Bright lights. Thousands of screaming fans. TV cameras set up around the venue to record the action. These are all familiar elements of a large-scale sporting event, music festival or concert.
But what many don’t see is the marketing team operating behind the scenes. Media badges, cameras and smartphones are at the ready as these individuals work the crowds to capture behind-the-scenes moments and share them in real time on social media. They’re focused on extending the experience into the digital world, adding another way for attendees to engage and allowing those not in attendance to feel like they are.
Whether a national event attended by thousands or a small, local event for a select few, more brands and organizations are recognizing the importance (and benefit) of hosting live events. The growing frequency of these events mirrors the rising adoption of live-stream technology, which helps in sharing the experience with a digital audience.
These innovations aid brands in sharing unique and unfiltered content that’s perfect for boosting fan engagement and spreading awareness. If your brand has a big event coming up, keep these three steps in mind to ensure your content strategy is set up for social media success.
Plan and prepare
Leading up to the event, scout the venue and review the run-of-show so that you are best positioned to capture high-quality visual content. Identify the locations of the venue that are likely to see the best action and prioritize which shots will be the most engaging to share with your social audience.
You should also have a clear plan in place before the event. Have you established clear lines of communication? Will you have access to a Wi-Fi network? Is cellular data likely to be influenced by the venue or the amount of people in attendance? These are important questions to answer before the event begins.
It’s also wise to make a list of relevant keywords or hashtags that may be shared by event attendees to inform your social listening and monitoring activities. It’s important to pick up on digital conversations as the event unfolds so that you can engage with fan posts and address any questions or concerns.
It’s always a good idea to (and a must have if the event is several hours) come prepared with mobile batteries to keep your devices fully charged, as live-streaming video and constantly updating social channels can quickly drain even the most advanced smartphone batteries.
Divide and conquer
If you have a team, assigning defined roles and responsibilities is a must. Identify which of your team members is best suited for capturing and posting content on each channel. Then, send them out into the field to shoot photos and video. It’s also smart to assign specific social media channels to certain team members to prevent the likelihood of double posting.
If some members of the team are more detail oriented, consider placing them in a content curation and monitoring role. This allows them to focus on choosing and publishing content sent in by team members on the ground, and gives them time to monitor and reply to posts, tags and online conversations related to the event.
Debrief and analyze
Once the event comes to an end, take time to evaluate your approach. If it’s a multi-day event (like a conference), you may be able to identify new ideas for content or refine your live-streaming approach so that the next day is even more successful. Additionally, review your social mentions and relevant keywords or event hashtags so that you gain insights into what event attendees were talking about and engaging with the most.
It’s also a good idea to pull relevant social data from the event, such as overall impressions, engagement rate and follower growth, as well as corresponding web traffic, so that you can show the value that sharing the event digitally had for the brand’s marketing goals.
Digitally sharing an event can add another dimension to your social media marketing. It’s not only a way for followers to engage during and after an event, but it adds an additional touchpoint for attendees to remember your brand. If you can begin planning early and assemble a strong team to capture, curate and monitor content, there’s no end to the benefits you can reap while capturing live moments at your next event.