Facebook Live provides law firms the opportunity to present streaming news and information to their target audience without going through an intermediary.
Think about how Facebook Live broadcasts compare to the status quo of getting lawyers on traditional video broadcast, television.
Get marketing and public relationships professionals working on “packaging” particular lawyers. Public relations then works their contacts with the networks or local television. Then jump on things when breaking news arises or look for opportunities to get on television with evergreen information and coverage.
When successful, something that’s far from given, you need to wonder if your target audience actually saw the lawyer on TV. Did the influential reporters and bloggers, who are active on social media and who influence your audience, see the lawyer?
Because most of the target audience did not see the lawyer on TV, you’ll do a press release and announce on social media that the lawyer was on TV. Doing such a press release, something traditionally looked at as pretty cool, can seem awfully lame today.
How seamless is Facebook Live? On Monday morning I got word, via Facebook Live, of the shooting of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey. The live Facebook feed was coming from the news agency, RT.
In addition to the horror of the recorded video of the shooting that RT was running along with its Facebook Live reports from the scene, I was struck by the concept that Facebook was bringing me news of the day, live.
I didn’t click on anything. I happened to be on Facebook as part of my own networking and sharing. Up came RT’s live feed at the top of my Facebook News Feed.
Admittedly I use social media more than most legal professionals, but I am old enough to be amazed that Facebook was bringing my news live—from across the world, with footage caught on a smartphone, presented to me on my iPad on a cellular connection as I had my morning coffee at the kitchen table.
My news, not via The New York Times app (which is pretty fast), not via a news site like CNN (which I hardly use), not via reading The New York Times newspaper (which I no longer do for “current news”), or via watching traditional network TV news (which I never do). Live news “floating” in front of me.
Later Monday, I received news of the truck driving into a Christmas crowd in Berlin the same way. Facebook Live coverage, again from RT, a network I have not “liked” on Facebook—ever.
What’s RT streaming Facebook Live from its Facebook page have to do with a law firm? Everything.
If a lawyer or practice group wants to engage a niche audience, say immigration law for healthcare institutions, they could do a lot worse than a lawyer jumping on Facebook live and reporting on relevant developments. Perhaps even interviewing fellow leaders on immigration law or health care HR executives on Facebook Live.
Facebook will see to it it that the firm’s target audience will see the video. Some of those viewing the video will share, like and comment on the video. Maybe the world won’t see it, but a couple or three hundred folks will see it. And they’ll be a significant percentage of the target audience the firm is looking to reach.
I ran into a veteran law firm marketing professional and told her of this post and the opportunities that await law firms in using Facebook Live. She explained that law firms were neither equipped nor ready for Facebook Live. She’s excellent in the work she does, but raised the reality that large law was not prepared to address Facebook Live.
Ready or not, Facebook Live is already a reality in major industries, including healthcare, a huge markets for law.
Beth Snyder Bulik, writing on Facebook Live for FiercePharma noted:
[S]everal hospitals including the Mayo Clinic, UNC Healthcare and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin [are] successfully using Facebook Live with live-streaming events such as “ask a doctor” sessions, lectures, fundraisers, and guided tours. UNC Healthcare, in fact, reported results of its Facebook Live streaming that included a 480% increase in daily interactions and a 75% increase of page likes in the first six months. One of its live chats about the Affordable Care Act has been replayed more than 2,000 times.
Mark Zuckerberg is pushing Facebook Live harder than any other feature on his social network. New features for video and Live are coming every couple weeks. He’s weaving Facebook Live into the fabric of our Facebook use, the latest being videos being displayed across the top of mobile apps and a video icon at the bottom to take us to recent “Live” recordings.
Rather than doing what other firms are doing, law firms would be well served to focus on where the world is headed. Facebook Live.