Leveraging Social Media to Increase Exposure at Trade Shows

You’ve spent countless hours—over the course of a year in some cases—planning each trade show for your company. So, the hard part is over, right? Well, not exactly. Now it’s your job to get attendees interested in stopping by your booth.
By leveraging the power of social media, you will expand your audience reach while generating some buzz around your participation. Developing a multi-tiered approach that engages customers and prospects before, during, and after an event will pay off handsomely. Below are some tips on maximizing exposure at trade shows with social media:

1. Understand the unique power of each social platform
Each social platform has unique attributes for social influence. With Facebook, for instance, you can create an event to promote your booth, engage with your followers, answer questions about your products or services and monitor comments. Facebook calendar can be synced up to mobile devices, making it convenient for planning schedules. With LinkedIn, besides doing status updates, you can reach out to those with specific titles or demographics that are important to your company. Remember to always post material that others will want to share with their followers.

2. Use event hashtags
Make frequent posts to engage and update your audience with striking photos, interesting video content and relevant event posts to motivate attendance, persuade readers to drop by your booth, and have conversations leading to the event. Be sure to use event hashtags to include everyone talking about the event or following the event as it develops on social media. Be part of the conversation!

3. Share something valuable
To stand out and have people take notice, share valuable content. This will allow you to build your followers and relationships. Examples would be to share an industry survey, research report or expert article. Or it could be show-related such as a list of activities for attendees before and after the show, or the best places to dine around the event location. Be brilliant!

4. Video rules
Video continues to grow as a marketing tool, and at a very rapid pace. Video traffic is there – so make it’s your video that is going viral. Offer a teaser video that shows what you will be featuring at the event. If you have a new trade show booth, you can build excitement around your new branding and exhibit features.

5. Promote a giveaway , pre-show
People who attend trade shows love free swag. In order to land your large screen TV, digital camera or gift card, they will do anything. Well, almost. So, build a campaign where you ask for retweets for a chance to win. This will help you build your social media followers and keep everyone engaged.

6. Humanize your company
Give people a reason to follow you by showing your personal side or personality. A look at behind the scenes, maybe that means showing off your pet-friendly work environment or something unique about how you do business that would be good to share, e.g., how you donate 5% of revenue to a philanthropic cause that is important to you. People will remember you if you distinguish your company from the rest in a unique way.

7. Make posts during the show
It’s amazing how much is shared in social media during an event, so be sure to make frequent posts. This could be either someone at the booth sending out live posts and/or incentivizing booth visitors to send out live posts about their experience.

Regardless of what trade show you are exhibiting at or who your audience is, social media offers infinite possibilities for promotion and measuring your success. If you are interested in learning more about ways companies integrate social media into their exhibit design and how you can step up the conversation around your company exhibit – give us a call at 858-240-7530. We’re here for you!

Post by Brad Fernbaugh

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