Social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are focusing on expanding their built-in live features. For example, as Facebook (FB) competes with YouTube, FB has begun to incentivize influencers to upload original videos to their fan pages (many using Facebook Watch). By adjusting its platform’s algorithm to boost this content at no additional cost to the influencer.
Instagram on the other hand, one of the first platforms to introduce live capability (behind YouTube of course), now allows users to invite followers to join into their broadcast seamlessly with a click of a button. However, despite the new features from its competitors, Twitter still leads the pack when it comes to live usage.
National sports leagues, news broadcast companies, entertainment companies and more all turn to Twitter as their platform of choice. As a micro-blogging platform, Twitter allows brands and business to quickly share updates and follow topics of interest by way of hashtags in real-world time.
So, you’re looking to tap into your following by way of event live-tweeting?! After selecting which profile you’d like to tweet from (your personal or brand/business profile you are collaborating with) here are a few tips to help you master your newly found career as a social media correspondent.
As the live social media correspondent, your best friend for the event you’re covering will be the production assistant or PA! The production assistant? YES, the production assistant! Whether you’re covering a concert, award show or film festival, the production assistant will be the most knowledge ACCESSIBLE staff member’s whom can provide you with a confirmed run-of-show.
The run-of-show is your event playbook! Run-of-shows can take many forms including a program book, playbill, etc. Once armed with names of presenters/performers and times of appearance/performance use this information to prepare your event cheat sheet. Ideally, your cheat sheet will include an update image of important people along with their official titles and social media handles. Whether physical or a digital, this cheat sheet will along you to quickly and accurately report the happenings of the event you’re covering.
Pre-Schedule Staple Tweets
Work smarter, not harder! Gathering quotes, posting photos and more all while remaining present in the moment is not an easy task. Take the difficulty out of live tweeting by pre-scheduling staple tweets.
What is a staple tweet? A phrase of my creation, a staple tweet is a Twitter posting containing a concrete piece of information. This information will not change regarding the event you’re covering. For example, if you are covering a film festival, the presenting organization, event sponsors, the film’s being presented, category names and the festival’s past winners would all fit this definition. So, a great staple tweet would be, “I am so excited to be attending the 3rd annual @NEWARKIFF sponsored by @CityofNewarkNJ. Be sure to hit that follow button as I live tweet from some of this evening’s screenings including director John Doe’s original short John Doe’s Journey Through Film beginning at 8 pm EST.”
Get creative! Staple tweets can be more than just copy. Spice up your scheduled tweets with photos, videos, and links. Just as a friendly pro-tip, tweets can be scheduled using your favorite third-party or directly within the back-end of Twitter Ads.
Bring Extra Power Source
Events starting and ending on time are far and few between! As a live social media correspondent, one of the most embarrassing things that can happen during your coverage is for your devices to die. My rule of thumb, over-prepare! In my marketing bag, I pack my tablet with Bluetooth capability keyboard case, two (2) universal USB wires, a USB wall charging port and a power bank.
A bit much you say?! I think not! In my many years of being a production assistant, you never know when, where and how you will be able to charge your device. Sometimes you are lucky and find a nice spot in full view of the event near a wall outlet, sometimes you have to plug into a computer on-site, and sometimes there are no options. That’s where your power bank comes into play. Power banks are everywhere! Drug stores, convenience shops, novelty stores and more. Power banks come in many variations including charging time and multi-device capability. Read up on the specs of the device or devices you will be using during your event coverage to help you select the power bank that best suits your needs.
Secure Internet Connection
There will be no live coverage without a reliable connect to the internet! Most event organizers are cognizant of the fact that being connected online is an essential part of the guest experience. With that said, most event spaces will have a public WiFi option for attendees to connect to. However, this is not always granted!
Contact the event organizer to confirm this as well as the event space. If the space does not have public WiFi, major phone service providers offer portable mobile hotspots. Be sure to connect your service provider to learn if they offer mobile hotspot as well as special rates for existing customers. If you are working with a limited budget, standard cell phone internet works just fine but my recommendation is if you can, test your reception strength on-site to verify you are able to post to your Twitter feed with a few test tweets.
I hope this post helped you! If you’re interested in learning more tips and tricks to help unlock your full digital potential, my social media boot-camp course, Introduction to Social Media, is available now on e-learning platform Thinkific. Click here to enroll!