How Keeping It Simple Applies to Live Social Media

Zeroing in on a few simple best practices can ensure that your next live social media campaign runs according to plan

One of the most rewarding aspects of social media is the interaction you have with consumers. But an in-market, live social media campaign provides a deeper level of instant gratification, in-the-moment results and real-time engagement. Not many channels can so quickly raise brand awareness, sway sentiment and influence audiences.

As these types of campaigns become more creative and push new boundaries—some recent examples include a live fireworks display in London, epic Super Bowl halftime contests and live Times Square broadcasts—there’s no need to be overwhelmed by the gravity of the effort.

As with most things, zeroing in on a few simple best practices can ensure that your next live social media campaign runs according to plan and garners the desired results:

  • Be present: Having all major team players together provides a level of camaraderie and support that is essential to running a successful live social media campaign. Changes, questions and updates can be instantly relayed to the team. The “war room” situation—where social teams actually sit side-by-side with creative, production and marketing—is ideal. This smooth flow of communication keeps the campaign on track, especially in moments of flux.
  • Communicate: For those team members who can’t be on site, establish an efficient line of communication. For example, for a recent campaign, my team set up a dedicated chat room so that our globally distributed staff could chat directly with the team on-site, as well as with each other. In addition, be sure to share a complete contact list with the team and consider having the entire team logged into a messenger application such as Skype.
  • Dedicated support: A successful live social media campaign will keep on generating interactions after hours—it won’t stop when you do. So make certain you always have someone available in case of emergency. For instance, on a recent 48-hour campaign, we divided support into eight-hour shifts among four team members located in three different time zones. Someone was always available to help.
  • CMS tool: For larger campaigns, having an efficient, user-friendly content-management tool is key so that user-generated content can be moderated and actioned quickly and properly. Remember, your team’s role is to make split-second decisions that may be seen by millions. Don’t forget to include a quality assurance system so that items can be quickly removed, if necessary. You might even want to build in a slight delay, thereby giving yourself time to double-check content before it goes live.
  • Live feed: Wherever you set up camp or your “war room,” make sure to have visibility into the campaign’s physical destination. Broadcasting on the Jumbotron in Times Square? Have a live feed on a big screen. Running a Super Bowl campaign? Make sure the game is on a TV where everyone can see. Monitoring social media engagement? Set up multiple monitors with each channel visible. It gives purpose and context to your team and ensures that they never a beat—plus, it adds to the camaraderie.
  • Guidelines: Clear guidelines are also important to ensure that the content is consistent throughout the campaign. You might think rejecting violence, nudity or foul language goes without saying, but the less this is open for interpretation, the better. Work with your team to create a shared guidelines document that details what is allowed and what is not. Include examples, images, links and anything else that will reduce the risk of something slipping through that shouldn’t.
  • Team: Having an experienced and calm team is maybe the most critical element, as once your campaign is live, there’s no turning back, Make sure your team is knowledgeable not only on the campaign, but that it also understands the goals and values of the brand.

These simple seven elements will make your next live social media event smooth, efficient and successful. Stay calm, be prepared and don’t be afraid to challenge your audience. After all, isn’t that what makes social media so exciting?

Sherry Citron is an account director at global social media agency The Social Element.

Image courtesy of cacaroot/iStock.