Engagement. It’s what sets great live events apart from merely good ones. You can have the most interesting content in the world to share, but if your audience can’t get involved and provide input and feedback, you may as well have just made a video. With over 1.5 billion people around the world using social media platforms, they’re the natural choice for getting audiences at home or at work to engage with your livestreamed event. But as many event organisers have discovered, strong social engagement requires a little bit of encouragement, and a lot of planning. Here are our top tips for social integration that really gets results:
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Get the conversation started well in advance of the event This is something we see companies fail to do time after time. Starting, and more importantly nurturing, a social conversation in the run up to the event doesn’t just help increase engagement, it can also provide a significant boost to attendance. For the best results, get things moving in earnest at least six weeks before the event.

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Make content relevant with a strong social Q&A section. Don’t just take 10 minutes at the end to answer a couple of questions – dedicate a good chunk of time to it. For many audience members, the Q&A is the most valuable part of the event. It’s also a good idea to have a couple of pre-prepared questions ready to get things started – nobody likes being the first one to talk!

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Don’t just use social to promote the event, shape the event with social input. It’s important that your event and the social conversations related to it don’t feel like separate entities. Cross-promote them and use the content and conversation of one to shape the other. Your live event is a broadcast, but it’s extremely important to listen and react to your audience too.

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Get the speakers involved. If your speakers are respected thought leaders in their field, they’re probably going to be pretty well connected on social – with lots of followers that could be potential viewers of your event. Getting them involved in your social conversation also helps bring their ideas to life in a personalised and relatable way, adding value for your audience.

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Let your audience talk where they’re most comfortable (and most productive). Let your audience talk where they’re most comfortable (and most productive) Live chat is commonplace for livestreamed events, but, in our experience, conversation there can break down fast – with it frequently turning into a tech support channel. Conversations stay more focused through attendees’ social channels of choice, and using their own established identity helps keep the input productive.

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Dedicate a team to managing the conversation. All too often organisations take a “fire and forget” approach to social integration. For a conversation to bloom, it needs to be nurtured and guided – and that requires a dedicated team and a clearly defined strategy from the start.

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Let attendees see their contributions. When people can see their social contributions in real time they’re far more motivated to get involved and give their two cents. On-screen feeds or scrolling ticker tape at the bottom of the livestream provide the perfect way to visualise the social conversation.

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Sweeten the pot with an incentive to participate Everyone loves a good competition, and a live event is the perfect opportunity to host one. Incentivise social engagement with giveaways or any other proposition that’s of high value to your audience and watch the comments roll in. But beware: the key here is making sure that you incentivise productive contributions. Simply asking for retweets isn’t going to add a great deal to your conversation – it’s just going to make you look desperate! By putting these tips into action, you’ll be well on your way to hosting an engaging event that your audience loves getting involved with.

Need advice on integrating social tools in your next live stream? Get in touch, advice is free.

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