Nail your event social media coverage in 4 easy steps

April 30, 2019

So you’ve spent months planning your brand’s attendance at a trade or consumer show or your festival might be in its inaugural year and failure is not an option. All the key parts are in place, hotels are booked, travel is organised, staff are briefed and ready to go, excitement is in the air and you can’t wait to get started.

But have you thought about how you will promote your event whilst it’s happening? A wise line manager of mine once said regarding event planning that “the coverage you get from the event is as, if not MORE important than the event itself.”

Social media, in this day and age provides you with the perfect opportunity to spread your message from the event, promote your brand and show how your business is interacting with the public or other brands.

It opens up possibilities to break down the fourth wall between you and the end user even further, adding a candid and extremely engaging look behind the scenes – providing of course you have a solid plan in place.

In this blog I will aim to give you four simple steps to absolutely nail your event coverage on social.

Steps

PLANNING

Of course, nothing can replicate the type of content that just happens spontaneously, you’ll always want to be ready and waiting ready to capture the perfect moment when a celebrity turns up to your stand or the completely unexpected happens. But nothing is more important for a successful social event calendar than planning. Consider these points, weeks, if not right at the beginning of the planning stages: • What type of event is it your attending? Are the public going? If so, should you think about talking to them directly to get feedback that you can share on social? Is it a B2B event that you’re using to show off a new product or service? If so, how are you showcasing it? How can your social content benefit from your display?

• Promote your attendance on social way ahead of time. You can create Facebook event pages for this or simply use your main feed.

• Establish some KPIs for the event. What does success look like? Knowing this beforehand will enable you to tailor your content towards specific goals.

CONTENT

• Establish an event hashtag for yourself. The show you’re attending should have their own which you’ll want to use of course, but establishing a hashtag for your brand at the event will add consistency to your posts as well as make it easy to track content and analyse it later.

• Ask your fans what they want to see in your introduction post from the event. This way you can ensure all future content is tailored to suit your audience.

• Photography – if you are not in a position to hire a professional photographer, plan to have someone there whose sole job it is to take photos. An iPhone or other smartphones capture superb images these days and having somebody who’s main responsibility it is to capture all the events will ensure you will have enough content to share on your channels and takes the stress away from yourself or anyone else that is just too busy with other things.

• Video – nothing is more engaging on social media at the moment than video. If at all possible hire a videographer for your event to produce a highlight video at the end of each day to show your fans what you’ve been up to. Or if this isn’t possible, again, an iPhone or other smartphones are fantastic at this, and even have simple easy to use apps meaning you can edit content and upload directly to your social channels.

• A rough content calendar. Live events are, by their very nature spontaneous, you won’t be able to plan every single post. There are however lots you can plan to capture well in advance. For example, a photo of your team at the event, standing in front of your stand, or simply a photo of the stand itself. Think about your copy at this point and perhaps pre-write it meaning you can simply copy and paste it into Instagram later. “Hello and welcome to [INSERT EVENT NAME] here. Join us over the coming days for all the action from!” Other content could include a product reveal – again writing copy ahead of time will cut down on the amount of work later. Or why not plan a little further and broadcast over Facebook or Instagram LIVE? Create a shot list of photos you’ll want to share and tick them off one by one.

• Encourage your visitors to your event to engage with you on social. This could be a photo competition to win one of your products? Or simply uploading a post with your hashtag for a chance to be picked at random to win a prize. Litter your stand with your hashtag and Social Media handles and make sure everyone working the stand is aware of them and pushes people towards your pages.

EXECUTION

• Will you have an office space at the event to act as a base from which you can schedule your social content and respond to fans who are engaging with you? Our experience has shown that often (depending on the style of event) enough visual assets can be gathered on day 1, meaning that you can curate this and schedule posts for the rest of the duration, leaving you free to focus your energy on other things.

• Frequency. Twitter and Instagram stories enable you to communicate with your fans on a very regular basis. You can essentially upload as much content as you wish, in a very candid and engaging fashion. We would recommend however no more than 2-3 posts per day on Facebook and no more that 4-5 posts on your main Instagram feed.

• Moderation and community interaction. With any luck your fans will be engaging with your content, they may be asking for more information about the event’s location etc so it’s important to be on hand to answer their questions. Analysis

ANALYSIS

• Once the dust has settled, it’s often the case that a wash up meeting will take place to discuss what worked and what didn’t. From a social point of view, you can come armed with insights on the content ready to share. This could be total engagement numbers and impressions numbers. This could be URL clicks to your newly announced product page or how many people entered your competition. Year on year analysis (if this isn’t the first time you attended or held the event) will enable to assess the successes.

• Analysing your content and establishing key learnings will greatly help the planning for the next one.

Obviously the type of social media content you put out will very much depend on the event you’re attending of holding. Everything from the post frequency, to the tone of voice of the posts are impacted. However these steps should make the process a little less daunting and are steps we follow each time we produce social media content for clients from events.

At agency:2 our team of community managers can help take the stress of worrying about the social media side of your event before, during and afterwards.

As well as the above, the benefits of having an agency covering an event are numerous. When we work with our clients on events coverage we:

● Ask them to let us know the key VIPs beforehand so that we never miss a photo opportunity

● Provide a briefing document for their teams on the day – so everyone knows what's happening

● Create twitter moments – to create a long lasting shareable content

● Tag key influencers and encourage them to engage with our posts – increasing reach for our clients

● Handle everything from the planning of content, to the uploading and scheduling, moderation and analysis

● Use intelligent audience targeting to ensure the right people are seeing paid for content from the event

● Give them peace of mind that everything is taken care of and under control in terms of the social media coverage, leaving them free to concentrate on running the event

 

By Alistair Reid, Social Media Account Manager, agency:2

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