How to Use Social Media Marketing to Make an Impact at Your Trade Show

Many of our clients exhibit at trade shows. In order to drive traffic to their booth, break through the clutter to get noticed, improve brand recognition and increase networking opportunities, the Web Success Team has a comprehensive online marketing program to help them to make an instant impact at trade shows and reach out to show attendees that may not otherwise be reached. Here are some examples of methods that we use:

Make an Impact at Your Trade Show

Twitter

In today’s digital environment, a solid percentage of almost any trade show’s audience will be Twitter users. As all marketers know, targeting depends on your audience, but if your audience is at all tech savvy, then Twitter should be used to enhance your marketing strategy at trade shows.

Trade Show Tweeting Tips:

  • Use trade show hashtag (#) to connect with show attendees and keep up with show news and events.
  • Join Tweet Chats relating to the show.
  • Publicize your Booth # and invite people to RT in exchange for a free sample, or tweet info about your brand and offer a sample to those that come to the booth.
  • Follow other exhibitors and start conversations. Offer to support their products in exchange for them supporting yours. If they are not competing directly with you they can be your best advocates at the show.
  • Follow the show’s organizer and RT their show posts. Organizers love it when you recognize them and support them, they will gladly RT your comments and you will get more visibility.

Facebook

Nearly 50% of America is using Facebook. In April of 2012, Facebook hit the 900 million user mark worldwide. Now at around 955 million, Facebook users log on daily to communicate with their friends and family, but they are also following their favorite brands (normally about 80 brands are followed per user). If you are one of those followed pages, you will not only have that audience member’s attention for your trade show, you will also have their friend’s attention should that original fan like or add a comment to your posts.

Facebook at a Trade Show? Yes! Here’s How:

  • Promote the tradeshow, your exhibitor booth and the tradeshow events on your branded page. Pin a free sample to those wanting to visit the booth. Remember, 46% of Americans now have smartphones, which means you can reach your fans in real time at live events.
  • Follow the tradeshow page.
  • Post questions regarding the show, show events and other relevant information that could help you get more engagement.
  • “Friend” show attendees and connect via Facebook groups relating to the show or the industry.

LinkedIn

With over 61 million users in North America, LinkedIn is another powerful social resource. With LinkedIn’s amazing “groups” feature, getting everyone together for a trade show is easy! And that’s just one of the tools you can utilize from LinkedIn for a trade show.

LinkedIn at Trade Shows:

  • Follow and engage in trade groups relating to the show and share your blogs and thoughts establishing yourself as an authority in your industry.
  • Connect with people going to the show and tell them why and how to find you at the show.
  • Look for shared business connections you have in common with other attendees and use that common interest as a reason to have a conversation at the show. It’s a great way to build a genuine business relationship.

Pinterest

We hear it’s name every day and earlier this year, Pinterest attracted more than 11 million unique visitors. It is not a marketing tool to be ignored.

Get “On Board” with Pinterest:

  • Create a show board.
  • The best way to attract more eyes to your Pinterest page is to engage with other Pinners. Follow boards and users with similar interests, and then like, comment on or repin images you find inspiring.
  • Pin your products.

Blogs

Blogs are a super powerful tool to reach your audience. Blogs help generate interest and show people that you are an industry expert.

Blogging for Trade Shows:

  • Write a preshow blog and circulate it on all social media platforms.
  • Blog from the show (and be sure to Tweet it!).
  • Ask bloggers attending the show to review your product and circulate their blogs.

It’s Trade Show Time! — Take-A-Ways

Be it blogging, engaging on Facebook or Twitter, or using LinkedIn to make stronger connections, you should look to social media as an incredible tool to strengthen and expand your trade show marketing to:

  • Increase your brand recognition
  • Create buzz
  • Drive foot and digital traffic to your booth
  • Make networking connections that go well beyond the trade show, and
  • Promote special offers

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Janette Leon-Speyer
WebSuccessTeam

Follow BlogHer on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/BlogHer-28615

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