Social media has been a revolutionary tool in growing brand awareness and transforming how end consumers interact with and even think about companies. What makes social media so prevalent is the low cost associated with running accounts. Yes, certain functions and analytics come with a price tag, but in general, they’re inexpensive, easy to run and give you a voice that makes people connect with your message and corporate values.
Having a healthy conversation on social media going is good on a day-to-day basis, but even better to utilize during an event. That’s where picture and video sharing really take off in a meaningful way, and what better event than when you’re at a convention or a trade expo.
Social media for a trade show should focus on actually starting a conversation with people. You’ll need to be genuine and human in your interactions with people during the trade show to get more engagement. Use your channels to tag yourself with existing clients and partners at your booth and during the programming. This way you’re boosting their brands and help cement your partnerships. The best way to use social media during an event is to gain new followers. Encourage visitors at your trade show booth to follow you on your channels and then be sure to interact with them. This way you imprint yourself in their memory, and having met the people behind the account, visitors feel a stronger pull to engage with you online.
It’s a common practice for exhibitors to leverage their online visibility to draw attention to their booth at the event. If you’re active on your channels, then you tap into your existing professional network to come find you (outside of those clients and experts you’ve reached out to meet directly at the venue). Each trade show and fair has their own hashtag, or set of hashtags, that you can use to your advantage to alert to your target audience where they can find you. That’s how you keep the foot traffic strong and consistent throughout the entire event’s duration. It’s the most effective part of trade show marketing that doesn’t cost you a small fortune. Do not miss out on it!
Why should anyone pay attention to what you post on social media? What separates you from the other thousands of social media users posting about the trade show? The answer – value. Now that long tweets and twitter threads are a staple of the platform and video lengths are sufficient, you’re able to write longer posts that give value to the reader. Share something from a seminar that’s very useful, but not everyone might have had the chance to hear and learn. Or maybe you’ve found the best vendor in the venue, and you recommend the food and drinks. Whatever makes the experience of the user at the trade show better – that’s what makes them pay attention to you! You might even get re-shared from the official event accounts.
If you really want to drive interest in your brand and encourage purchases, then add promotions to your social media presence. Once of the best ways to engage with prospect buyers is to run great promotions during the trade show and continue them for a week afterwards. That way you retain attention for a good solid period after the event has concluded. Promotions always provoke sales, so it’s a win-win all around. Depending on what industry you’re in, giveaways can also be part of the social media marketing mix.
One of the biggest mistakes we see time and time again are brands that completely ignore visitors from a trade show after they pack up their booth and return to their office. Yes, it’s hard to engage with comments, likes and tagged posts, when you’re travelling and dealing with logistics, but the most important thing to keep the interest in your brand alive is to respond. Have one of your team be in charge of only social media on the entire trip back and then the days at the office. Make sure that you pay attention to the people who are kind enough to engage with you. Feeling seen, they will come back to you!
There’s more to be said about the capabilities of social media at a trade show, when used correctly, but this should steer you in the right direction.