Creating Compelling Live Coverage

Social media platforms are constantly developing new tools for users to share content. Many of those tools have become particularly useful for marketers to tell their brand stories through live coverage. We always look for opportunities to integrate live coverage as part of our social strategy for our clients, and it’s become one of our specialties. While anybody can cover their event, we think that there are three ways to make your coverage stand out: Use all the tools at your disposal, tell a compelling story, and keep your audience engaged. Let’s dive in.

Use Your Tools

It’s important to remember to be diverse in your choice of channels. People consuming your content are likely to be on more than one platform, so be sure to tailor your content to the demographic and viewing behaviors of each.

Facebook

Your largest audience will likely be on Facebook. It’s a good place to post longer video content and to livestream your event to a large audience. Facebook Live is one of the more robust and well-designed live-streaming platforms. If you’ve never used Facebook Live, you may want to save your first stream for something important. When you go live for the first time, all the users that like your Page will receive a notification.

Instagram

Instagram’s creative tools like Hyperlapse and Boomerang are good for creating unique video content. Instagram also allows you to livestream, appearing in the stories feed at the top of the home screen. Users with notifications enabled will also receive one that you’ve gone live. In-stream posts offer a few ways to push your content beyond your followers including location tagging and hashtagging. Hashtag and location tag stickers are now available in stories. When tapped, users are taken to a page with corresponding photos and an aggregated story. While you’re not 100 percent guaranteed to make it on the story, the stickers may increase your chances.

Twitter

Twitter has always been a useful tool for live coverage. It’s important to have a simple hashtag for whatever event you’re covering (#SproutChat or #SuperBowl, as examples) to create community engagement. Live tweeting is a good strategy for providing updates at sporting events, presentations, and other events with lots of action, but remember not to overwhelm users with content—be selective in what you post. Live streaming on Twitter can be done through Periscope, which is now built into the Twitter app.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a good platform to use if you already have an audience on the platform. Because advertisers are currently limited in how they can gain users non-organically, it’s tough to gain a following through the app itself. One of Snapchat’s best features, though, is its custom filters and Geofilters. Targeting Geofilters to your event could improve audience engagement. Additionally, Snapchat automatically creates an Our Story in cities and areas where big events are happening. Adding to it can help your coverage and reach.

Tell A Compelling Story

Once you’ve chosen the right tools, it’s time to tell your story. Our method of telling stories is pretty similar to what you learned in elementary English—create a beginning, middle, and end. Start your coverage with content that teases the event and answers who, what, where, when, and why. Set the scene for your audience. Why should they be there?

The bulk of your story should be the middle—where your tools get put to work and you crush the content. Try to capture moments that you think your audience would want to see, know more about, and activate them to share with their friends. Finally, like the ending of a book, you need to wrap things up. If your event spans multiple days, let people know what they can expect in the coming days. If the event is ending, make sure to say thanks.

Keep Your Audience Engaged

You should be engaging with your audience before, during and after your event. Pre-event community management can include engaging with community hashtags, answering questions attendees may have, or creating a Facebook Event. If something goes wrong during your event and attendees don’t get help in a timely manner, they may reach out on social media, and you should be prepared to respond as quickly as possible. If their issue is negative, take it off the page and into direct messages.

That said, not everything you get will be negative. Community management can yield good user-generated content and positive reviews and testimonials. Be sure to engage with these positive posts — even if it’s as simple as a like. Social media users may not know that your filters and hashtags exist, so be sure to use them in the content that you’re creating to encourage engagement and sharing. Finally, remember that community management doesn’t necessarily end after the event ends. Make sure to provide opportunities for your audience to continue engaging with and sharing your content like creating a photo album or an event wrap-up.

Covering your event in a compelling manner isn’t difficult if you’re using the right tools, capturing moments that matter, and keeping conversations alive. Are you trying to develop a successful strategy for covering your event and need a helping hand? Give us a shout—we’re always happy to help.

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