Between continued customer contact and the ability to promote your trade show exhibit, social media can serve as your ultimate outreach strategy to customers before and after the show. According to Event Marketing Statistics, nearly three-quarters of event planners say social media is the most effective tool for event marketing like trade shows. The benefits of social media are not reserved during the event either.
There are literally dozens of trade shows for any given industry in luxurious places located across the country. Whether you’re looking to exhibit at San Diego, Dallas, Orlando trade shows or somewhere else, these tips can help you take advantage of this important marketing tool, integrating social media into your next event.
Set Up a Facebook Event Page
Well before the trade show, set up a Facebook event page that’s focused specifically on the event itself. It’s a great way to get attendees excited, promoting activities, special offerings and show on. You’ll also be able to interact with current and potential customers to get a better idea of what they’d like to experience while they’re there. You can also advertise for the event on any other social media channels you might be using. LinkedIn is particularly useful for sharing information regarding trade shows with your connections in that field. That will allow you to spend budgeted funds on what makes the most sense.
Don’t forget to create a landing page on the company website for the show as well that includes frequently asked questions about the event. That way you can direct visitors that come to your booth to the information that best pertains to them. If you do decide to create a landing page for the event, include links to all of your posts on social media related to the event.
Giveaways and Contests Combining Booth Visits and Social Media
Combine social media with booth visits by advertising a contest or giveaway in the booth. You can have the entries come through your Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and so on, and they ask the winners to pick up their prize at your booth.
Encouraging users to submit user-generated content also helps promote your event and provides social proof for your brand. Brainstorm fun ways to keep people at your booth and encourage them to visit your website afterward.
Only invest in high-quality materials that are long-lasting and branded. While it may seem small, sharing branded merchandise on social media can create some great word-of-mouth advertising for your brand.
Use QR Codes
If you’re one of the lucky ones to have a booth that is often jam-packed with visitors, you might miss out on those who don’t have time to wait to chat or make their way through the crowd to pick up giveaways. You can prevent missing out on those potential customers by including a QR code that’s large enough to see on your booth. It will make it easy for your visitors to capture it at their leisure and move on. It should lead them directly to a page with links to the company’s various pages on social media.
Be sure to include follow-up posts related to the event with details that will tell them more about what the business does.
Capture Photos and Videos at the Show
While you’re at the show, you’ll want to capture lots of great photos and videos – customers and potential customers who are featured in them are likely to share them to others who may not know anything about your business, a perfect free form of advertising. When you meet someone at the event who has an interesting story or is really excited about your services or products, ask if you can take their photo and share what they have to say via social media.
If you’re speaking, or someone at your company will be speaking at the event, be sure a video (and captured close enough for good quality audio) is taken of it that can be shared with your social media audience later. You might want to take advantage of something like Facebook Live Feed to broadcast in real-time. This is a great way for keeping those who weren’t able to attend the event updated. While you’re posting at the event, you need to be sure to keep up with your notifications.
Create Event Hashtags
Event hashtags allow you to advertise your individual booth to your customers and also be seen by others using and sharing the hashtag at the event. You can use the hashtag of the event while also creating your own to get some buzz. People typically recommend posting with the hashtag about once an hour during the event. Of course, it helps to have a killer display that makes waves at the event for that social shareability. If you keep track of the hashtag, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to find other people and companies in your industry to connect with. Just because the trade show it over doesn’t mean you should abandon the hashtag, either. You can still get use out of posting with the hashtag for a week after the event ends.
Follow Up After the Trade Show
After your event is finished, you’ll have more time to put towards social media. You put a lot of work into preparing for your trade show, so you want to get the most out of your efforts by following up on social media. During the event, you’ll likely have people ask you questions about your product and service. While the event might be busy, you should remember to write down any interesting questions people might have. This gives you great ideas for blog posts to go further into detail explaining it, because many people might have the same question. If you don’t get any questions that you think would be useful to expand upon, a blog post recapping the event it still a great idea. You’ll also have the time now to follow any connections you met during the event.