If you haven’t jumped on board the social media bandwagon, what are you waiting for? There’s no ignoring the power and voice of social media in virtually every industry – which means that the trade show industry, which gives those industries a voice and presence is not immune to the power of social networking. In fact, it IS social networking – live and in person!
You can use social media to increase the traffic to your trade show booth, and to keep those that cannot come to the trade show involved, when they cannot be at the trade show event with you. We have a few of our favorite social media platforms that we could not live without. There are many ways you can get in front of your potential customers, but only you will be able to choose which social media platforms work best for your own business, many times through trial and error.
1. Twitter. Schedule tweets in advance (using a service like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck) that you will be at the show. And let them know that the first people (whatever number you predetermine) that come to your booth and mention it get a special giveaway, or maybe a coupon – some kind of incentive that will drive urgency. Maybe you are taking part in a panel discussion you want people to know about on twitter, so you can drive traffic to that event as well, not just to your booth. This way, you will be heard by followers who can’t come to the trade show, but might still be very interested in what you have to offer.
2. Foursquare. Set up your booth as a venue. You can set it up on your phone by checking in and creating it, or by setting it up as the owner (you’ll need to do this in advance with a pin code to verify.) Set up a Foursquare check-in for booth visitors to broadcast that they are at your trade show booth and have a promotional item prepared for them checking in. If you do not have Foursquare set up for the trade show event, you can use Yelp or Facebook.
3. Facebook. Facebook is a great place to have conversation on a regular basis with your customers and potential customers. It is also a great place to set up a check in and special similar to Foursquare. The beauty of social media check-ins is that you are getting free advertising by offering value. People really appreciate that and are more than happy and willing to share the announcement with their friends.
4. LinkedIn. Set up the trade show event on LinkedIn. If it is already set up by the tradeshow organizer, then click on the attend button to let people know that you will be there. LinkedIn is a beauteous social media platform for B2B! Do not ignore the power of LinkedIn for getting gin front of your customers and potential customers. Every time you make a change to your profile, your connections get an alert. Every time you post something to a discussion or create your own in a LinkedIn group, you are getting in front of business professionals who want to make a connection. Announce that you will be exhibiting, and shout it from the LinkedIn rooftops that you will be there – LinkedIn was meant for trade show marketing, which includes social media!
5. YouTube – Share the energy and excitement at the event and document it on YouTube. Take a video of your booth, interview booth staff or people at the show. You can link YouTube to all of your other social media outlets.
Keep your presence felt and your brand alive in social media to draw attendees and let them be excited about you! Social media and social networking has been going on live and in person before trade shows were created. Now, it just keeps getting better and more social!