Live Blogging #marchmadness with Blyve

I love March Madness and one of the ways I keep updated with all the games is on my smartphone and thru a variety of blogs. In working with Blyve, they have a platform for live blogging the basketball games. Whether you are a super-fan of your UCLA Bruins or a sports blogger for ESPN, I highly encourage you to look at Blyve for these reasons:

  • Live blog your own comments/observations + curate content from Twitter
  • Have your fans/followers/community comment on your stream and bring in special guest for doing a moderated, engaging Q&A
  • Promote your special offers, affiliate links, etc..within the live blog using Blyve’s ad platform.
  • Take advantage of the pay as you go pricing plan and pay for only the unique viewers that attend your event.

All the details and a free trial are on the Blyve blog post titled:  Live Blogging #marchmadness with Blyve.

5 Tips on Live Blogging Your Next Event

This post originally appeared on Business 2 Community.

5 Tips on Live Blogging Your Next Event image 4939797017 56d7e96c971
Image Credit: Flickr User Zach Scott

Brands have a huge opportunity to engage with their community during product launches. No longer are you just having a press only event but brands have the ability to invite their communities that can’t attend the event in-person to a live engaging online event.  From a tactical standpoint having been involved with over 150+ online events with my clients over the years here are 5 tips:

1. Empower your employees

You might be a one person social media machine at your company but you can’t be everywhere at the event so train your employees to take photos, videos and post messages to their favorite social network about what’s going on from their perspective. A couple of weeks before the event, have a lunch meeting and update the team (product, marketing, event, customer support and pr) on the live blogging & social strategy.

2. Incorporate & Curate from Twitter

It’s without saying with any event that you produce whether in-person or online or a combo, a hashtag is helpful to amplify your message to influencers. Incorporate it into all the presentation decks, speeches, posters, badges, event marketing materials and the live video stream. Once it is incorporated, they key issue as a live blogger for a company is how are you going to curate that content in a moderated fashion. Not every tweet is going into your live blog stream so find a live blogging platform that can help you with the moderation flow/process.

3. Give your online attendees some love

So often in live online events, the online attendees are not highlighted or even given the ability to ask questions. For example, the Salesforce Dreamforce events do a great job of video streaming but a poor job of incorporated real-time user feedback into the presentations. Best thing you can do is the following:

  • Announce attendee locations – simple yet effective.
  • Take questions from the online audience – give a few mins of love and have a platform that can save questions for the right time during your event.
  • Raffle off a prize for online attendees or offer some exclusive content.

4. Have your social media toolkit ready for prime-time

Here is a mini-checklist of tools you should have at your disposal and shared with employees attending the event, if applicable:

  • SLR camera w/ external flash and if possible mobile lighting system (Canon 7D is my choice of camera)
  • Your preferred choice of mobile app publishing tools (depending on the client I use Blyve, Sprout Social or Hootsuite)
  • FAQ that includes answers to respond to common expected questions
  • Social content that can be referenced in the form of product launch videos, how-to videos, datasheets and screenshots. Store everything in Dropbox or similar service and make sure everyone has access to it.

5. Make it an integrated marketing campaign

Market the online event at minimum 2 weeks out if you have that flexibility. When marketing it make sure it is in all your event marketing materials, tell your partners/vendors to tune in and use your employee’s social influence to spread the word. As the owner of the live blog / online event, create a doc that is easy for everyone to cut-n-paste content into their specific channels. Provide small, medium and large copy blocks, imagery, links to share and your contact info.

In the words of philanthropist Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

If there is one thing that you leave from this blog post, empower a small team of bloggers with real-time engagement tools and real-time marketing content. If you have that in place you’ll have a successful live blog with community engagement that ties back to your business goals.

As always, comment below or ping me at randyk@blyve.com or @djksar on Twitter.

Happy Holidays!

You’ve Made It – Pitching TechCrunch & Using AngelList

Here is a recent presentation I gave to a group of Polish entrepreneurs at the Silicon Valley PAD in Menlo Park, California which is part of the U.S. Mac accelerator. If you have any questions or would like me to make this presentation at your accelerator let me know by contacting me at rksar@landon.com or tweeting @djksar.

Give Back with LLS on #GivingTuesday!

Randy Ksar:

Join me in supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on #givingtuesday!

Originally posted on LLS: Truly Relentless:

Mark your calendars for #GivingTuesday on December 3, 2013! This year, we’re forgoing Black Friday and Cyber Monday and putting our time and money towards giving back. We’re proud to share that The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is an official partner of #GivingTuesday and we will be hosting a live online event on December 3rd through our national social media pages.

Learn more about LLS’s partnership with #GivingTuesday and find out how you can give back here: http://givingtuesday.org/partner/the-leukemia-lymphoma-society/.

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Whether you give to LLS or any other non-profit organization, join us in giving back on Tuesday, December 3, 2013. Gather your friends, family, co-workers, peers and more and be a part of a national celebration of generosity on #GivingTuesday!

