A (WIAD) for Everyone: Managing live social media

Posted on | Leave a comment

  • I’m working with World IA Day 2016 – a one-day (February 20, 2016), annual celebration focused on the practice and education of Information Architecture. As accessibility coordinator, I’m helping local events be welcoming to everyone.

    Twitter photo of Jose GutierrezThis post, with a template and tips for social media strategy comes from José René Gutiérrez Álvarez (@josernitos). He shared his experience with all the WIAD organizers. This is such great list of tips for live-posting an event that I asked his permission to include it in this series.

    It may seem far from accessibility, but there’s a similarity between live-tweeting and live captions or CART. Most of all, helping people keep track of what happens before, during, and after an event makes it easier for everyone to take part. 


    A social media strategy, template, and tips

    Your event is booked, we are only a couple days till the big day and this is the first event you broadcast on social media, I’m sure there are a lot of questions, and how you manage your local event will depend on the resources you have and also the attendees of your event.

    So, let’s start!

    Use content you create

    As you know, with the agenda + speakers + content of the talks/workshops, you can make lots of content with only those 3 elements.

    I recommend this “template”, but you can modify it:

    Before the event

    • Remind people of the agenda with an image so they can: Share it, comment, save it.
      Remind people the location of the event with a Google Map URL or image of the location + image of the venue.

    During the event

    • Remind people the upcoming speaker/talk, an hour before and 15min before. Could be image or text.
    • Post important quotes from the speaker
    • If you have the speaker presentation beforehand, make screenshots of important quotes/images you might be able to share. (Ask your speaker first).
    • If you want to post photos (cellphone or camera), get help from your team. This task involves being near the speaker, editing the photo or just sharing directly to your feed, but even though you will just take the photo and upload it, there is a lot of content going on: what the speaker is saying, the next speaker presentation, etc. So, If you are a social media team of one, just post 1 or 2 photos of each speaker. Don’t worry if it’s not an awesome professional photograph of the speaker or attendees in the time you have.
    • If people are not posting anything, remind your production team to mention the hashtag before the talks
    • If there is a broadcast, remind the url for other to watch.
    • If there is a broadcast, make screenshots of the event and say something that is happening or saying. People outside the venue want to know if something important is going on.
    • Remind the sponsors, local and global that made possible the event.

    After the event

    • Remember to post the presentations that are public. (Keep a list of urls with name of the talk)
    • Remember to thank the organizers of your local event! It’s been a huge task.
    • Remember to thank the local and global sponsors.

    Include content made by others

    I know most of the events will have a huge Twitter impact, but if the attendees are using Facebook or Instagram as their sole main medium of communication, then you should try to get those status updates to nurture your feed.

    If there isn’t a lot of content generated by the users, try to see if they are sharing more on other social media, if they are, encourage to use your main social media platform, if all fails, you can create a raffle for the people that send tweets saying they are on the event, or taking a photo w/ their coffee or anything.

    Why is this so important? Your event needs to have content generated by the users, that’s why this magic thing it’s called social media. (hehe)

    Be prepared for trolls

    So you have pre-created some content, people are sharing content (text, links, photos). But there is a troll in the event. Prepare for the worst, definitely this is something you don’t want in your event.

    If there is a user or group of users who are making digital noise on the feed, and they are in the event, I have found that the best solution is to point the problem — not on Twitter or Facebook, but  to announce the problem you are having. This is really effective method to make people stop the trolling.

    A few tips

    • Know your audience, understand the influencers of the event.
    • Tweet to them directly, make conversation, meet them on the event, people will be more helpful if they’ve seen your face.
    • Get to know each speaker, just a quick, hey my name is: _____ and I’ll be the Social Media Manager, so maybe I’ll be taking photos of you, etc. If you have anything you’d want me to publish before/during/after your talk, please tell me/send me the links (videos, audio, etc.)
    • Get early to the venue, at least 1 hour before.
    • Use wifi, hopefully the venue will have wifi connection.
    • Be prepared to run out of juice fast, bring an extension cord, bring extra batteries or external batteries.
    • Have a table and chair to use. If you are in just a seat like everyone else it can be awkward to manage everything. If people are publishing a lot of content, it’s better to use your laptop to monitor activity on Hootsuite or another program. Plus having a laptop + phone + battery, is going to be a mess, trust me.


    Read all the posts on making a (WIAD) event for everyone