Posted on 17 Oct 2017 | Filed under
By Sophie Lowe
Social media is undoubtedly one of the most immediate ways for businesses to engage and promote their attendance at trade shows to potential clients and visitors. In fact, businesses who do not integrate social media marketing into their presence at exhibitions and events are losing out on business. Here is a list of ways for you to utilise social media before, during and after any exhibitions or events that you plan on attending.
BEFORE THE EVENT
• USE EVENT HASHTAGS
In the weeks leading up to the event, identify the trade show’s hashtags that you can use on your social media channels. Twitter is the most obvious platform as it allows you to connect with other people who are also attending. Incorporate the hashtag into your tweets by expressing your enthusiasm about the show and most importantly, explain how people can find you at the event by including your stand number and location. Also mention any special offers you may have especially for visitors attending the show.
• CONNECT WITH SPECIFIC CONTACTS
Are there any industry specific individuals or businesses that you would like to connect with or think would benefit from attending the show? Invite them along by sending them a message on Twitter or LinkedIn and ask them to visit your booth so you can give them a demonstration of your new product. Give them something to talk about.
• CREATE AN EVENT ON FACEBOOK
If you’re hosting your own event at the exhibition or maybe you are going to be talking on a podium about a specialism within your industry, why not create an event page on Facebook and invite some of your industry specific contacts from above? This is a great way of creating some pre-show buzz about your business. You could even put the Facebook event on the homepage of your website so visitors can use it as a portal to access all the details about the event.
DURING THE EVENT
• TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS
In this day and age, visuals are everything. The most obvious visual platforms to use are Instagram or Snapchat, but Twitter is equally as powerful for you to distribute snapshots of your day. Images allow people who are not at the event to gain an insight into the event and feel as though they are there with you. Remember to share photographs from the trade show floor as well as seminars and talks that you attend.
• SCHEDULE YOUR CONTENT
You may find yourself so incredibly busy on exhibition day that you cannot find enough time to update your social media platforms, so scheduling is absolutely vital. A social media agency can support your event team by combining pre-planned scheduled tweets and tweeting live on your behalf throughout the day to make sure your business is benefitting from the social content swell driven by the show. Remember to highlight your products, any offers and any useful tips around the show itself such as tickets on the door price, or free ticket giveaways.
• GET CREATIVE WITH VIDEO
If you are speaking at the trade show or watching a guest speaker who you think is particularly relevant or interesting, video sections of their talk and post it online. Your mobile will suffice as a good enough camera but make sure your view is unobstructed and the speaker is audible. Quality content is key for social media. We also recommend taking a video and then manipulating its speed to make it more fun to watch. Fast motion videos are used to make content more dramatic or captivating to watch and encourages more sharing too.
• HOST A COMPETITION OR GIVEAWAY
Combine social media and a competition or giveaway to increase your company’s visibility at the event. You could invite your social fanbase to enter into a prize draw to win one of your products. Fans at the show could enter by posting a photo of themselves at your stand to their personal social following. This will also generate a buzz around your stand on the day of the event and encourage other visitors to do the same.
• REPLY TO ANY QUESTIONS
Assign one person to reply instantly to any questions that come up against the event hashtag, your brand names or in your social media inboxes during the event. Being responsive will enhance your visitors' experience,
AFTER THE EVENT
• CONNECT WITH PEOPLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
After the show, look through the business cards you collected and find them on social media. Connect and follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and send each one a personalised message to acknowledge how nice it was to meet them. Likewise, do a quick search against all your brand terms. If anyone has mentioned you on social media with reference to the show, this is your chance to like/share or comment and keep growing online brand ambassadors who will help you to extend your brand reach.
• WRITE A BLOG POST
If your business has a blog, put together a post-show blog post all about your experience. Include photos from the day and thank your customers for visiting your stand and participating in your giveaway if applicable. This is your chance to announce the winner, too. The event organisers will also appreciate the publicity. A little appreciation can go a long way. Your blog is also a great way of announcing your attendance at another, similar trade show.
• CREATE A PODCAST OF YOUR KEYNOTE SPEECH
If you were invited to speak on a topic at the event you were attending, Podcasting is a great way to create a powerful personal brand and keep an audio record of it for use. By creating a podcast you can re-purpose your keynote speech for other mediums and re-use it on your website, or post to it from your social media platforms for visitors who didn’t attend the event, to listen to at leisure and share if they like it. When it comes to content creation, podcasting excels as one of the most intimate and consumable. It’s the only content medium that can be consumed comfortably and safely while multitasking, which is one of the reasons why it’s popularity is experiencing such growth.
• SEND A FOLLOW UP EMAIL
And finally, remember to send an email to your connections who attended the event with a link to your blog post and your social media channels so that you can keep the dialogue going. If you have any offers or future events coming up this is the time to mention it. If you were close to closing a sale, you might take this opportunity to organise a meeting or a visit to your prospects office.
For more information on how SCS Marketing & PR can help you to hit the ground running with an epic events-specific Social Media programme, please contact one of our team on +44 (0) 1252 621 293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org