One of the best ways to reach trade show success is through social media. In fact, trade shows and social media have quite a few things in common. They both use images to draw attention from crowds and both benefit from large, engaged followings. By combining the two, you can create more successful events that yield greater results.
Let’s discover how social media can be used to boost awareness and increase ROI.
Social media makes it easy to spread the word about your attendance at an upcoming trade show. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to make the announcement. To get people interested, do a countdown or offer limited information each day. Followers will be more likely to return for more and share compelling information with others.
Trade shows are an expense, but you can’t ignore them. They offer value and help your brand stand out among competitors. Unfortunately, one of the biggest complaints about trade shows is that they aren’t aggressively marketed. You might pour your budget into building a custom exhibit but not get much traffic because the event wasn’t well-promoted. By using social media, you can take this into your own hands and advertise your booth. Using the targeting features, connect with highly specific audiences most likely to attend the event.
An easy way to keep track of discussions is by developing a hashtag. If you have a branded hashtag, use it. Or, create a new one specific to your trade show events. Historically, hashtags were most popular on Twitter and Instagram, but they are used on Facebook and LinkedIn, too. Also consider using the official hashtag that was created for the convention. This way, your brand will be lumped into all relevant discussions.
Update Fans in Real Time
Take advantage of opportunities to generate discussion by making real time updates during the show. For example, you can ask visitors to upload a photo of themselves at your booth with your custom hashtag. Keep followers updated with images from the event as well as interesting news. These updates make people feel like they’re there, even if they can’t be.
Follow Up with Leads
When the trade show is over and the event cleaned up, the power of social media does not stop here. Follow up with leads captured from the show. You may choose to send an email or place a phone call, but not all leads will be ready to convert. However, many will be happy to connect with you on social media. Use these channels to reach out to leads, follow their pages and share valuable content.
Chances are, you already have a social media presence. Leverage this for your next trade show and enjoy greater success.