Since COVID-19 hit, we’ve seen almost all major events move online and people scrambling to figure out how to make them work. From Hollywood award shows to industry conferences, they’re all virtual in some capacity. By now, it’s likely you’ve sat through a conference or event yourself and have seen an array of ways these can be conducted; some informational and entertaining, some maybe not as exciting. If you’re trying to figure out how to make the most out of virtual events on social media, we’ve got a few suggestions and ideas for how to make them successful.
Social Media Live Streaming Options
Thankfully, over the last few years, social media platforms have been working to increase reach for audiences by allowing live stream videos on their platforms. Whether it’s an impromptu conversation between thought leaders at a company or a planned out & pre-recorded discussion, all major platforms have some way to host this video.
One of the most recent networks to roll out live streaming capabilities was LinkedIn, and just in the nick of time. LinkedIn has done great work in helping companies and brands host corporate events online. Their two options of LinkedIn Live or LinkedIn Events have different purposes and aim to help your brand achieve the right goals for the event.
- LinkedIn Live: Live broadcasts are public and accessible to anyone across LinkedIn. Ideal for top-of-funnel activities since you can connect with and engage and broader audience.
- LinkedIn Events: Private events that only attendees can access. You’re able to plan and schedule events in advance and create materials that engage your audience before, during, and after the event.
Time Considerations for Your Virtual Events
Our attention spans differ throughout the day, so it’s important to try and set the event at a reasonable time. An event first thing in the morning might not be the best idea for people who haven’t had their coffee yet. Alternatively, an evening event may not work for people who are finally getting to see their families for the first time all day. A late morning or early afternoon event can help get the engaged audience you’re hoping for.
We understand the difficulty in accommodating different time zones as well. Because of this, we recommend sending out a recording after the event, giving people the opportunity to watch and learn on their own time, which could prove beneficial.
Keeping Your Audience Engaged
When you’re sitting at home at your desk or on your couch listening to a speaker, we can admit it, it’s easy to lose focus and get distracted. Between the emails, Slack notification, or pets running around, you might not have as engaged of an audience as you’d like. When you’re hosting a virtual event, add an element of audience participation that can help keep them engaged.
- Polls: A multiple-choice poll is a great way to not only engage your audience, but you can also get valuable information relative to the topic at hand
- Q&A Responses: Asking the audience to type a quick response in the chat (where are you from or what’s your job title) is a quick and easy way to generate active participation rather than wondering if the people on the other side of the screen are listening.
- Reactions: Using the reactions on the different platforms are a great way to get the opinions of your audience, too.
- Off-Channel Conversations: If you have a larger event where you want to encourage group discussion, consider the live tweet element or creating a sub-Reddit or thread in your brand’s Facebook Group for additional conversation.
Consider Leveraging an Audio Cue
One final tip that we picked up from attending a recent Facebook webinar, have some sort of audio cue that can bring the audience back to focus and listen to key takeaways. Whether that’s a bell, a text-tone, or even a dog bark, it can help catch the attention of your audience and bring them back in.
Virtual events on social allow for more accessibility to people who have wanted to attend in the past but couldn’t in person, they’re budget-friendly, and frankly, the only option right now for most. If your team is looking to host a live event on social and could use some help, we’re here for you! Feel free to contact our team today to get started.
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