FB live interviews because our supporters asked us to remove their association with the campaign after the dumpster took fire. I do have a recording of one interview and am willing to share upon request as long as the content isn’t shared beyond.

We had some amazing people take part in these interviews and they have since lost jobs and/or contracts due to the revelations that occurred after their interviews. I want these lessons to be shared and implemented, but I don’t want to add additional hardship to these folks.

So, I’ll do my best to paint a picture in words. At a table, we had the candidate sitting at one end and three members of the district lining the side, think Charlie Rose meets Marc Maron. The topic each week would cover an issue unique to the district and each of the participants were involved in the issue in some level.

In one Live, we addressed the issue of displacement and gentrification through the topic of Diversity in Tech. With most of the new jobs coming to LA being tech oriented, minority communities are being displaced due to a lack of education and hiring among minority populations in these areas. Folks are then priced out of their community because they can’t obtain the jobs moving into their neighborhoods.

We had one supporter who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and two female coders. The supporters are both from different sections of the district and have completely different networks of influence.

By having these three people on the panel, we were able to tag them and have them share the Live interview on their page and in several of the listservs/forums where they are active.

The average viewing time for a 45 minute video was ten seconds. However, in those ten seconds, potential voters saw the candidate talking to one of their friends and they gathered that the candidate cared about issues close to home. Plus, in this format, the candidate appears to be looking for solutions from the district, not their donors.

For these videos, we would average 3,000 views and generate questions from people who had been skeptical of the candidate previously. Additionally, the footage was available to be repurposed for future digital ads.

In the end, the campaign was able to reach thousands of potential voters from different population clusters, gather content for future use, and generate interesting policy solutions that go beyond generic talking points. All of this was done with zero expense to the campaign and only an hour of the candidate’s time.

The above format may not work for every candidate. Use your candidate’s strengths, but try to implement several of the same principles.

Another short case study:

Dave Cole, a candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd CD also did a solid job with FB Live, conducting Q&A sessions that addressed questions directly from voters on a regular set basis. Much like a college professor offering “office hours,” candidates should have a set period for these Q&As. This will expose the candidate to opposing views and potentially hostile trolls, but today’s environment demands that people running for public office engage with those for whom they disagree. These set weekly chats help maintain engagement, taking the voters along the campaign journey, not just calling them on Election Day and asking if they voted.