Social media before, during and after your next trade show!
You’ve probably noticed already that most posts we publish recommend planning as a first step. This one is no exception. Relying on your social media plan and objectives connected to your audience’s needs will help you get the most of your visit from the moment you consider attending to the moment you do your after show follow up.
Make sure your social media profiles look healthy and consider an upgrade or reboot if needed. Find out the trade show’s official—and unofficial—hashtags and start following them about a month prior to the show. Learn about trends and key players and promote your participation at the show. You could even come up with a hashtag specific to your company or your new product and include this hashtag in all emails related to the show.
Creating specific content for the show—from a landing page on your website to a teaser for the launching of your new service or your involvement to a talk or a seminar, including exciting photos or giveaways—will direct your booth visitors to key information and offer you measurable online statistics. You can also invite people to a gathering you may be hosting through a Facebook event page. Don’t be afraid of creating too much buzz.
Connect with key media figures or industry influencers through Twitter or Linkedin, and ask them to visit your booth to learn about new products, attend that seminar you may be speaking at, or pitch them an idea for a story. Make their job easier or partner with them by facilitating images and insights for them to write and tweet about. Find out what could be interesting for them, but don’t let them forget to mention your hashtags.
Don’t be afraid to get the right kind of help. Hire a social media consultant or a company that is familiar with your industry and can adapt to your budget rather than hiring several interns. Turning up the conversation volume requires understanding of the content.
The secret to a good post while you are at the show is its capacity to bring the show to those who can’t attend. Think of it as a way to cover the most interesting aspects by posting photos and updates to make people feel like they are there with you. Give your audience real access, including after show parties and special gatherings. Those are the most fun!
Use apps to schedule tweets or posts, which can consist in reminders, key points of your talk or the specific time and place for your service demo. This will feed the social media conversations media while you focus on those people at your booth.
Live video is the most exciting and appealing social media feature. Just make sure you control the framing and the microphone is close enough to those speaking. Live video is great only when it’s decent.
Make the online-offline connection by including Twitter and Instagram handles, web addresses and QR codes on hard copy materials you might be giving away. Make sure the font is big enough to be read in the dark. Lighting tends to be darker in the so-called modern trade shows.
After going through all contacts collected, like their business pages, follow them on Twitter and connect with them through Linkedin, but not before sending them a note, DM or similar that will help them remember you.
You can also write about your participation in the show for your blog or some other relevant media platform and include the conversations, questions and even funny anecdotes that you experienced. Show off some networking muscle by mentioning the most interesting contacts you made and include hyperlinks.
If you decide a more traditional email follow up, make sure you include links to all your social media accounts. Show your generosity—and industry insights—by sharing valuable content gathered during the event, video clips, slides or your PDF handouts.
Remember that you are the pulse of your social media and the more you give the more your audience will hold on to and share your content within their communities. But don’t forget that this pulse of yours needs to be planned.