What’s On

Unlocking the value of social media engagements during live events

The proliferation of mobile devices and social media platforms has caused a significant shift in the way consumers now experience live events. The conversations surrounding live events such as concerts, sporting events and music festivals are no longer limited to spectators or fans attending the events. Instead, fans are increasingly taking to social media platforms to share their experiences, pictures and videos, therefore extending the conversations to engage with their extended social community, potentially drawing in more viewers.

Live Nation conducted a study around the mobile habits of consumers during live events, and according to Wallach, President of Live Nation Network, consumers are highly engaged on their mobile devices during live shows. At those events, hundreds or thousands of social posts, photos, tweets, videos and status updates are generated but are usually dispersed throughout the internet. Marketers rarely participate and engage with all the live spectators who are sharing their collective experiences on social media.

It is easy to see how various brands are missing out on opportunities to capitalise on the influx of social media photos and updates generated by live spectators, by not engaging with audiences in the moment. It does not have to be this way.

This constant connection to mobile devices provides a brand with the opportunity to leverage passionate (and influential) audience members to take the conversation beyond the stadium and out to social communities, therefore reaching and engaging with an even broader audience.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is arguably the most social sporting event ever, according to the Adobe (ADBE) Digital Index. The conversation around the 2014 soccer championship has been found to be more global than the Olympics, Adobe found, and spans 230 countries. A recently released ‘Social Side of the World Cup’ infographic shows that, from a poll of over 850 men and women, 74.2 per cent of viewers will be on social media during the World Cup. What does it mean for you?

It is increasingly clear nowadays that the value of live events no longer resides in spending big bucks on expensive advertising or sponsorships. The real value instead lies in direct engagement with fans present at the actual event as well as those engaging with the live event from second-screen viewing via mobile devices. This allows for consumers to become part of the event – whether in person or if they’re watching it on television.

While social media marketing is not a new concept, real-time marketing is often undervalued. Monitoring the number of likes, followers or re-tweets on social media, just does not cut it anymore. What’s key is to engage in the ‘here and now’ with your social community as they share content about your brand in the social-sphere. Real-time engagement on social media platforms breeds even more engagement and this is what will eventually turn your customers into potential evangelists for your brand.

Social media platforms are all suffering from World Cup fever at the moment – from pictures, videos, comments, match analysis to trending topics such as Luis Suarez’s infamous bite. This explosion of data, that potentially carries a lot of valuable insights for your brand, can easily get lost amidst all the noise of the social-sphere.

To be able to capitalise on the social media engagement during live events, you need to be able to filter through the noise and capture all posts that are relevant to your brand, as they happen. That is the only way you will be able to engage in real-time marketing with local and highly engaged audiences. Partnering with the right location-based social media management company will help your business kill two birds with one stone; social media marketing as well as real-time marketing. The two types of marketing are often mistakenly treated as one and the same, but the real value in leveraging captive audiences at live events lies in real-time engagement.

The author, Jonathan Barouch, is the Founder and CEO of Local Measure. Local Measure is an Australian start-up that recently opened operations in Singapore and Miami. The agency helps businesses extract insights from social media platforms. Local Measure provides the tools to capture what customers are saying publicly about brands on social media.