Social Media and The Shard

To be fair, The Shard did an excellent job at keeping fans and influencers interested via their Twitter and Facebook Page. The website is immaculately designed and a visual feast with its amazing photography, typography and layout. They also included a livestream attached to both the Facebook Page and the website. The one item that was not thought out too well, if at all, was the live event social media strategy.

You would think that there would be one. It’s Europe’s tallest building. It’s the inauguration for crying out loud. It’s taking place in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Instagram just been bought out by Facebook for $1billion. Twitter’s big, Facebook’s big, yet no strategy for the actual live event itself?

Experience is the new currency. So, if you don’t maximise on experience, then you lose out. Like letting coins fall through a hole in your pocket. If you don’t leverage experience (in this case, a live event) then you are missing out on a lot of opportunities to engage with followers, influencers, and other conversationalists.

Perhaps they thought that they didn’t need it?

They thought wrong, as you can see in the following screenshots of post event feedback taken about 30 minutes after the beginning of the event:









I’m not being selective here. This is the full screenshots taken of a few quick Twitter searches that I did as well as the Facebook Page. And obviously, time stamped.

Here are some pointers that I have in mind next time someone does an event, especially a huge event like this. To be honest, I can seriously go on and on and on and on and on and… but I won’t. Because it’s 11pm and I have work tomorrow!

1. Have a live event social media strategy focusing on the live event itself. Not just the build up or the follow through. But THE live event. Every single minute of it (if it’s a short one).
2. Have a “If sh*t happens” live social media strategy. Not just the negative tweet variety, the “if something really bad like half the building slid off” type of strategy.
3. Retweet the interesting tweets and photos. I’m not saying it has to be positive, just…interesting.
4. Be cautious when posting photos of artist impressions and be clear that they are artist impressions, not the real deal.
5. Be interactive with The Conversationalists. And have a sense of humour (well, if so many are poking fun at it…).
6. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Just because everyone is touting the whole two way, social media highway thing doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can add a Facebook Comment Wall doesn’t mean you should (in fact, it looks tacky).
7. Test, test, test, before it goes live.
8. Before sending out material that involves logistics (ie where the crowd should be) double check that it’s actually correct. The Shard on Facebook published a map stating that one of the vantage points can be accessed when it turns out the vantage point itself was closed (Greenwhich Park). I may be wrong, but it doesn’t seem to be (just by judging a tweet or two) a sudden closure and therefore could have been something that was edited / avoidable for publication. Print is understandable. Digital, no.
9. Encourage some of the people at the ‘better’ vantage points (ie Gherkin perhaps) to live tweet from their view.
10. The Shard should have live tweeted its inauguration.
11. “Behind the scenes” that actually look like it’s behind the scenes.

Otherwise, I really like the photos on the Facebook Page. But it’s a bit of a shame that the live ‘social media’ experience itself wasn’t up to par.

But anyway, I might log in and buy those tickets at 9am BST tomorrow.

  • PS: If you’re wondering why I am writing this with such ‘enthusiasm’, I used to work in major events and social media. In fact I did a social media strategy for a very similar laser and light over buildings with music show/premiere last year.

Edit: Ok found a couple of funny Instagrams below…don’t worry The Shard, I think London still loves you.



Edit #2: The Daily Mail just published a gushy piece this morning with nice photos.