Last weekend our Birmingham client, the Jewellery Quarter BID, hosted a three-day event – the JQ Festival – and our challenge was to keep their social media pages active and engaging for their audience over the three days. This was a live event so it took a completely different set of skills than the familiar tweeting during a TV show. Many of our clients host events throughout the year, from press days to reopenings, but the large majority usually take up less than a day so we had to use our best spottydog tricks to make our live news broadcasting a crowd-pleasing success!
Here are my top tips on keeping social content for events engaging over longer periods without bombarding them with the same content or message:
You can never prepare too much!
Do as much as you can in the run up to the event. If there are lots of different activities and performances taking place throughout the day, find out the relevant social media handles to tag them with beforehand. Writing out and saving pre-written posts onto your device will also prove to be a god-send amongst the busy hubbub of a festival or event.
Use a variety of tools
There’s nothing worse than a feed full of the same kind of content being posted every hour on the hour. Images are great, but try mixing it up using free tools such as Periscope and Boomerang – these add an additional element that will make people stop, watch and interact with your post. We’ve found from our analytics that the three days the festival took place had almost 50% of the engagement as the entire month of June! These tools also add a sense of personality to your pages as it’s clear that there really is someone behind the keyboard rather than just an auto-bot, and the proof really is in the pudding.
With the JQ Festival, the majority of acts were spread between two sites – Golden Square and St Paul’s Square – with other things happening over the entire area, so it’s important to be as flexible as possible. Having a rough schedule on which events are happening and what kind of posts you want to film/photograph will mean you can jump into things without worrying about missing any important acts.
Things will happen that you haven’t prepared for/factored into your plan, but this is all part of event management, and the best thing to do is to roll with it. Last weekend, we were told last minute that the Lord Mayor of Birmingham was going to be attending to officially open the festival! It meant rearranging a few things in our schedule, but we did walk away with clips of the Lord Mayor dancing with the very lovely Barbara Nice around her handbag circle! Reacting to things instinctively will provide you with a feed full of interesting content that you can save for another day!
Perhaps one of the most important tips I have for events is to enjoy yourself! You may be on the clock, but it’s often when you really get into things and start relaxing that the best content tends to happen. I’m sure none of us thought that we’d get chased around the square by a granny on a motorised shopping trolley but this has created some very memorable content for social media, and a somewhat scarring memory for Rachel Sharpe!