Many small business owners have started to strongly incorporate social media into their marketing plans for their trade show events. Social media can be a powerful way to break through the overwhelming distractions in a convention hall and drive traffic to their booth. So what are some social media methods to make an impact at your next trade show?
Twitter’s influence continues to grow as does the number of trade show events and attendees using Twitter. If your target customers are the least bit tech oriented, smart phone carriers, then Twitter should be part of your social media marketing strategy for your next trade show.
How To Use Twitter At A Trade Show:
- Find out if the tradeshow is using a hashtag (example: #tradeshow) to share news and events with attendees and start using it.
- Follow any of the users who are using the #tradeshow hashtag you identify based on their Twitter profile to be a prospective customer.
- Follow the show organizer on Twitter and retweet their posts. Oftentimes when you support them via retweets, they “spread the love” by retweeting your comments, or occasionally retweet your tweets, giving your business more visibility.
- Publicize your booth number. Invite people via Twitter and offer something special that nobody else will get unless they are retweeting your tweet. Or offer a sample or free trial of your product/services for a retweet.
- Twitter only contest. Have people visit your booth, take a selfie there and use a special hashtag and the event hashtag to post it to Twitter.
Over a billion people use Facebook around the world. Millions of Facebook users log-in daily via their smart phones to stay in touch with family and friends. Increasingly, they are following their favorite brands and companies on Facebook.
If your business is one of those Facebook pages being followed, not only will you have that person’s attention when your post comes through their Facebook timeline regarding your trade show, but you could get their friend’s attention should that “fan” of your page like or add a comment to one of your Facebook posts.
How To Use Facebook At A Trade Show:
- Follow the trade show’s Facebook page.
- Post questions regarding the trade show, the special events at the show and other relevant information (like where to stay or best places to eat in town) that will help you get more engagement and exposure.
- Promote the trade show, your booth number in the exhibition hall on your company brand page.
- Pin a post to the top of your page promoting your trade show special offers or contests.
- And don’t forget to “friend” attendees or fans of the trade show exhibit’s page.
LinkedIn is a powerful social network with over 100 million users in the United States. LinkedIn has a fantastic “groups” option, so getting everyone into a particular trade show event is easy. Hopefully your upcoming trade show event manager has created one for their trade show. And that’s just one of the LinkedIn tools that can be used for a trade show.
How To Use LinkedIn At Trade Shows:
- Join groups and engage in “conversations” or start one yourself in trade groups related to the show. Share your blog posts (if you have them) and thoughts about the industry or market to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
- Use your LinkedIn “share an update…” to show your upcoming contest, special events leading up to the trade show.
- Connect with people going to the show. Tell them where to find you at the show. Start building a relationship with them.
- Don’t forget to look for similar business interests/connection that you have in common with fellow attendees. Use that “common ground” as a reason to have a conversation at the trade show. It’s a powerful way to genuinely build a business relationship with a prospect or deepen one with an existing customer.
Google Plus has the distinct advantage over other social media networks simply by being Google. Drive traffic and interest to your trade show booth and consider after-show bonus content. It will be indexed into Google’s search results.
How To Use Google Plus At A Trade Show:
- Post updates with pictures. Keeping your feed moving with images, thoughts and ideas about what’s happening at the trade show.
- Live video streaming with Google Hangout. Google hangout allows you broadcast from your event (hopefully the exhibition hall has WiFi or your company has planned for it) for people who aren’t there to see what’s going on and what you’re presenting.
- Circles and events. Google+’s Circles feature give you the chance to organize your Google contacts based on where you met them or what type of person they are: prospect, customer, partner, peer, etc.
- Upload the Hangout to YouTube.
YouTube is owned by Google and provides a powerful visual opportunity to build trust, buzz and connect with people interested in your products or business.
How To Use YouTube At A Trade Show:
- Create quick little testimonial videos from customers. If you have a current customer visiting your booth, it’s a great opportunity to capture a quick 30 second video testimonial. Powerful stuff.
- Take a video of the activity at your booth. Show off the number of people visiting the booth. Participating in the trade show contest (you do have one don’t you?), a presentation being given or special event speaker.
- Don’t forget to link to your company’s website within the description of the video as you upload it to YouTube. And make sure your description describes what is happening in the video. Don’t just upload videos with no information.
Whether your company is tweeting, engaging on Facebook, posting videos to YouTube or using LinkedIn to connect with and develop stronger relationships with your prospects or clients, social media is an incredible asset to leverage and expand your trade show marketing to:
- Create pre-show buzz.
- Drive traffic to your booth.
- Increase your brand recognition.
- Expand networking opportunities & deepen relationships.
- Promote special offers.
If you’re not using social media marketing for your trade show, you’re missing out on customers and losing them to your competition.
If you are using social, what other social media marketing ideas have you or your company used that have generated great results in driving traffic to your trade show exhibit?
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