Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to maximize your trade show success. By having a solid social media strategy before, during, and after the event, you can extend your reach beyond the event dates and draw in more attendees than ever before.
Social media marketing can offer several advantages for trade show exhibitors. These include:
When creating a successful social media strategy for trade shows, there are several key points to keep in mind.
To build a presence that resonates with your target audience, create content that is relevant to them and in line with the image you are trying to convey. Create a content plan for before, during, and after the event as well as engaging activities such as giveaways or discounts.
Post engaging content and informational material to increase engagement on your company’s social media accounts to attract followers. Additionally, actively interact with your audience to improve your visibility to social media algorithms.
During the early days of social media, most marketers were keen on saturating all their social media platforms with much of the same content in an effort to capture as many eyeballs as possible. However, this strategy no longer applies today and may do more harm than good to your marketing efforts.
To avoid diluting your messaging and ensuring that you reach those that matter to your business, take your pick of 2 to 3 platforms to focus on. Base your decision on data, such as where your target audience spends the most time and which platforms are best suited to your brand.
Creating a hashtag is an easy way of getting people to spread the word about your trade show exhibit pre-event. Use this hashtag on all your social media posts and even in printed material such as brochures or flyers. During the event, you can encourage other attendees to use the hashtag when they post photos from the event on their own accounts.
Take advantage of pre-event buzz by creating promotional content on social media leading up to the trade show. This could include announcing new products or experiences visitors can expect at your booth and sharing sneak peeks of products, activities, or demos. To keep your audience engaged and excited, increase the frequency of your posts as the trade show approaches.
Companies often neglect to be “social” when it comes to social media marketing for trade shows. When creating your social media content and strategy, focus on connecting with attendees and engaging them in conversation. This can be as simple as replying to comments and posts on your pages about the trade show, or maybe something more elaborate — such as supplementing your social media strategy with a UGC (user-generated content) campaign that encourages attendees to join the conversation.
As mentioned in the previous tip, you can improve social media engagement on your channels by encouraging booth visitors to engage with your brand on social media. You can run a raffle contest using photo entries that use your hashtag, for example, or choose the best submissions from a prompt like “Show us your best trade show moments at our booth!” Participants can then get exclusive discounts, premium merchandise, or items from partner brands.
Such a simple CTA (call-to-action) can yield great results in terms of engagement and reach.
With everything that has to be accomplished pre, during, and post-show, it may be tempting just to schedule and pre-upload everything. While scheduling content is a great way to publish targeted posts, live content also has benefits. For starters, you can showcase your booth, products, and demos in real-time and create even more excitement. You don’t have to go live during the entire exhibit, though. Just show the highlights of your event by Tweeting, posting photos, or going live.
After the show wraps up for the day, you should aim to post a recap or wrap-up of your experience at the event. This can be in the form of a video reel, photo album, or even just a text post. This will enable those who couldn’t attend (or missed some parts of it) to get a glimpse of what happened and keep them engaged until the next time.
Additionally, summarize best practices from attending the trade show — this could be tips from keynote speakers, engaging content ideas, or advice on how to make the most of the trade show experience.
Draw from your exhibition experience to create content that resonates with your audience. This could be a detailed blog post, podcast, or video about a specific topic (or several topics, for that matter). Here are some examples:
By creating content that is inspired by the exhibition, you can extend its reach beyond just the attendees at the event and broaden your audience. This will also drive more organic traffic to your site in the long run, so it’s worth the effort!
Lastly, make sure to track your social media efforts and measure results from each trade show. This will enable you to determine which of your strategies have worked best and which needs improvement for your next trade show experience.
By taking the time to construct an effective social media strategy for trade shows, you can maximize your success at the event and make sure that your presence is felt long after it is over. With proper planning and execution, you can soon reap the rewards of a successful trade show experience!
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