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How to Deliver a Successful Live Event Social Media Strategy

Now, as the world gradually emerges from the pandemic, live events are also making a return thanks to admirable social media strategy.

Almost every sector has been impacted by the pandemic. But few have been hit quite as significantly over the past two years as the live events industry. Under intense pressures, it did however pivot admirably to accommodate remote engagement.

Now, as the world gradually emerges from the pandemic, live events are also making a return. They represent an increasingly important way for brands to reconnect with consumers and corporate partners beyond the screen.

Doing so effectively will require a comprehensive social media strategy that provides an engaging experience for not only the event attendees but also a wider audience.

Planning your Social Media Strategy for Live Event Marketing

First and foremost, a carefully considered plan is key to promoting a successful live event, including considering all the different possible approaches and identifying which would work best for your event. For example, a ‘behind the scenes’ strategy would allow followers to get an exclusive insight into the event, increasing remote audience participation. Once established, this would then feed into the overall strategy on the day including having a constant drumbeat of Instagram & Facebook stories with engagement tactics such as story polls or sliders, and a plan for live videos and exclusive features.

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Scoping out the venue is also a crucial step in the process of planning a successful live event social media strategy. Visiting the venue ahead of time to assess the logistical requirements to successfully implement your social strategy. The thought of arriving at a venue or location on the day of the event and finding no Wi-Fi or sufficient data connection available is every social media professional’s worst nightmare!

In the past, we’ve found that testing the connection by uploading stories and feed posts to a dummy account was a worthwhile exercise.

Content Creation

To have the best possible impact on the day, creating bespoke social media assets ahead of the live event will ensure you are well prepared and will help your content to stand out. Preparing in this way also means you’re less likely to fall foul of brand guidelines, even when capturing behind-the-scenes or on-the-spot content at the event.

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Part of the process of creating content in advance of the event involves pre-event promotion. It’s crucial to make your following aware of the details for the event such as date, time, and location, as well as promoting any specific social media features you will be running on the day, such as live videos or interactive features. For example, creating Instagram story borders or overlays is a great way to approach this. It helps to keep behind-the-scenes content published to Instagram stories looking professional and also lightens the load on the day so social media teams have more time to focus on other tasks on the day.

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Live videos are also an authentic and exclusive way to give your audience insight into the event.

For example, interviewing someone from the event to talk through their experience and the day planned ahead. All followers receive a notification when live videos start too, supporting a range of objectives, whether to drive traffic and engagement, encourage a conversion, or promote a future event.

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Once the preparation is done, it’s onto the event itself! If possible, always take a professional camera to the event to capture high-quality shots along with your smartphone to give your social audience a perspective of the event as if they were there. 

Follow-Up with Omnichannel Social Media Strategy

A good live event social media strategy never ends when the event ends. Use ‘evergreen’ social media content shot on the day to keep followers engaged over a longer period of time and include CTAs such as ‘don’t forget to sign up’. This content can feed into promoting the next event, and encourage followers to attend.

Crucially, it’s important to apply a test and learn approach to identify what went well, what needs improving, and what to avoid in the future. This is possible by measuring the impact of your social media strategy. These stats can highlight the successes of the strategy and can inform the approach to optimize future events.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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