Day in the Life: CNBC’s social media editor during its first Facebook Live TV show
Last week was a week of firsts for CNBC International’s social media editor Cristy Garratt. The broadcaster went deeper on its Facebook Live strategy, streaming its daily morning TV show “Street Signs Europe” via the platform for the first time. This wasn’t a matter of just replicating the show on Facebook; ad breaks were ditched in favor of exclusive content and chances to participate for the Facebook audience. Their responses also helped shape the rest of the show.
That made things a little more hectic than usual. Here’s what her Wednesday looked like.
5:00 a.m.: Normally, I’d still be sound asleep, but special occasions like this week’s Facebook Live trial call for an earlier wake-up. The usual morning ritual of rolling out of bed, showering and picking an outfit I hope I won’t hate once I’ve drunk my morning coffee ensues. There’s a morning person deep inside all of us, right?
5:45 a.m.: My cab has arrived. I hop in, greet the driver, then furiously spend the next 30 minutes on my phone. I check emails, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Slack (in that order). I check in on the latest from my colleagues in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, (CNBC’s global HQ) and Singapore to see what content we posted on social media overnight.
6:15 a.m.: Gnaw on a granola bar while trolling the internet for the business news stories trending on social and search. I write these up into an email for our TV and dotcom news teams in Europe and the U.S. to help inform the news agenda for the day.
6:40 a.m.: Head over to hair and makeup. An unusual one for me, as I’m normally safely hidden behind my computer screen. But as I mentioned before, this week is different. I’ll be appearing during the TV ad breaks on our Facebook Live stream to feature the very best of our user comments.
7:00 a.m.: Take a look at the day’s trending stories and the “Street Signs” rundown, then come up with the day’s poll for Facebook Live. Today, we’re having a bit of fun with it, thanks to the viral video of David Cameron humming a little tune after his resignation speech. We’ll be asking viewers what emotions they believe were behind the little song.
7:30 a.m.: Check in with Roxanne Lim, our social media producer in Singapore who has graciously offered to stay late this week to help me out. I let her know the day’s poll and the topics we’ll be touching on. She’ll then approve comments to send our way during the broadcast.
8:00 a.m.: Meet with Squawk Box Europe producer Leonie Kidd and reporter Gemma Acton to solidify plans for our custom segments for Facebook Live. I knew ad breaks could be a big drop-off point for a streaming audience, so we created four alternative Facebook-only segments to fill in the gaps.
8:30 a.m.: It’s almost time! Log into our streaming platform on both my computer and iPad. Write up the text that will be paired with the live. Set our anchor Louisa Bojesen up on Facebook, so she knows where to find viewer comments. Finalize last minute details.
8:59 a.m.: And we’re off! Louisa goes to air a minute early to welcome Facebook viewers to the broadcast. I share the live stream to Twitter and our talent pages.
9:00 a.m.: This is the fun part. I act as the moderator within the comment section, getting viewers to weigh in on what our guests are saying. I send over relevant comments and questions to the “Street Signs” production team so they can integrate them into the show for Louisa. I introduce the poll of the day for viewers and encourage them to vote.
9:15 a.m.: Head over to the camera in our newsroom and have a quick chat with Gemma. Before I know it, we’re live on Facebook, chatting about David Cameron’s humming abilities, our viewer comments and introducing the poll to viewers. This is a unique opportunity to completely focus on our audience for a few minutes, something I think is crucial when transitioning a television product to social media.
9:20 a.m.: Back at the desk and moderating the conversation with our viewers.
9:45 a.m.: It’s time for my second hit with Gemma. This time, we reveal the poll results (they thought David Cameron was humming out of relief, by the way) and chat about Nintendo’s massive increase in share prices thanks to Pokémon Go. Viewers weigh in, saying they wish they’d bought Nintendo shares sooner!
9:50 a.m.: Comment, comment, comment.
10:00 a.m.: We did it! Time to end the live stream, thank viewers for joining us and invite them to chat along with us again tomorrow.
10:15 a.m.: After the show, key players regroup in the svp of international news and programming’s office. Here, we discuss how the show went technically and editorially. One of the most helpful tools we have in this process is Facebook’s new engagement graph, which shows us where we peaked and declined in engagement. This helps us pick out stories viewers seemed particularly engaged with. For example, after good engagement around Pokémon Go in our ad break on Monday, we actually decided to incorporate an entire segment into “Street Signs” on Tuesday. The power of live feedback from your audience!
12:00 p.m.: The U.S. social team starts to trickle into the office, which means I hand over control of the U.S. social media pages back over the pond. Back in Europe, representatives from the different teams across TV and digital gather in the boardroom for a forward planning meeting. This is when I get a good view of what we will be covering the following week, allowing me to pinpoint opportunities for social — whether that means live-tweeting an event, recommending a Snapchat takeover or a Facebook Live.
12:30 p.m.: I quickly pop out of the office to grab some lunch and the “world’s biggest cappuccino, please.”
1:00 p.m.: It’s time for more Facebook and Twitter love, but this is when I also craft an Instagram post, find career-friendly news for LinkedIn and check on our daily post on WeChat.
2:00 p.m.: I hop into the weekly meeting with our Digital Video team. Video has been a critical factor in our young Facebook page’s growth, so I always make sure to attend this one when I can. We review the week’s content — what worked, what didn’t — and I offer my thoughts on future videos. Just like the social media team, digital video exists to help us reach the C-suite of tomorrow, the aspirational audience we’re hoping to build a relationship with online.
3:00 p.m.: Now that the States is waking up, I take this chance to delve into the stats of this morning’s Facebook Live. We’ve found nearly half of our views on lives come after the actual event itself, so it makes sense to check in again a few hours later. I tidy the stats up into a neat email and send them off to key players.
4:00 p.m.: It’s time to start wrapping up the day. I stick on my headphones and jam to some Beyoncé while prepping our evergreen stories for the evening. Before I head out, I let the U.S. team know I’m going so they can cover breaking news until our Asia office gets through the door.
5:00 p.m.: If I haven’t roped myself into some sort of social commitment, I’m out the door and grabbing some dinner to take home. Soft pillow, I’ll be seeing you soon!
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