What is the best social media tool to cover an event?
For the Women in Innovation Summit, I chose Pinterest.
I was the roving reporter live-pinning the most important moments of this amazing event that took place on September 22nd, 2012. Panels, discussions, conclusions, tweets: everything was featured on the “WINS: The Day!” board, created exclusively for the event coverage.
“Tweets, you said?” That’s right! I merged Twitter and Pinterest by using tweets from WINS audience as the description of the pictures I took with my mobile phone and tablet. Whenever the tweet featured a picture, I would pin that picture as well, along with the tweet. I’d do this even when the picture was a low quality shot taken with a mobile device. Demonstrating the audience engagement was more important than the quality of the photo in this case.
Using these tactics, I was able to build a visual record of the event while the event was happening. Not afterwards. From the moment the doors of the Intiman Theatre in Seattle were ready to receive attendees to the final video presented by Reer Grrls. It was particularly important to me that the audience perceived that they were a crucial part of the coverage. The descriptions were mostly written by the attendees. This made the event’s pinboard serve as the attendees’ pinboard. Their vision, their insights, their conclusions. I was “the social media girl” who put all the pieces together.
Of course it is not as easy as it sounds. Not everything is pin-worthy. You don’t want to bug your Pinterest followers with a lot of similar shots. On the other hand, the board has to reflect the event. Just like a photo album that makes you realize the most important moments on a vacation trip, an event pinboard aims to invoke that “Oh, yeah” reaction, a click in one’s memory that brings back the inspiration.
I chose Pinterest as a live record for WINS because Pinterest has a lot of momentum right now. Pinterest extended the conversation and coverage, but of course Twitter played an extraordinary role in our strategy. A big thanks to Solveig Whittle and Connie Rock, fellow members of the social media team who helped me pin among other activities, and to WINS leader, Kristiina Hiukka, who put her trust in us to promote this event on Social Media.
So back to the initial question of this blog post: Is Pinterest the best social media tool to cover an event? My answer: there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to social media. It depends on the brand and where their audience is – it worked with Oscar de la Renta and their Bridal Show! But I also believe that you can move a step further and go beyond what the audience expects. Surprise your followers and be open to hearing the feedback. We’ve had a rewarding experience at WINS!
The Women in Innovation Summit is a groundbreaking initiative that brings together leaders – men and women – who promote innovation, technology and social change to generate ideas and potent innovations. The goal: solve the economic challenges we are facing today. The #pursepower movement is only one of the outcomes of the event’s first year. I am honored to be part of WINS social media team and help to build engagement by pinning and blogging for 4 months before the summit.