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Social Media Event Coverage: Survival Guide for Small Teams

Less may be more when it comes to covering campus events on social media.

Not every event needs to be live-tweeted, for instance, and quality posts matter more than quantity, agreed participants in CASE's most recent #casesmc Twitter chat. The topic: how to survive and thrive as a social media team of one.

Moderator Abby Meyer, web content/social media specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical center, said some events are better suited to live streaming than live tweeting.

"I live tweet when there'll be a lot of sharable quotes," she shared during the chat. "Otherwise, live stream. It's more visual."

Whether live streaming or tweeting, choose one or two social media outlets to post live; later, choose your best posts to recap the event on your other channels, participants suggested. Several chatters also advised setting reasonable coverage expectations.

"Four or five well-crafted tweets over an hour is better than a live stream of rushed messages," tweeted Melissa De Witte, digital communications manager at the University of California, Santa Cruz's Division of Social Sciences.

Beyond focusing on quality over quantity, here are other event coverage tips for small social media teams from chat participants.

  • Prepare as much as possible ahead of time. "Pre-write content [and] storyboard shots you want to get," tweeted Erin Hanaburgh, coordinator of enrollment management communications at D'Youville College. Ask for copies of speeches or remarks to plan for quotes and photos. Pre-write tweets as drafts and publish once you know the speaker has said it, suggested Meyer.
  • Capture user-generated content with a hashtag. Aggregate tweets at the event with a visual tool like Tint or Tagboard. Seeing others' tweets and photos can encourage participants to share.
  • Get the essential information first. Focus on key quotes or high-quality photos of important moments. See if someone you know at the event can help round out your coverage. "At the very least, enlist people who have phones with good cameras. You can curate content later if you don't trust them to post," suggested Katie Pozzuoli, owner of On Target Media & Communications. Take photos throughout the event, even if you don't plan to post immediately.
  • Look for partners to help draft messages, take photos or take over social channels. "If it's a big event or conference, I look for student groups with a natural alliance to partner with. Usually they are willing," tweeted De Witte.

Read the full chat recap

This article is from the March 2017 BriefCASE issue of BriefCASE.