Social media was made for live programming.
The platforms – from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and YouTube – were built for real-time interactions. Videos, photographs and status updates can be published almost the instant they are created.
So why have so many brands have become addicted to social media editorial calendars that put a premium on canned content written weeks in advance?
Editorial calendars are valuable organizational resources, but should not be the primary driver of content. They need to the help administer content – not drive the creative process behind the content.
This is why many brands end up publishing content that has been filtered through so many channels – and edited and rewritten so many times – that is resembles a bland mound of overly boiled mashed potatoes.
Social media needs spice. It needs flavor.
Here are three reasons why live social programming can add sizzle and flair to any social media content strategy:
1.) Live events are electrifying
From NFL games to the Oscars, live events produce energy. One of the primary reasons for this is because they are one-and-done experiences. Every NFL game has a different outcome. Every Oscar telecast is unique. No matter how many times the Rolling Stones play a concert – each one stands on its own as a singular experience. That’s why rock concerts are better than going to the movies. It’s why watching a live baseball game is better than watching a taped one – even if you don’t know the outcome. Live events feed on the energy of those attending to create electricity. Canned content can rarely come close to producing this kind of sizzle.
2.) Live events have a built in storyline
And guess what? People love stories. And guess again? So do social media platforms. Stories are the lifeblood of social interactions and live events have the advantage of having a built in narrative: a beginning, middle and end. The beginning is the announcement of the event and the anticipation for it to happen. It is the experience of buying the tickets to the U2 concert, gearing up for the Super Bowl party or making the reservations to go to SXSW. You feel eager and excited about what is to come. The middle is the experience itself. You are there! The baseball playoffs are happening. You are finally in your seats for the circus performance. The action is happening around you! You feed off the energy of those around you! The ending is talking about the experience afterwards. Analyzing it. Recounting it for your friends and family. Reliving it through your photos and memories. Each and every live event has this narrative arc.
3.) Live events are unscripted
Nobody can predict what will happen at a live event. That’s the magic of it. No scripts. Who will win the game? You have to watch it to find out. What songs will the band play? You have to be there to listen. What will happen at the trade show? If you’re sitting at home, you’ll never find out. Live events get this chaos factor to help build the excitement.
Brands shouldn’t be afraid of the sizzle of live events. It should embrace them as powerful ways to excite, connect with, and energize their fans and customers.
Social media was built for going live. You don’t buy a sports car to drive in the breakdown lane. So you shouldn’t have social channels pumping out canned content.
Go live. You won’t regret it.