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Welcome to Part 3!
Head over to Part 1 if you want to read about Setup and Team Management for your live social media coverage.
Or jump into Part 2 to read about your tools and social media workflow.
Prep – how to get ready to cover your event
Vitally important! With some thought gone into your workflow, you need to start getting ready for your event a few days in advance!
1. Get everyone’s Twitter handles & job titles
Speakers, panellists, attendees from your own organisation – get their handles and job titles, put them in a spreadsheet or text doc.
Now whenever you’re writing tweets, it’s easy to flip back to this doc as a reference, and to cut and paste their correct handles in.
Share this with your team! And if you’re using Slack, pin it as an important document in your team’s channel. Now everyone has it to hand!
Don’t forget to share it with any delegates from your organisation too!
2. Get the event running list
Obvious, really. Again, pin it in Slack.
3. Get the speeches a day beforehand & prep messaging early
Members of your organisation giving any speeches?
- Get the text of their speeches in advance. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to be tweaked a little more after they send it.
- Now cut the speech into tweetable quotes.
- Again, even if they differ from these on the day, it’s a moment’s work to edit them and post them live. You’re in the business of saving yourself seconds here!
- If you’re using Sprout, set the Queue times, starting at a point in the future (e.g. later tonight). Now when you’ve cut the speech into tweets and drafted them in Sprout, you can just click to Queue them, rather than save them as drafts.Why do this? Well, it keeps this content separate from the other content your team are writing and saving in the Drafts folder.Just don’t forget: at the end of the session, clear your Queue of any unused content otherwise it WILL be published!
Tools you need:
- Sprout Social to save the draft tweets / queue up content
- Some way of listening live to the speech so you can publish at the right time.
If you can’t access a live stream, agree with a Content Gatherer that they should attend the session, listen, tweak the tweets and press publish
4. Craft reusable visual assets in advance
You’ll want to vary the content you’re sending out so it’s visually appealing and not a list of text heavy he-said-she-said quotes. So invest some time and energy now in creating some image templates you can use with your tweets.
Useful options include:
- Speaker headshots with room for quotes – contact the event organiser to supply photos of the key speakers and panellists
- Generic image of event
- Generic image of panel / session / day info
- ‘Coming up’ image assets, with individual panel or session info
For all of these, you should of course make sure you include the event / your organisation branding and hashtag.
5. Create some blank templates, for unexpected content opportunities
If you’re doing your own graphic design then this is paramount. However, it’s also incredibly important if you usually use an external agency or designer to create your visual assets.
Basically during your event it’s guaranteed that a moment will come when a great photo comes in and you urgently need to post it.
You could just post it, sure, but the simple addition of your brand logo / messaging in the corner will really enhance your content and reinforce your presence.
- get hold of your brand logo files (.png with transparency, Illustrator or Photoshop)
- create new PSD files in the right social media sizes
- and arrange your brand logos / messaging in one corner as a new layer
- lock it in place
Now voila! When your Content Gatherer sends a great shot of the Prime Minister pausing to chat to your CEO in front of your event poster, you can whip open that template, drop in that image, brand, export and publish it in seconds!
Tools you need:
- Photoshop – create some PSDs in the right sizes for your social channels
- Canva – “amazingly simple graphic design software” online. And it is too! Create an attractive and social media consistent template (you can use the professionally looking example layouts as a start) and drag and drop in your assets. Done!
- Landscape – “streamlined image resizing”, also by Sprout Social. You can’t add logos, but you CAN just select your target social media channel(s), upload an image, and crop and download it in the right sizes for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc
6. Communicate activity in advance & explain the running order
Don’t forget, if you’re going to be deluging your followers with tweets and content from an event, you’ll want to remind them in advance – at least a few times – that tomorrow you’re going to be tweeting live.
Equally, make sure that those people who are actively following you during the event know exactly what’s going when. Set the scene. Give them timings and cues.
“Tomorrow we will be tweeting live from Music Impact 2017! Follow us for … ”
“Coming up next, the Artist Copyright session on….”
“The panel are now accepting questions from the audience.”
“Final question: What do the panel think about…”
“That’s the end of our session on Artist Copyright. We’ll be publishing our analysis in the next few hours, over at…”
“We’re breaking for lunch for an hour here. Tune in at 2.30pm for…”
“And that brings Day 1 to a close! Great sessions on …. And tomorrow promises ….”
“We’ve curated some of the best tweets from today, here….”
The wrap up
Event running over a few days? Be tidy!
You made it this far! Great. Now, when your day comes to an end you’re going to be tired and wanting a serious wind down (beers with the team will sound good). But at the end of the day, this is probably the only chance you’re going to get to prep for tomorrow.
It’s time for some super important chores.
Clear out your draft content
Purge your Sprout drafts! Cull the tweet ideas saved in that doc! Be ruthless! If something wasn’t good enough to use today, don’t leave it to clutter up your draft content and your thinking tomorrow.
Because when tomorrow comes, you’ll probably have no time or headspace to even remember what you were trying to say the day before, and the drafts from the day before WILL confuse you and your team and slow up your flow.
Tidy up the assets
Prune duds, sort and organise your folders. Apply a naming convention to your files. Tomorrow you’re going to be awash with content again, so 5 minutes renaming and filing content now means you’ll be faster and more efficient tomorrow.
Now you can relax. Great job! Wind down. Think about what you’d like to try out tomorrow…
(What’s that? This was a one day event? Lucky you! Now don’t forget to get those tablets back from your Content Gatherers, and log out of everything you installed – even delete the apps entirely! You don’t want to leave your social media channels wide open!)
What did we miss?
Every event is different and every event rewards you with new experience and tips. So what’s missing in this guide? Let us know in the comments!
Creative Commons license
William Jolly Bridge, by Andrew Sutherland https://www.flickr.com/photos/fishyone1/
Know someone who needs to know this?