Our world is increasingly defined by social media. We connect, schedule and engage through technology, and posting, tweeting and messaging are a part of our daily lives. When hosting a trade show, social media can be a fun, powerful and cost-effective way to engage your target audience and turn attendees into promoters and potential clients. Want to engage effectively? Here are 7 strategies to maximize your trade show social media presence.
1. SET YOUR GOALS
The first question you should ask yourself is, “What do I want to accomplish at this trade show?” Is your goal to:
- Draw crowds to your booth?
- Launch a new product or line?
- Position yourself as an innovator?
- Celebrate a company milestone?
Social media can help you do all of this, as long as your strategy is truly aligned with your goals.
2. LAY THE GROUNDWORK
A good social media strategy should start long before the doors to the convention floor open. Once you’ve committed to the show, you should:
- Follow the sponsoring association on Facebook and Twitter.
- Pay attention to their hashtags and incorporate them into your strategy.
- Become an active poster and re-tweeter.
This will help you connect with your fellow attendees and raise awareness.
3. MAKE IT PERSONAL
Another great tool is a Personal URL (PURL). PURLs are unique and personalized landing pages that are created especially for each recipient of your direct mail or email marketing campaigns. Not only can you use these to promote your booth, you can invite select attendees for personalized tours of your booth, and market promotions directly to key attendees.
4. CONNECT ON THE FLOOR
Once the show has started, every moment has potential for social media engagement.
- Encourage attendees to post from your booth.
- Share photos of attendees with your products.
- Stream live events in real-time.
- Share memorable videos with attendees.
Even your booth can be optimized for social media. Set up screens that stream your social media feeds, and impress your visitors with your growing popularity.
5. KNOW YOUR PLATFORMS
While it seems that new social media platforms pop up every week, the majority of your attendees are likely to be on Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn is great for research and B2B connections, while Instagram can be valuable for quickly sharing photos and videos. In addition, every industry has its own favorite social sites. Know these, and you’ll be one step closer to connecting with your target audience.
6. KEEP IT CLEAN
You want to keep your content personable and engaging, but be careful not to share something that reflects on you poorly. Make sure your social strategy is in line with your branding and legal guidelines, and tempting as it may be, don’t trash the competition.
7. HAVE DESIGNATED TWEETERS
Limit who is responsible for posting and commenting. Too many tweeters can lead to repetitive and/or confusing messaging. Instead, limit access to one or two people who are social media savvy and have been fully briefed on your branding and legal guidelines.
When it comes to social media, the digital sky is the limit. When you balance creativity and spontaneity with a good strategic plan, you can unlock a powerful tool for promotion and engagement.