lady on phone at an event

Hundreds of events have used our Instagram wall, Twitter wall, and other social media apps to power live social feeds at product launches, corporate mixers, weddings, charities, school pep rallies, church functions, community gatherings, fundraisers, and more. Events such as SXSW, the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, and the Equinox Anniversary Parties have used live social media feeds to supercharge the attendee experience and their event marketing strategy.

Read on to learn why live social media feeds are a must-have at any modern-day event:

1. Create a “Techie” Atmosphere

Social media and digital technology are both here to stay. There’s no better tool for establishing a tech-savvy atmosphere at your event than featuring a real-time digital display for your attendees to interact with using social media.

live social media walls for events

2. Increase your sponsorships

We’ve written extensively about the benefits of using live social media feeds in your event sponsorship strategy. If your event budget relies on sponsor contributions, your live social media feed is a perfect asset to use in a premium sponsor package. Make sure the social media display software you choose has the ability to show sponsor images or videos alongside your social media stream. Read the post linked above for more ideas about how you can incorporate your sponsor into your event’s social media strategy.

3. It’s fun for your attendees

People love seeing their own face, photo, or words on a screen. It’s the reason why stadiums invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into systems that let fans text to appear on the jumbotron. We discuss the psychology of live social media feeds in more depth below.

Fun fact: At Enplug we frequently witness users so surprised to see their social media post appear instantly on a screen that they’ll take another photo of the screen with their original post on it. They’ll then share this second photo (taken of their first photo) to the screen again. We call this effect of 2x engagement ”screenception”, or engagement driving engagement. The term screenception was coined by one of our earliest users who witnessed this effect.

screenception social media display

4. Increase Participation

People attend events in order to actively participate in a social activity. Providing a live social feed will make your audience feel more actively engaged.

The social display acts as a central hub for the conversation taking place at your event, showcasing your hashtag and the conversation taking place around it. By giving attention to what they say, you’ll give event-goers the feeling that you care and want them to post, triggering more conversation.

5. Create more user-generated content for other marketing materials

You’ll be able to use the images and messages your attendees share in other marketing materials after your event. You could choose the best Instagram images your attendees posted and compile them into a “Top 10 Moments” album to send out after your email, or share on social media to let the world know how great your event was. You can use tweets, checkins and Facebook wall posts captured during your event as quotes on your website, or re-share them on social media.

For example, Red Bull aggregated all photos across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more mentioning their #shareyourwings hashtag into a single website. They also rewarded participants with free Red Bull products.

redbull homepage

6. Raise awareness before & after the event

Let people who didn’t attend your event know what they’re missing out on. When an attendee tweets or posts an Instagram photo onto your live social media feed, make sure to like, comment, or re-share it with your own social followers! Sharing an organic post from your attendees is a much more trustworthy way to show the internet how great your event was. If your event takes place regularly, your attendees’ fun social posts will make for a compelling reason to attend future events.

7. Draw attention & drive traffic to specific activities

Use your own social media feeds as a communication tool, and tweet to let your attendees know about activities or sections of your event they might not have known about otherwise. If your event has a schedule, tweet each time a new activity is starting or ending.

8. Gather more feedback (without surveys!)

Your attendees will organically share their good and bad experiences on your live social feeds, and there won’t be any need to bother them with a survey. The good feedback will let you know what you did well, and the negative feedback will help you identify areas for improvement for future events.

Whether you show all of the feedback on your display is up to you, although in most cases you should probably filter out the negative feedback (if you have any).

live social media display content

9. Save on printed materials

If you’re going through the trouble of setting up a digital display to showcase your live social media, why not double your benefit and use it for other digital media as well? Not all social media display software supports other types of content, but if you choose the right one (like Enplug), your opportunities are endless. Consider featuring images, videos, RSS feeds, blogs, news, weather, and any other update on your screens alongside your social media for additional utility.

digital signage instagram

Bonus: Ideas for specific event types

  • Weddings: your family and friends will be taking tons of Instagram photos of your beautiful wedding, why not feature them for all to enjoy? Past weddings have also used Enplug’s Graphics app to show pictures and videos of the bride & groom alongside the social media.
  • Corporate Events: increase team morale and bonding by encouraging your employees to share their experience at your event on your Instagram wall. Teams will take fun group photos for the memory books, and teammates will snap photos during team building activities. You should use the photos taken during the event in a newsletter sent out following the corporate event to show what a success it was, and remind everybody of the good times had.
  • Product Launches: a product launch is all about generating buzz. What better way to capture the excitement of your attendees than to feature it on a live social media display?
  • School pep rallies: get your students pumped by sharing fun photos of your sports team at your pep rally. Social media is a fantastic vehicle for a strong rallying cry before game-day that will reach beyond your attendees and to all students on the internet.
  • Charities & Fundraisers: drive more donations by having your donors announce their participation in your charity on your live social media display. By drawing attention to the altruistic individuals supporting your cause, you’ll create momentum that will sweep up others and increase your total donations.
  • Conferences: more and more conferences are using a unique hashtag for visitors to use during the event. Live social media displays can be used to let visitors know where they can share their thoughts to. Conference hashtags are also great for collecting marketing collateral after the event’s over.