How to be a Happy Chewbacca

by | May 24, 2016

How to be a Happy Chewbacca

In the last week you have most likely clicked on a video of Candace Payne talking about her recent trip to Kohls. You kept watching (and probably wondered why you were watching) this woman talk about her shopping trip and alluded to some obscure Star Wars box partially hidden from view by her steering wheel.

Then the magic happened.

As she placed the Chewbacca mask over her face and began to laugh the most beautiful laugh, you probably began to smile. After watching this woman laugh hysterically on a live-recorded video, chances are you reacted or shared the video on your social media. Your friends probably did the same.

Within four days, the Happy Chewbacca was on Good Morning America, was featured on Reddit, was the recipient of several gifts from Kohls, has been viewed over 135 million times, and has millions of social shares.

Candace, AKA the Happy Chewbacca, isn’t a marketing specialist. How on earth did she create a viral sensation? Why did her video resonate?

She was authentic, real, and captured it all on video.

2016 is the year of authentic video, and there’s nothing more authentic than a genuine woman laughing hysterically behind a Chewbacca mask. While no one really knows why a video goes viral, we can learn from Candace when it comes to making our own live videos

1. Authenticity, not Perfection

Most people new to live video get in front of the camera and think they have to live up to the polished nature of a seasoned news anchor. That’s not the case with social media streaming. Candace got hung up on little words like confiscated, bunny trailed a little bit, and we loved her all the more for it. When we watched her laugh online, it could have just as easily have been our mom, our sister, or spouse. We relate to her.

Her video, and the 2016 live feed phenomenon, shows that unscripted, authentic video is key, and people are responding positively to it. The culture in 2016 wants less perfection and more authenticity. As a small business owner, you are uniquely positioned to offer this.

The Happy Chewbacca wasn’t scripted, wasn’t polished, and people loved her for it.

2. Build Suspense

The key to live video streaming is keeping as many eyes glued to the screen as possible for a prolonged period of time. The longer people are watching your news feeds, the more they are commenting or liking. The more they are commenting or liking, the more the video shows up in their friends’ news feeds.

Candace constantly says, “Stay with me. It’ll be worth it.” This incentivizes viewers to stay tuned for just a little longer. Live video hinges on what is going to happen next. When planning your videos, try to offer some aspect of suspense to keep the viewer from closing the video feed.

I mentioned in point one, unscripted videos are key.  However, unscripted doesn’t mean unorganized or without a plan. Your live videos need to be driven by a narrative or storyline and have a clear flow to them. If not, chances are you will look like you’re just rambling on. No one wants to watch that. Think of it like a road trip. You might not have an exact idea of every single location you’re going to visit, but you have a general travel plan to keep yourself from getting lost.

The Happy Chewbacca created suspense by having an organized, unscripted flow to her video.

3. She’s Having Fun

Social media should be fun. Live video, for the most part, should be fun. Candace is enjoying sharing a moment in her life with her friends (and now 250,000 followers) on Facebook. If you are thinking about delving into live video, make sure it’s a process you enjoy and that joy resonates online. Don’t be fake, but have a genuine authenticity combined with a joy for what you do. People will reward you for it.

Find out how a Kansas farm has fun at social media by clicking HERE

4. Anyone Can go Viral, but Don’t Make That Your Focus

No one is certain why a video goes viral. Candace most likely didn’t think her video would land her on GMA when she pressed that record button from the Kohls parking lot. Don’t produce your videos with the hope of going viral. Instead, make your focus on creating authentic videos that shares culture and engages your fans and customers.

If online marketing was financial success, going viral would be like winning the Lottery. However, the majority of Lotto winners go bankrupt. Instead, approach your online marketing like a mutual fund. Mutual funds aren’t a get rich scheme, but slowly over time they can build a successful portfolio.

5. The Internet Just Wants to Feel Good

A lot has been said lately about the negatives to social media, internet trolls, and the general unpleasant nature of many online people. However, the Happy Chewbacca demonstrates that the internet just wants to feel good again. Exceptional marketers that provide positivity will rise to the occasion.

As marketers and business owners, how can you help your niche feel good again? Do you have uplifting stories of encouragement that you can share? Can you offer a solution to a problem that most customers are facing?

More than ever, customers are seeking emotional connections and building brand relationships. Businesses that build relationships by offering joy, delight, and uplifting experiences will be rewarded with loyalty.

Moving Forward with Live Video

Putting a Chewbacca mask on probably won’t work for you. That’s ok. Your goal is to find out what does work for you, your business, and your customers. You have a story, you have a brand culture, and you have amazing products. Let your story shine. Let your brand culture be present, and show why and how your amazing products can make everyone’s lives better.

As you consider live video for your business, here are a few tips:

  1. Experiment with different times of streaming. There’s no specific data on this yet. Since Facebook automatically puts live streaming at the top of everyone’s news feed, it might be wise to post when the most fans are online.
  2. Hold Q&A shows scheduled routinely on the same time and day of the week. For example, host a Q&A show every Friday morning.
  3. Have a weekly “how-to” on Thursdays or Fridays. This could be a great way to show projects or recipes that can be created with items you sell from your store.
  4. Is something interesting happening right now? Just share it.
  5. Don’t expect or plan for perfection. Instead, plan for organized authenticity.
  6. Unbox interesting or cool products that arrive at the store.
  7. Look for any opportunity to share your culture and the positive lives of your employees / work environment.