Live events are a great way for news companies and publishers to connect with their users during active coverage. Users get the chance to share and discuss their opinions on developments as they occur. Newscasters and media publishers are very aware of how engagement plays into keeping viewers invested in their brand.
However, any publisher that covers a live event needs to keep a close eye on the conversation log to make sure healthy discussions are taking place. Off-topic discussions and arguments can quickly bring down the mood and drive away visitors, so it’s important to take an active role in guiding the flow of discussion and encouraging appropriate conversations during your live coverage.
Remember that while a live blog can be a highly effective tool for engagement, there are several unique aspects of a digital audience that you’ll have to account for, such as differences in nationality and political opinions. But with the right approach, you can easily stimulate the kind of discussions that benefit and promote your brand. For more tips on hosting a live event, you can also consider visiting Viafoura.
Get Involvement with Polls
Polls and surveys are a great way to get your viewers to interact with you. They don’t require much time to set up, and can help focus discussions around your news coverage. With the appropriate software or platform, all you need is to set up the poll and ask a question to get responses and stimulate conversations.
Polls can also provide important data points which can be used to improve your website or determine which topics garner more attention than others. This data can automatically be recorded as the live blog operates, and can be analyzed at a later time. For the best effect, it’s best to utilize software solutions that provide data analysis functions while allowing integration into your website.
Questions & Answers
Your moderators and community managers can direct questions to the chat in a strategic manner to guide the flow of conversation and shift it away from undesirable topics. It’s recommended that your questions remain open-ended, with no clear right or wrong answer, as this will garner a wider variety of responses from your viewers.
When it comes to live blogs, these kinds of questions will get the audience involved with your content, and the variety of responses can easily lead to further responses and discussion. This also has the added benefit of letting your viewers know that you’re taking an active interest in their discussion, and that you value their responses and opinions.
There are several guidelines that should be used when phrasing your questions to promote activity and discussion within your live blog:
Avoid Yes or No Questions
If provided a simple yes or no question, your viewers will answer with just that – a yes or a no. This does little to stimulate further discussion and doesn’t encourage conversation or contribute to engagement. Instead, phrase the question so that your viewers can share their personal viewpoints and opinions.
Be Clear and Simple
Sometimes, a complex question can throw people off. If your audience is unable to follow the implications of your query, or if it’s too high-minded for them to follow, it’s very likely that their confusion might lead to frustration and boredom, driving away potential leads and subscribers.
Instead, break complex questions into simpler ones when attempting to engage your audience. Based on their answers, you can utilize follow-up questions to direct the conversation towards the point you’re trying to reach.
Answers Can Lead to More Questions
Responses are key towards continuing conversations and following specific trains of thought. This involves not just building upon audience responses, but also providing your own based on the topic at hand.
Make sure that your responses take into account and actively address audience opinions, since it’s a good way to show that you’re invested in what they have to say. Providing responses is best handled by someone well-versed in the live event’s genre, so make sure to select the right staff to take on this role.
Take the Time to Respond Effectively
Interacting with your viewers in between segments is key in building audience engagement and retention. That being said, responding to many viewers’ comments as they submit their opinions and comments may seem difficult to manage. The best approach is to focus your attention on specific comments that lead to interesting discussions and interesting viewpoints.
Remember that while it’s okay to provide personal opinions, your responses during live events should remain neutral and unbiased. Most news media brands and digital publishers follow a standard policy of reporting the facts and events without any filters or bias, and this is usually a good approach towards framing your responses during conversations as well.
Ensure that your commenter avoids conveying any type of favoritism or support for one viewpoint over another unless it has been officially approved through the right channels.
Deploy a Community Management Team
To step up your level of engagement and ensure you maintain a notable presence in audience conversations during live events, it’s best to have a group of employees ready to participate as moderators and commenters. While it’s quite clear why participating as a commenter is important for activating audiences, moderators are also necessary to enforce community guidelines and prevent any toxic behavior.
Your moderators can also provide their responses during the discussion, and depending on the scope of your coverage, you might decide to consolidate the role of moderator and commenter for an event.
Having several members of your staff present during these events also ensures they can respond to multiple individuals and comments within a short time frame.
Conversation during live events is one of the most important strategies that digital media brands can leverage towards audience engagement. Maintaining healthy, productive, and impactful discussions during your live event coverage is a key aspect of whether your viewers will continue to interact with your brand or leave to find a better source for news.
It adds a social aspect to streams and events that would otherwise be monotonous, allowing the audience to actively discuss new developments and experience the true value of a digital viewing experience.