With the world adjusting to a new normal, live event activations are making a comeback. From big events like the Super Bowl to small events like public school art fundraisers, we’re starting to see social media managers attending events IRL again.
If your brand is hosting or attending a live activation (i.e. sponsoring a festival, hosting a professional sports tournament, attending a conference, holding a company-wide retreat, etc.), having a social media game plan in place for live events can be a great way to deliver a new content perspective to followers.
Why Is Social Media at Live Events Important?
If covering live events hasn’t been a part of your organic social media strategy in the past, it should definitely be going forward. Capturing content and posting in real-time can be a great way to showcase your brand in a light that fans typically don’t get to see.
Think of the red carpet at the GRAMMYs – we love watching red carpet specials to see what’s happening at the award show before the official cameras start rolling. We love seeing what the actors and musicians are posting on their Instagram Stories & feeds – the content that doesn’t make it to TV.
That same concept applies when it comes to professional sports, marketing industry events, and any in-person brand activation across industries.
Here are some examples from one of our customers – Showtime
How To Keep Followers Engaged While They’re at Home?
Keep your followers in the know by posting regular updates on all your social media platforms. Even though they may not be in attendance personally, your followers could still be very interested in what’s happening on the ground (FOMO!).
Both Twitter and Instagram Stories can be great for this. Be sure to share a variety of post styles to keep things interesting – think text posts, videos, photos, or even poll questions and other Instagram Story features. Instagram and Facebook feeds can be used to do more stylized recap posts of the event at the end of the day or even the following day.
If this is your brand-owned event, create a unique hashtag and actively use it. Be sure to encourage all attendees to use it in their social media posts as well, which will help to strengthen event awareness in the present and future. Don’t forget to reshare those posts during and after the event to maximize engagement.
If you’re attending an event that’s not your own, use its official hashtag and handle to your advantage. Much like above, the official hashtag and handle will have a lot of eyes on them, so be sure to actively engage throughout the day to maximize efforts.
A big key to success at live events is communication. Oftentimes, your entire team may be on the ground and may be split up. Be sure to have a group text, WhatsApp, or Slack group set up for easy check-ins throughout the day. This way, all social media goals can be met and no balls will be dropped!
Going Live at Live Events
What’s a live event without…a Live video for social. While it’s not mandatory, Live videos are always a great way to bring followers in close and make them feel like they’re not missing out on any of the action. They’ll be able to watch in the moment or at their earliest convenience (should you choose to save the Live).
If you have the time or capacity, include going live (whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.) at least once throughout the day as a part of your game plan.
Tools To Invest in For Covering Live Events
Don’t just show up to a conference or brand activation unprepared! Here’s a quick list of things to consider bringing with you in order to capture the best content throughout the event, and make your life easier in the process.
Invest in something with multiple ports to charge laptops and phones at the same time. There’s nothing worse than trying to find a power outlet at a busy event at the most inconvenient time.
Portable WiFi device
If you’re in a packed convention center or maybe outdoors at a festival, WiFi and cellular service can often be very hit-or-miss. Invest in a MiFi/hotspot device for moments like these.
Phone tripods make going Live (as mentioned above) a lot easier. A phone tripod saves your arm from tiring out and saves your followers from watching shaky videos. A win-win!
If you’re doing interviews for social media (which are always fun!), having a small mic that can attach to your phone or a subject‘s shirt can significantly increase the quality of your video in loud environments.
Phone lighting clip
Lighting can often be the difference between a video being good or bad. A small phone attachment that acts like a softbox can be a great investment if you’re planning to do a lot of staged video content.
Don’t underestimate this essential. Live events often mean being on your feet for hours at a time.
Backpack for storage
Much like shoes, a quality backpack or bag can make your life a lot easier on event days.
We hope this article was a great help in kickstarting your live event coverage game plan. Be sure to follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on Slate’s product offerings, as well as our latest blog posts!