Social Media and Trade Shows – Weird Combo that Works
This is a Guest Author Post By James Burbank
The reason why this combination of social media and trade show may be seen as weird is that you are combining two very, very different brand promotion techniques from two very, very different eras of business. And if you look at it with such a narrow scope, the combination does not make too much sense, with trade shows being seen as dinosaurs of brand promotion and with social media being the slick and quick new thing that is the best thing since sliced bread.
However, if you start thinking about this combination with a more open mind, it becomes obvious that it is something that has to work. And it does. If done properly, social media support for your trade show efforts will have people flocking to your booth and talking about you incessantly. Which is the point of it all, really.
So, how do you do it?
Prior to the show
If you think to start using social media once the show has begun, it is already too late. The very moment you decide to exhibit and get a booth number, it is time to start letting people know you will be there. One Tweet a day, or every two days in perfectly enough. One word of warning, though, make sure that you are using the correct, official hashtag of the event.
You can also make a short video about your upcoming trade show exhibit and upload it on YouTube and your website. It does not have to be anything too fancy or elaborate. A short vid that you can make with your phone will be perfectly enough. If you plan on unveiling a new product or service, make a teaser vid that will get people extra interested in it.
During the show
Once the show begins, there are plenty more things that you can do. For instance, you can have a member of your trade show team film the booth and taking photos. You can then upload those pics and videos on social networks, letting people know what they are missing. If the exhibition stand you are using features video displays, you can play these videos and pics on them.
If you happen to be speaking at said trade show, you can always have someone film your speech and then edit short excerpts that you can share with your followers and friends on social networks.
Of course, you will be Tweeting all through the trade show, letting people know where you are and what they can find if they visit your booth. Also, if you decide to organize some events or contests at your booth, make sure you spread the word about them on social media.
Once it’s over
You will also want to use social media to follow up on your trade show experience of the last few days. For one, it is time for you to upload all of the best photos and videos that you made during the show. Ask people to tag themselves in the photos. Put your video editing skills to good use and make a video that will show off your experience in full.
You can also organize a little Q&A session with the people who visited your booth during the show and who might have questions that they forgot to ask while visiting. In addition to this, you can put together all of the most commonly asked questions from the visitors and do a blog post answering them.
It is more likely than not that you have made plenty of new collections during the trade show, whether with customers/clients, potential partners, suppliers or even competitors. Find them on LinkedIn and start connecting that way as well.
Ask people what they thought about your booth, your brand and the entire experience. Social media is meant to help you connect with people. Take advantage of this.
When you start using social media to enhance your trade show exhibit, you will soon realize that more people are visiting and that the word about your brand is spreading much more extensively. We are also quite sure that you will be able to come up with your own ideas about how to take advantage of this unique combination of brand promotion tactics.
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