Participating in a trade show and all that it entails is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, marketing moves that you can make to promote your business.
When done right, a trade show can generate massive amounts of leads and prospects for your business, especially if you partner with experienced trade show booth designers.
Since putting up a booth in a trade show requires a great deal of time, money, and hard work to plan and execute, it’s important to maximize this investment. One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to do so is by promoting your participation in a show through various social media platforms.
An effective social media campaign can be used to build awareness before, during, and after the trade show, and is an excellent way to attract targeted attendees. A well-planned campaign can also improve your online presence and increase engagement on your social media pages.
To make sure that you capitalize on your next trade show appearance, here are some key social media guidelines that you should follow:
Carry Out Extensive Research
The first step towards ensuring your promotional success at a trade show is knowing exactly what you are getting into, and being fully prepared for the event.
Decide On a Theme
It is important to understand the overarching objective of an event and how your company participation plays into that objective. When choosing a theme for your exhibit, make sure it is aligns with the type of event you are attending and that attendees will easily understand why you are there.
You’ll want to allocate a sufficient budget to ensure your booth, your interactive engagemenet and social media campaigns align with this relevant theme. And, Your social media campaign should be crafted to support the expo’s objective and carry out your chosen theme in official posts, creative collateral and email blasts.
Tie Up Your Marketing Efforts with the Event
For maximum visibility, if there are available opportunities to add your business to the organizer’s marketing plans, grab any free promotional activities or budget to do so if costs are associated with participation. These types of activities include being added to their event handbook, publishing articles about your brand on their event page, and tagging your company in their social posts.
Inform Visitors of Your Presence Beforehand
Maximize Social Media Coverage with Hashtags
Approximately two weeks before the event, start using official hashtags in your social media copy or create new ones to specifically advertise your business’s presence at the event.
Post Regular Updates of the Event
Post on your social media pages every day to keep your audience informed and help them understand why they should visit your booth. Mention any contests or incentives that you may be giving away at the event.
To launch a new product or service, or to create hype around your existing portfolio, start uploading mini teasers to engage your audience. These teasers can include videos or even guessing games, with the winner announced at the trade show. You should aim to build a strong affiliation between your brand and the event.
Promote Through Your Site
On your website, upload a web banner, pop-up announcement, or create a landing page as a way to attract targeted visitors to the event, and in turn, your brand. This is a great way to direct your website visitors to information regarding the event.
Email Blast to Your Subscribers
You can also send emails to your newsletter subscribers encouraging them to visit the event and your booth. Remember to include important details such as the name of the trade show, the dates, time, and location, as well as your booth number.
At The Trade Show
Focus on Your Logo
It is imperative that you stamp your logo onto every marketing material possible; including major booth giveaways (when appropriate), gifts bags, and free office tidbits. You should do all you can to advertise your brand, and get your logo out into the market.
Go Live on Facebook
Going live on Facebook or Instagram can help drive larger crowds to your booth, especially if you are broadcasting live from the event itself. If you meet a prospect who is excited about your product or service, ask if they would be okay with being featured on your social media. If they accept, share their photo and story advocating your brand and its quality.
Live Product Trial
Ask visitors to try out your products on the spot, and ask for their reviews, which can then be published on your website and social media pages. You should also encourage visitors to spread the word of your great product by posting reviews to their personal social media pages and tagging your company.
Post Pictures and Videos During the Event
Images of the trade show and the crowds at your booth serve as a great marketing feature. Remember to post these pictures at regular intervals to spur interest and promote your booth as an “event” within the trade show. Be sure to post an official event album once the event is over as a record of your presence.
It is also important to post videos of prominent speaker sessions if allowed as they tend to attract outside traffic to social media pages.
Your social media strategy isn’t over once the show ends. The following ideas can be easily be shared as links on your social media, driving traffic to your website.
Publish a Blog
An important idea to consider is publishing a blog post covering the trade show. Share what you took away from the event and include testimonials from satisfied visitors of your booth.
Post Material from the Event
An exceptionally helpful piece of content for those who could not attend the event would be to publish key take-aways from the seminars and educational sessions during the event on your website. This would serve as quality content, bringing more traffic to your website.
A Post-Show Debrief for Your Team
A post-show debrief can be quite useful for understanding what worked and what didn’t during the trade show. Analyze the increase in engagement you received on your social media pages to see which posts and hashtags performed well. Evaluate every aspect of the campaign in order to increase performance of future trade shows and events.
Considering how expensive trade shows can be, it is important that you maximize your return on investment through various means, such as carefully crafted social media campaigns. Another way to see top return on your investment is by working with Exhibitus. We have our very own Results Team who can help you prove, and improve on, the return made on your custom trade show booth. Contact us today to learn more!