4 Tips For Using Social Media To Cover An Event In Real-time.
On May 19th, 2018, the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took place at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, England. The event was watched by millions of people worldwide, and it was also heavily covered on social media platforms.
In fact, according to Metro, there were over 6 million tweets about the event, with 5.2 million of them using the hashtag #RoyalWedding.
But how did media outlets cover this historic event on social media? What strategies did they use to engage with their audience and provide comprehensive coverage simultaneously?
This article will explore four social media live tips covering an event in real time. Whether you’re a journalist covering a breaking news event or a marketer promoting a brand-sponsored event, these tips will help you effectively use social media to engage with your audience and provide comprehensive coverage.
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1. Plan Ahead
When it comes to covering real-time events on social media, planning ahead is key. This is evident in the coverage of high-profile events like the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Brands and media outlets planned their coverage well in advance, ensuring they were able to capture the attention of their target audience and capitalize on the buzz generated by the event.
To plan ahead for successful social media coverage, start by setting clear goals and objectives. Define the purpose of your coverage and the outcomes you hope to achieve. This will help you create content that is aligned with your business objectives and resonates with your target audience.
You must choose the right platforms for your coverage too.
Consider where your audience is most active and which platforms align with your goals. For example, if you’re targeting a younger demographic, platforms like TikTok and Instagram might be more appropriate than LinkedIn.
Lastly, create a content calendar that ensures you have a steady stream of content throughout the event. This will help you avoid last-minute stress and ensure all your posts are aligned with your overall messaging.
By following these tips, you can successfully use social media to cover events in real-time and achieve your business goals, just like Nike did during the 2019 Women’s World Cup with the Dream Further campaign.
2. Use Multimedia.
One of the other effective social media live tips for effective real-time event coverage involves using multimedia. This is a key way to capture your audience’s attention and keep them engaged.
Text-based updates can be informative, but adding visuals like photos and videos can help your posts stand out and make a bigger impact.
The same applies across all social platforms, from visual ones like Instagram and TikTok to Twitter and even LinkedIn, which is also a great social media scheduler.
So, here are some tips for using multimedia effectively during live event coverage on social media:
- Use High-Quality Visuals: To make the biggest impact, use high-quality visual content that is eye-catching and engaging. This could include photos of key moments, short videos that capture the atmosphere of the event, or even behind-the-scenes glimpses of the event.
- Mix Up Your Content: Don’t rely on one type of content alone. Instead, mix it up with a variety of formats, including photos, videos, and graphics. This can help keep your audience engaged and interested throughout the event. Additionally you can also add voice overs to your videos using text to speech software which makes your videos interesting.
- Share User-Generated Content: Encourage attendees to share their own photos and videos of the event using a branded hashtag. Choose a hashtag analytics tool to track a set of those branded hashtags. This can help create a sense of community and also provide you with additional content to share on your own channels.
One example of a brand that effectively used multimedia during a live event is Red Bull. During the 2019 Red Bull Rampage, an extreme sports event, Red Bull shared a variety of multimedia content on their social media channels.
That included high-quality photos of the athletes in action, videos of the most exciting moments, and even a 360-degree virtual reality experience that gave fans a taste of the event.
By using a mix of high-quality visuals and a variety of formats, Red Bull was able to effectively engage with their audience during the event, generating thousands of likes and shares on social media.
Follow the same principles and use multimedia to create engaging and impactful social media coverage of live events.
Generative AI can be a valuable tool to support real-time event coverage by producing large amounts of content quickly and efficiently.
For example, the AI content generator, Ask Writer, can help you produce tons of social media content within seconds.
This becomes all the more useful when you’re trying to keep up with the live event.
AI-generated content can also provide a fresh perspective on the event, identifying patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent to human creators.
By using AI alongside human creativity and expertise, content creators can produce high-quality, comprehensive coverage of events in real-time.
3. Engage with your audience
Engaging with your social media audience in real-time event coverage is essential for building a sense of community and keeping your followers interested.
Ask questions related to the event, respond to comments and messages, and share exclusive behind-the-scenes content to generate engagement and create a personal connection with your audience.
During the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, BBC and CNN used social media platforms to engage with their followers. They shared live updates, photos, and videos and encouraged their followers to share their own experiences and reactions using hashtags like #RoyalWedding and #HarryandMeghan. This real-time engagement created a sense of community and kept their followers up-to-date with the latest news and insights.
Sports media company Bleacher Report effectively engaged with its audience during the 2023 NBA All-Star Game, using its Instagram account to provide live coverage of the event.
They posted highlights and behind-the-scenes content and asked their followers to vote on the game’s MVP.
By engaging with their audience in real-time and sharing exclusive content, Bleacher Report generated over 5 million views on their Instagram stories.
Follow these principles of real-time engagement and exclusive content sharing to effectively engage with your audience during live event coverage on social media.
4. Collaborate With Other Media Outlets
Collaborating with other media outlets during real-time event coverage on social media can be a powerful way to expand your reach and provide more comprehensive coverage of the event.
Here are some tips for collaborating with other media outlets during live event coverage:
- Identify Relevant Media Outlets: Look for media outlets that have a similar audience and are covering the same event. This can help to ensure that your collaboration will be mutually beneficial and provide value to your followers.
- Coordinate Coverage: Before the event, coordinate with the other media outlets to ensure that your coverage is complementary and not overlapping. This can help to provide a more complete picture of the event and also reduce confusion for your followers.
- Promote Each Other’s Coverage: Share each other’s content on your respective social media channels and tag each other in posts. This can help to increase exposure for both media outlets and also demonstrate your commitment to collaboration.
One great example of a brand that effectively collaborated with other media outlets during live event coverage is the fashion retailer Nordstrom. During New York Fashion Week, Nordstrom partnered with various fashion bloggers and influencers to provide real-time coverage of the event.
Nordstrom shared the bloggers’ content on their own social media channels and also promoted the bloggers’ individual channels.
By collaborating with other media outlets, Nordstrom was able to provide more comprehensive coverage of the event and also increase exposure for both the bloggers and the brand. By following the same playbook, you can effectively collaborate with other media outlets during real-time event coverage on social media.
Effectively covering an event on social media simultaneously requires strategic planning, multimedia usage, audience engagement, and collaboration with other media outlets. By planning ahead, you can ensure that you have the necessary resources and strategy in place.
During the event, utilize multimedia such as photos and videos to provide more comprehensive and engaging coverage. Engaging with your audience through comments and messages can foster loyalty and increase your reach. Meanwhile, collaborating with other media outlets can expand your coverage to reach a broader audience.
Follow these social media live tips to help you cover events in real-time and provide valuable and engaging content to your audience. It’s a strategy guaranteed to help you generate reach.
About the Author
Harry Flynn leads the digital marketing team at Twicsy, a site providing services to Instagram users. He enjoys traveling and relaxing with friends in his spare time.