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Content Strategy Chat with Kevin Cain from OpenView Venture Partners 11/7 10am PT

Randy Ksar:

Join me for this live chat on content marketing Nov. 7th at 10am PT / 1pm ET! I’ll be moderating the conversation and taking your questions.
-Randy

Originally posted on Blyve: A Live Q&A Platform | Q&As, Live Blogs, Live, Live Chats:

Kevin Cain, Director of Content Marketing at OpenView VenturesJoin on our live chat on Blyve with Kevin Cain, Director of Content Strategy, at OpenView Venture Partners on November 7 at 10am PT / 1pm ET to discuss his recent e-book titled “It Takes a Content Factory”. The e-book is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to building the content factory your business needs to generate and nurture leads, enable sales, and establish your company as a thought leader.   With expertise in content marketing and corporate communications, Kevin has spent more than a decade working in the financial services and consulting industries and helping expansion-stage technology companies develop their content strategies.

Join us to be apart of the conversation and where we’ll cover the following topics:

  • The importance of content marketing and how the digital customer experience has evolved
  • Best practices in defining your audience
  • Structuring your organization and process to be scalable and effective in producing content
  • Connecting your content strategy…

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November 6th Is National Wear Your TNT Shirt Day!

Randy Ksar:

I’ll be showing my support on November 6 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Originally posted on LLS: Truly Relentless:

Join The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Team In Training (TNT) for National Wear Your TNT Shirt Day on Wednesday, November 6, 2013! Thousands of TNT teammates and their supporters across the United States and Canada will be wearing their Team In Training colors on shirts, pins, hats, jackets and more!

Since 1988, more than 600,000 TNT participants have raised more than $1.4 billion for LLS to help find a cure for blood cancer. November 6, 2013 will mark the 25th anniversary of TNT, so celebrate with us by participating in National Wear Your TNT Shirt Day!

Turn Facebook, Twitter and Instagram into a sea of purple by sharing your favorite pictures of you and your teammates in TNT gear. Wear your shirt and talk to people about your experience with TNT! The new seasons are just around the corner, so everyone can learn…

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Top 5 Tips on Redesigning Your Community #socialmedia

Vienna Service Design Jam 2012

Raise your hand if you have been thru a redesign project? Does it stress you out just thinking about it? Or do you envision the beer bash afterwards where you celebrating a 25% increase in conversions? Either way I’ve been there with you!  It is a long, hard process with lots of opinions however over the years I’ve learned the following tips when it comes to redesigning a community:

1. Always think of your customers

Sounds obvious but sometimes forgotten. You’ve been working on the site for 5 years and you think you know your customers – but wait! You haven’t surveyed them or done any focus groups. I’d highly recommend that and it doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. Look up who your active contributors are in your community now and give them a call or even better meet in-person.  Ask them what they want to see in a community and why they would engage with it. That can help shape your site, the engagement methods and even your internal community business process.

2. Use Activity Data within Your Design

The worst thing about going to a party is there is no one there that you know or just no one there at all – the same can be said in a community. If it doesn’t look like there is anybody to answer your questions then you might as well just leave the site and go to the competitors. Activity can be shown in many different ways either by latest conversations, # of registered users, # of users online, # of active conversations or perhaps your Twitter conversations, Try and incorporate one of those data points within your design.

3. Feature contributors/active community members

Reach out to the users that are providing great content in the form of answering questions in your boards, active on Twitter or even in the offline world (yes it exists) like conferences/meet-ups/events. This will allow visitors to the community to see who the other members are and at the same time allow your featured members to bring to their networks that they were featured on your site. That last part will hopefully bring you more traffic.

4. Empower your community to share

In 10+ years fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, one of the biggest mistakes that I learned is people don’t donate because they aren’t asked!  Don’t assume that people won’t donate and just ask them. Who knows they might be the big $1000 check and will find the next cure for cancer. How does this relate to empowering your community?  Of course, sharing content is all about creating content that is visual, engaging and sparks an emotional connection. If you do all of that you still need the sharing functionality on your blog, discussion boards and wherever on your site to allow community members to share to their favorite network (email or social network).  Look into sharing platforms like addthis or sharethis.  Use the analytics to determine how your content resonates with your community and their community.

5.  Scale your community content throughout your website and emails

The future of community design in my opinion is that it is going to weave into your main website. Most sites now they have a community tab in their main navigation and the sales process is totally separate.  The future (in 1 to 2 years) will change the design of communities and they will be treated as product features within your website. For example, you go to your product page to learn about the product but want would happen if you are given the opportunity to sign-up for the site to get notified when the product comes out (people do this now) but join in a conversation about how excited they are about the product, share it with their friends, find other friends who are else interested in buying or a local meet-up that will be giving a demo in the next month.    This is a fundamental change in philosophy for the web designers and marketers who are usually separate from the community or social media function.  Here are a few simple ideas without breaking the budget (this assumes you have a community now):

  • incorporate RSS feeds of your blog or featured conversations in your product pages or homepage
  • highlight members of the community in your e-newsletter and website
  • add reviews and ratings functionality (ping me if you need vendor recommendations)

Hope this has helped you think about community in a whole different way and make you think how your members or potential ones react to your content. Let me know if you are redesigning your community by taking the poll below and as always ping me if you need help for your specific community.

-

Randy Ksar
For community strategy consulting, call me at 408.409.9033.

Image courtesy of Flickr user _dChris’

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