When Facebook Live Goes Wrong: Benjy Bronk Edition

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Fans of the Howard Stern Show heard the legendary broadcaster rant last week about Benjy Bronk’s Facebook Live video. Bronk, a staff writer on Stern’s show, posted a Facebook Live video of himself running around the streets of Manhattan, asking people random questions.

It was a boring, unfunny, mess. It was neither fun, nor funny.

Howard likened the live video to the abundance of mediocre podcasts.

“It’s like the kids these days with the podcasts, and I’m not talking about the five successful ones out there…99% of your friends who have podcasts are begging you to listen because there’s no one listening to it,” said Stern.

No one was watching Benjy’s Facebook Live video either. It was so bad that according to Howard, “High Pitch Eric’s YouTube show blew him away.”

Strong words from the King Of All Media.

Benjy Bronk was right to pursue the Facebook Live, though. Although he should probably focus on his day job more (and attend a writer’s meeting once in a while) live video is growing at a ridiculous rate and you need to start creating content if you want to keep up.

According to Hootsuite, “One-third of all online activity is spent watching video. By 2020, online video streaming will grow to more than 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. And users watch 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day.”

So why are Benjy’s videos so horrible? What’s he doing wrong? What can we learn from his mistakes?

1. Promote Before You Broadcast: He is on the most popular radio program of all time. Because of that, he’s got a rather large social media following so he should’ve used that to promote his broadcast. Use your following, whether it’s an email list or on social, to let people know that you’re going to be live. Get creative when you promote your broadcast. Use images and maybe even a short video to let people know what your video is going to be about and when it’s going to air.

2. Have A Purpose: Benjy’s videos appear to go nowhere; He’s just winging it and you can tell. His previous video was about shopping for lettuce at midnight in NYC. A funny idea but since it wasn’t fleshed out, it didn’t work. Just because it’s a live video, doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead. Saturday Night Live is shot live, and it's a great, tight, well produced show. You don’t have to write a script, but you should have a rough outline of what you’re trying to accomplish.

3. Make Sure You Have A Strong Connection: It’s fairly obvious, but I figured I’d mention this because Benjy’s video connection kept cutting out because of a poor signal. When he patched a viewer in, it was even worse because they both had a bad connection. Make sure people can watch your video without getting annoyed by a poor feed.

4. Shoot A Practice Video: Why not shoot a practice video? You can use Facebook Live to shoot it, just adjust the privacy setting to ensure that you’re the only one who will see it. It’ll help tighten up your content and your visuals because you’ll see what the video looks like before your audience will.

5. Give The People What They Want: Do people really want to see Benjy talking to random people on the street with no purpose? No. Give your audience what they want. Some of the content that lends itself to live video are Q & As, breaking news, product demos, and live series.

Howard Stern is the most successful broadcaster of all time and it’s not by accident. He does his homework before each show. Benjy doesn’t and it shows. He hopes that something funny will happen after he turns the camera on. Maybe it will, but there’s so much “dead time” that no one will still be watching when it happens. Think about what you want to accomplish, edit yourself, and always be thinking of your audience. Be like Howard and do your homework; don’t wing it like Benjy.

This article originally appeared in Forbes on October 11, 2017. To read full article click here.