3 Lessons I Learned from Live Social

I went on my first business trip last week, and it was incredible. We were covering the biggest culinary competition for high schoolers in the United States. If you’re wondering what that means, it was basically like watching Iron Chef but in real life.

Three of us Genies were responsible for live Tweeting, Snapping, Instagram updates, and Facebook Live. My role was to provide captivating content for both Snapchat and Instagram stories. I’m absolutely obsessed with both of those platforms, so it was already a dream come true for me to spend the weekend creating video and photo content for both platforms.

I’ve never done on-scene social media coverage, and I honestly found the event very intimidating at the beginning. There were so many things I didn’t know. Would my content resonate with our audience? Could I successfully juggle two platforms? And most importantly, would our client be happy with the work we produced? It’s been a week since the event, and I’ve had time to think about what made us a successful team. So without further ado, here are three strategies for epic event coverage.

1. Plan ahead

We were lead by our VP of Social and began planning for the weekend months in advance. Tweets were scheduled, Facebook content was produced, schedules of events were made, and briefings were held. We were as ready as we could be.  It’s so important to create content ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling on the scene. Depending on your event, you should have relevant handles gathered, as well as evergreen content written and scheduled in advance. This will save you a lot of time and energy for when you’re on the ground covering the event.

2. Go with the flow

Because you already planned ahead, when the event actually starts it’s time to go with the flow. Your social media guru instincts should take over, and you shouldn’t be afraid to put as much quality content out there as you can (but know your platforms, no one wants to see 20 Instagram photos posted in one day). If someone asks you to jump off a stage while wearing  Snapchat Spectacles and run through a crowd of screaming high schoolers, then it’s best to just go with it. You’ll probably get some epic content, and make your client happy. Yes, I did that.

3. Trial and Error

Live social media coverage is about trying new things. If your audience is skewed on one platform, engage with them there and point them in the direction of your other pages. If you’re getting amazing engagement on Snapchat, try to host a spur of the moment giveaway. Don’t be afraid to try new social strategies, because you don’t know what will resonate with your viewers. As they say, you’ll never know if you don’t try.

I learned a lot during my first work trip. Live social media coverage is exciting, fun, and exhausting. We left the event with a larger, more engaged audience than when we came which should, honestly, always be the goal of live coverage.

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