Trade shows provide a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services to prospects in related industries. Still, the overwhelming size of many trade shows can make it difficult to stand out from competitors. As a result, tech savvy exhibitors often turn to social media to connect with potential clients and entice them to visit their booths. Check out these six suggestions for leveraging social media to target trade show attendees.
1. Tweet Why People Should Visit Your Booth – Use Twitter to disseminate your trade show promotional messages. Any information you’ve shared through direct mail, emails, and ads can be redistributed via social networks. Emphasize the unique and worthwhile things available at your booth, from new products and special offers to fun contests and giveaways. Start sending a few tweets each week one to two months before the expo. Be sure to use the show’s hashtag and your Twitter handle in all of these mailings/emails.
2. Include the Hashtag for Trade Show – Sorry, did I repeat that? This useful symbol is a hyperlink that lets viewers see all recent messages associated with that hashtag. Adding the show’s hashtag to your tweets increases the likelihood of reaching attendees both before and during the trade show– and reaching more of them overall. You could easily build on your network of followers this way. It’s possible to connect with potential vendors as well. As people begin to like you and follow you, be sure to thank them personally with a simply reply. Start collecting those contacts in your CRM database.
3. Pre-Schedule Tweets – Access any one of a number of Web programs that allows tweets to be planned and sent on a regular basis. You can plan your entire Twitter campaign in advance, freeing you up for other marketing efforts. You won’t need to constantly send new tweets since the information is already organized and scheduled for timely distribution.
4. Use Facebook for Professional Purposes – The leading social media network has grown beyond its focus on friends and become a powerful tool for both B2C and B2B businesses (more effectively for B2C). More and more companies are creating pages that allow them to connect with consumers on a more personal level. Prior to the trade show, set up a Facebook page (if your company doesn’t already have one) and start communicating in a more casual way with your clients and prospects. This is where your company’s culture and personality can shine through. It has been said that people buy from people, not companies.
5. Facebook Can Automatically Tweet – You can set your company’s Facebook page to automatically tweet whatever you post on Facebook. Be sure to include the hashtags and formatting so that your posting is equally clear and meaningful on both platforms.
6. Share News, Images, Videos from the Trade Show – Use Facebook as a “virtual booth” for people who couldn’t attend the actual show. Announce new products, valuable discounts and promotions, and anything you are sharing at the show. Gamification usually draws interest. You could even have non-attendees sign up for an absentee raffle of some sort; they will feel included and they’ll have a chance to win something.
More Ideas Next Time!
Meanwhile, how do you use social media in your trade show marketing? Share With Everyone!