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Our Surprisingly Successful Experiment With Facebook Live

Maggie Huston
Senior Content Manager

I was only half-serious when I added “National Pizza Party Day” to our editorial calendar. My train of thought was something like, “Hey! Pizza! And we could probably get some good content out of this.” I had no idea we’d create our most popular Facebook post ever

The Backstory

Let’s rewind for a second. You may be wondering, “What on earth is a B2B company that sells SaaS doing on live video?” Oracle Social has been experimenting with live video for the past year, almost exclusively on Periscope. We’ve been live from our office, conferences, and even the interior of General Motors’ new 4G enabled car. Some have been wildly successful, some have not. We’re still figuring it out. (More details on that below.) We charged into the new world of live streaming because we’re the “tip of the spear.” We experiment, so you don’t have to. 

What We Did

Internal Promotion 

First and foremost, you need to have employee buy-in. You can’t have a pizza party without people. Rather than ordering the traditional styles of pizza, I asked my coworkers to vote on their favorite flavors. We have a private Facebook group set up for our team, so I built a quick little poll. (Not surprisingly, Hawaiian pizza was the top choice.) If someone asked for a specific flavor, I ordered that as well. This way, everybody knew they were getting something special. I reminded people the day before so they would get excited. And on that fateful May 20th, I literally walked around the office saying, “Pizza! We’re having pizza at noon!” in case anyone had forgotten. I may be a bit obnoxious, but when the pizza arrived, they were ready. 

External Promotion

I posted to our major platforms about a half hour before the party started. 

If I had posted earlier than that, our audience would have forgotten about it. If I had posted later than that, our audience may not have seen it. It seemed like the sweet spot. 

Going Live

As soon as the pizza was unboxed and the people were gathered, I went live on Facebook. I introduced myself, explained to our viewers what was going on, and interviewed my coworkers. I responded to comments (thankfully, everything was PG-13) and gave a little tour of the office. You can watch the whole thing here. 

Why We Did It

As any good salesperson knows, you’re not just selling your product - you’re selling you, too. These types of parties give us an opportunity to showcase who we are. We’ve got a unique culture. We’re weirdos, goofballs, and nerds - and proud. We also really like pizza. By showing our true colors to potential customers, we’re building a sense of rapport. Rapport leads to trust. And trust leads to dollars. Did our pizza party lead directly to a sale? Not yet. Is there a justifiable use case for a B2B brand to use live video? Absolutely. 

Results 

Here’s the best part! As of May 25th, this post has: 

Reached 84,920 people
Been viewed 4,612 times 
270 Reactions, comments and shares - 129 like, 40 love, 17 haha, 13 wow, 8 sad and 9 angry
62 Comments 
1,406 Post clicks
441 Clicks to play 
151 Peak live viewers
1,875 minutes viewed
4,340 unique viewers
2 “unlike page” 

And we didn’t pay a dime. 

Lessons Learned 

1. Be engaging! Don’t be afraid to show off your personality. People start watching a video to see what’s going on, but stay with the video because they relate to the people. I highlighted our goofy friends and held a hearty debate over the merits of pineapple on pizza. 

2. Keep it short: This one is tricky. Our live viewers hovered pretty consistently around 150, but very few stayed for the whole 15 minute broadcast. If I had to do it again, I would aim for 10 minutes. 

3. Be prepared: Know what you’re going to talk about, and if necessary, stage some conversation starters. In our video, I used the ping pong table as a break from the pizza. 

Now, obviously live pizza parties are not a central element of our content strategy, but experimentation is key. Have you used live video in your B2B marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments below! 

Join the discussion

Comments ( 2 )
  • Denise Grills Thursday, May 26, 2016
    Great job and interesting idea. Who doesn't like pizza. We are remodeling our kitchen / break area in Denver and shows what it will look like.

    May copy this in Denver for "National Ice Cream Day".
  • maggie Thursday, May 26, 2016
    Test
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