Marketing Through Social Media With Trade Shows Effectively
I've got a guest blog for you today on the topic of marketing with social media, which may not in itself seem like a display related theme, but when you add in the potential for your business to use this increasingly powerful marketing device to get more value from trade shows and exhibitions, we are right on topic. So read on!
It’s no secret that social media is a crucial component of business success today. It is the way that people learn about your business. It is the way that you get your brand in front of potential customers. It is the way you increase the loyalty of the clients who are already happy with your services. And it’s the best way to take word-of-mouth marketing and pump up the volume to generate real growth for your business. But what does this mean when it comes to your attendance at trade shows?
Social media is useful for your trade shows in three ways:
1. Social media allows you to spread the word about the fact that you are going to be at the trade show.
2. Social media provides you with a platform for live blogging about the trade show while you are there.
3. Social media is a great method of following up with people after the trade show.
Using social media at all three of these different time periods (before, during and after the trade show) will allow you to really get the most out of marketing your trade show activities.
Before the event even occurs, you will be able to start generating interest in what you will be doing at the trade show. You can use your Twitter and Facebook accounts to announce the event. You can encourage people to attend and ask them to spread the word to others who may want to attend. You can let them know how to find you at the event and what you will have to offer. You can drop hints about special activities that you will be hosting at your trade show display booth.
Another thing that you can do before the event occurs is to use social networking to begin connecting with others who are already planning to go to the event. You can use Twitter hashtags to find people who are announcing their plans for the event and follow them on the site. You can get LinkedIn or Facebook information for the other exhibitors and friend them on those sites. In this way, you are pre-marketing not only to your customer base but also to other professionals in your industry. You can also find out what their trade show displays are going to offer so that you can do a little extra to make yours really stand out!
Once you are at the event, you can maximize the value of your activities there through social media. At the very least, you can easily post updates to Twitter about what’s happening at the event. This will remind other people to come check you out. It will also let people who are not at the event get a sense of what you are doing. You’re building your brand just by sharing what you’re up to. Sites like Facebook that also allow you to add notes and pictures let you provide even more information about what your business is doing at the trade show. Consider this a marketing opportunity and take full advantage of it.
Finally, you will want to use social media to continue your marketing efforts even though the trade show has come to an end. At a trade show, you will collect a number of business cards and will hopefully get a big email list. Follow up with all of those people by connecting with them on various social media sites. This will not only reinforce the connection that you made with them but will expose them to all of your other social media marketing down the line.
Have you used social media to help with your trade show marketing? How, and was it successful?
About the Author:
Dennis Nixon is the Sales Manager at Smash Hit Displays, a trade show displays company for vendors throughout the United States.