Five tips for getting better social content from virtual events

Even as an end to the pandemic is on the horizon, virtual events are likely to be a part of our lives for a while. It will take time to get back to normal, and many people will continue to want the convenience of attending from home. While getting great social content from online events isn’t as easy as sending a photographer or videographer to a live venue, there are some simple ways that social marketers can do better than fuzzy screen captures.

1. Record video
Zoom and most other conference platforms have built-in video recording functionality. Use it to get more engaging content and to open up options for video-driven platforms like YouTube and TikTok. In an hour-long event, there are usually enough great moments to edit into social-friendly 7- to 60-second second clips.

2. Create social moments
Even a celebrity with a big personality can be low-energy when they’re just sitting in front of their computer at home. Partner with your event producer to make sure social moments happen. Block out time for talent to do something active rather than talking all the time. Have them do a “show and tell,” take us a on a quick tour of their house, share their favorite dance move, introduce us to their pet, or anything that gets them out of their chair.

3. Join the Q&A
Many virtual events include a live Q&A with the audience. Sometimes people watching ask great questions. Sometimes they don’t. Make sure you have engaging content by seeding the session with questions designed to deliver quick, interesting sound bites. A few examples:
• Your best memory of ­­­­­­­­­­­___________
• Your top 3 ways to ____________
• Your best tip for ____________

4. Ask talent to capture images or video
The talent’s mobile device will always deliver higher-quality images and videos than a Zoom stream. Have the talent snap a quick selfie. Or if there’s someone else in the room, ask them to record a short behind-the-scenes video. Aside from producing better images or videos, this will give your audience a unique view of your talent that they may not have seen before.

5. Combine photos
What if your talent won’t approve video or go along with your ideas to make the event more engaging? Make your basic Zoom screen captures better by combining photos. Social platforms are optimized for 1:1, 9:16 or 16:9. Zoom fits none of those formats very well. By putting together three to four captures in one photo, you can create an image that’s the right size and tells a richer story about the event.

— Daniel Quentin Zuber

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