Live event coverage perfectly showcases all that an event has to offer, and is also a great way to get people talking about the event--especially if the event is reoccurring, like a trade show, conference or block party. It is also an effective way to show people what they are missing, and get them thinking about going next year. If you are not doing social media coverage for your events, you're missing out on a big opportunity to grow your audience.
We've run the live coverage for a couple of San Diego's biggest block parties, as well Ignite San Diego. Taking and editing photos, posting videos, and contributing to event conversations on social media is a lot of activity to juggle when you are just one person. Most of the events we do, we cover via mobile on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, at the same time. To do it all effectively, I have cultivated a solid repertoire of apps and tools that I like to use in the field during the event, and for measurement afterward. Here are my favorites:
IPhone Apps for Engaging Social Media Posts
1) Manual - Custom Exposure Camera by Little Pixels - $1.99
I shoot (via my iPhone) in a lot of different lighting -- from dark conference rooms to bright outdoor events, Manual has helped to increase the quality of my photos in any setting. This app allows you to operate your phone's camera like a DSLR, manually adjusting exposure, shutter speed, focus, and more. I'm not a professional photographer, but my photos always come out looking pro with this app.
Night photos are almost impossible to capture on an iPhone, but by changing the exposure settings with Manual, you can easily capture beautiful night time photos.
2) Over by Over - $1.99
Over is an easy-to-use app that allows you to add text and artwork to your photos on mobile. I love using Over during events to add a hashtag, promote a contest or even to create a shareable quote. It has beautiful fonts to choose from, and seasonal artwork that you can buy as well. If you're willing to pay for all the add-ons, you can make some really incredible pieces. I keep it simple, and the effects still carry.
3. Pic Stitch by Big Blue Clip, LLC - free
Pic Stitch makes it easy to create organized collages of photos, directly on your phone. You can even edit the photos as you place them into the collage. I find it a great tool for showcasing photos that convey a certain theme from an event. The only downside of this app is all the annoying ads--you have been warned.
4. Repost by Red Cactus LLC - Free
Repost is my favorite way to #regram user generated content during an event, especially when it is posted by a member of the media, a performer or speaker at the event. Basically, Repost allows you to regram videos and photos on Instagram without losing the creators name. It is an effective way to leverage content while also making sure to give credit to the original Instagrammer.
5. Iphone's Native Photo Editing
Okay, so this isn't really an app, but this has been essential to my workflow during events. It allows me to quickly edit photos on my mobile phone and upload them to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. I've tried other apps, but nothing is as easy as the native editing tool. Easily adjust saturation, lighting, shadows -- you name it (and it's absolutely free).
6. iMovie Apple - $4.99
If you shoot a lot of videos, this is the most robust iOS app for video out there. It is perfect for editing the footage together, creating a photo slideshow, or just putting a professional polish on a short clip. It gives you a lot of the same basic editing tools that the iMovie desktop program does, but with some shortcuts thrown in (like choosing a filter). If you're serious about video, this is a fantastic app.
Tools for Social Media Measurement
7) Hashtracking - starts at $29/month
Hashtag activity is a big part of event measurement. It is one of the most accurate ways to measure the volume of social media activity around the event, as well as how many people were engaged during and afterward. Hashtracking is a very simple and straightforward tool that measures hashtag activity. It also gives you information on who used the hashtags, what devices they used it on, and other keywords used in association with your event hashtag. It's simple, but I've always found it useful. (Pro Tip: Take the deliveries and reach with a grain of salt. They are estimating based off of the number of followers of tweeters.)
8) IconoSquare (formerly Statigram) - free
There aren't too many tools out there that can give you as much data as IconoSquare does FOR FREE. Many of the tools that measure Instagram activity cost an arm and a leg, but not this one. You can get 30-day snapshots of data, including changes in followers, total likes and comments, and your most popular content. It also shows you when your audience is most likely to engage with your content. (Pro tip: You can only view stats in 30-day intervals, so be sure to check in every month to grab stats. If measuring for an event, log in the day before, then the day after to take the difference of those two numbers for the event stats.)
9) Facebook Insights - free
I cannot write about social media measurement without mentioning how valuable Facebook Insights are. If you are using Facebook for your event campaign, you will definitely want to download the page and post level insights to dive into data. Look at reach, impressions, engagement, and more for your page and get an idea of what works best for your audience. It's free and extremely robust -- there's no reason to not use it.
Do you have favorite apps or tools I may not have mentioned? Let me know in a comment! I'm always on the look out for new tools.