Especially if you are running a small to mid-sized business, you may find you’re running at maximum capacity to keep up with fielding an effective presence at trade shows. Trade show marketing is continually evolving, and it can be a struggle to keep up with the latest ideas, techniques and tactics. Combining social media marketing with your trade show marketing plans sounds like it could be expensive and time consuming. Large companies spend a lot of money on social media marketing, as well as research and development of new ways to profit from social media marketing. You can actually take advantage of their research and experience by adapting and using some of their strategies for your own gain. Don’t make the costly mistake of trying to ignore social media marketing. You don’t need a dedicated department to gain significant benefits from adding some social media marketing tactics to your trade show plans.
How Do Trade Show Marketing And Social Media Marketing Fit Together?
Trade show and social media marketing feed into each other in a way that causes your brand and product exposure to grow like a snowball rolling down hill. Yes, you’ll put in some work to make the snowball and get it to the top of the hill, but once you’ve done that, it will begin to expand on its own as it gains momentum. Here are some of the simplest ways to incorporate social media marketing into your trade show plans. The tactics may be simple, but the results can be quite impressive.
- Hitch A Ride On A Hashtag – Hashtags are the single most important thing you can learn about social media. It’s far too complex a topic to explore here in depth, but one way you can use them immediately, to great effect, is to include the most popular hashtags that are genuinely applicable to your every post. For example, if you’re posting about your booth at South by South West, includes your own tags and #SXSW. Most large events have several tags, so do some homework and find out which are the most popular ones that apply to your post. Doing this means that your post will gain much broader exposure as people search for the more popular tag you’ve included. Free publicity.
- Investigate Instagram – Instagram is arguably the most valuable social medium for businesses. There are several points to support that argument. Instagram allows longer posts than Twitter, so you can post in Standard English instead of cryptic jibberish. Instagram is, obviously, visually driven, so you get to use photos and graphics with click-through links on your posts. Unlike Facebook, Instagram doesn’t throttle your posts to the point that no one sees them. When an Instagram user makes posts, his connections see that post. The frosting on Instagram’s cupcake (and many will tell you that the frosting is the best part!) is their auto-post interface. It’s reliable and most Instagrammers use it to cross-post their Instagrams to all of their connected accounts. That means when someone posts about your business on Instagram, it’s highly likely that it will also go out on Twitter and Facebook at least, and possibly other media, as well.
Plan For A Post-Worthy Trade Show Display
You don’t need a giant budget, a super-model, or a giant Ferris wheel to create a post-worthy display. One cost-effective way to make a post-worthy display is to use banner stands. Place one near your booth with a great photo, graphic, or saying, and a hashtag on it; pick the right thing and people will line up to take a picture with it. Create a series of banners and place them around the venue for a photo scavenger hunt, which, incidentally, is a rather popular pastime on Instagram. It may sound like a silly idea, but you may find it surprising how willing people are to do these kinds of fun, silly-sounding things.