The digital strategic link behind successful Facebook live streams.

How to effectively analyse the digital marketing strategy for live-stream events using Burt’s Structural holes theory.

The main objective behind live streaming platforms.

In the recent years since the birth of the Boiler Room (Bellville. B, 2010) platform, live streaming on Facebook has increased rapidly. This disruptive innovative method of broadcasting DJ sets to viewers from the comfort of their home, created a modern intimate continuous supply for DJs to share their music all throughout the year. The objective behind streaming DJ sets to an online mass, is that the organization is able to maintain both a physical audience and capture an online audience to boost sales. The authors Schowalter. K & Srivastava. S.B (2019), conceptualize this form of interaction as the phenomenon called “structural bridging”. In the streaming industry this is the ability to capture disconnected individuals who do not attend gatherings as often. Furthermore, these types of organizations continue to create the demand for DJs when festival season is over. Live stream platforms, enable DJs to continue to push their music while raising their number on websites such as Beatport (Tempel. J, 2004), Spotify (Ek. D, 2006) and Resident Advisor (2001). 


A contemporary modern take on live broadcasting can be seen with the Cercle (Barbolla. D, 2016) concept. Barbolla’s event company, connects cultural heritage sites or unique locations with music through Facebook live streaming. The competitive advantage of the value proposition put forth by Cercle of being part of a story told in a historical setting, creates a high demand and engagement through digital marketing, to capture physical customers that attend the event. 


Here is a quick read on the growth and impact of Facebook Live videos.


The sphere of controls applicable in the live event industry.

Unlike festival or club events, live stream gatherings have a specific degree of what they can control. According to Dr Kar (Kar. A.K, 2015), social media controls are measured through key performance indicators that can be Facebook video analytics such as:

  • Bounce Rate
  • Price per click (PPC) or Click per pay (CPP)
  • Traffic Volume 
  • Audience engagement
  • Physical attendees in the live stream


These KPIs, enable for the creation of value the page has on the current online audience. They give an overview of how much reach the facebook page is capturing and how well the live stream is doing during and after it has been published. The given analytics provide information on whether the choices made for digital marketing are effective and attractive towards the online customers. (See Image 1, and Image 2)

Radio Nachtlab video analytics

Image 1                                             Image 2, 2019

Understanding Burt’s Structural holes theory in relation to the online audience.


Ronald Burt (1986), describes social media networks as a complex connection of groups made up of various individuals that intertwine and interact with one. These network groups can be separated by culture, personality, geographical location, technology preferences and much more. The major objective behind Burt’s theory, is this ideology of forming links between clusters through social distance (See diagram 1).

  Diagram 1

Diagram 1 represents two simple clusters that are linked by the basic interactions and engagements between each other. They can be characterized as facebook groups or the various KPIs used to measure performance. A crucial element to highlight is the interconnection that links the two clusters together; this is called bridging and the sweet spot for live stream platform marketing. The main aspiration in live streaming is, bringing about the intercultural effect of joining different worlds together through watching the same video at the same time. When this concept of bridging is accomplished then the brand increases it’s digital presence through an increase between user profile geo-distancing. However, in order to understand the strategy behind the structural holes theory, KPIs must be placed within the group to grasp the cause and effect each one has.  


Here is a 2 min video of Burt. R (2015) explaining the importance of networks and brokers.


Implementing Burt’s theory to critically analyze  live video analytics to measure set KPI’s. 

Diagram 2The fastest method of fully understanding Burt’s theory is by implementing the concept in a practical sense in diagram 2. Looking at the video analytics images provided above taken from Radio Nachtlab, BR can be seen as the Clicks to play results, while PPC can be viewed as the Post clicks. Moreover, TV would be portrayed as video views 


What this drawing illustrates to the organization about the video is that, if the reach for the target audience is there, plus the reactions given, including the BR & PPC equals the bridge between the gap of actual online customers to real ones. When the link is formed from the obtained data analytics accumulated from the live video, illustrates a geographical graph. (See image below)

Image 3, 2019


What Burt’s theory affirms about the marketing strategy used in live platforms. 

Image 3, shows the diverse global magnitude and degree of reach a live stream has when KPIs are met. If Burt’s theory is implemented correctly; to know which controls interact withone another well to increase the online audience then, calculating the distance between viewers becomes more feasable.

By considering the distance in the live event industry, organizations are able to comprehend and emphasize on what is creating the most engagement, what is attracting foreign listeners or viewers, what is cultural context and finally what is enabling the conversion between digital and physical event goers through distance analysis.            


Boiler Room, (2010) About Us [Online] [Accessed 4 February 2020]

Facebook, (2019) Radio Nachtlab videos [Online] [Accessed 1 February 2020]

Faust, K. and Romney, A.K., 1985. Does structure find structure?: A critique of Burt’s use of distance as a measure of structural equivalence. Social Networks, 7(1), pp.77-103.

Kar, A.K., 2015. Applications of analytics in social media. In Foundation Innovation Tech. Transfer Forum Newsletters (IIT Delhi) (Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 6-8).

Schowalter, K., Goldberg, A. and Srivastava, S.B., 2019. Bridging Perspectives on Bridging: A Framework of Social Contexts that Integrates Structural and Cultural Bridging.

Yoshida, A., Higurashi, T., Maruishi, M., Tateiwa, N., Hata, N., Tanaka, A., Wakamatsu, T., Nagamatsu, K., Tajima, A. and Fujisawa, K., 2019. New Performance Index “Attractiveness Factor” for Evaluating Websites via Obtaining Transition of Users’ Interests. Data Science and Engineering, pp.1-17.