By now, you’ve probably heard social media is supposed to be this treasure trove of free and cheap advertising. But if you’re like a lot of manufacturers and other folks who frequent trade shows, you’re still waiting for the evidence. Well, don’t give up just yet. And, don’t assume what you’ve been doing up until now hasn’t been working -- you just need a few more trade show ideas that connect with modern buyers.
A big trade show can be just the thing to build social engagement so that you can start getting meaningful click counts and finally see the big numbers you’re looking for.
Trade Show Ideas for Boosting Followers
1. The Build Up Campaign
Before the show, find out all the official hashtags for the show and start following them regularly. You should have about a month to get on board with the relevant trends. You can even start your own brand-specific hashtag.
During this time, you should work overtime to forge a connection between the event and your brand. Craft valuable content, and link to it in the comment sections of posts the trade show tags lead you to.
Are there any social media meet-ups planned for the show? If so, get involved.
New products and services are frequently introduced at trade shows. Make a teaser video or photo that you can share before the show -- it’ll give attendees a reason to check out your booth, too.
2. During the Big Event
Crafting a powerful trade show presentation will attract buyers to your booth. That gives you a chance to collect their contact information and let them know you’re constantly providing free education on social media. If you can connect with them on LinkedIn, even better.
There are lots of tricks and tips out there to help you make your booth psychologically effective, draw eyes, and hold attention, and follow up. Click below for a comprehensive guide to trade show marketing.
Use the social engagement you had during your build up campaign to develop your presentation, speeches, and visuals. Make sure your material points people to your social platforms and invite them to connect and discuss.
You’re going to want to have plenty of party favors to pass around. Business cards, pens -- all those little office doodads that come with the irresistible quality of being free. Again, the more stuff plastered with your Twitter handle, etc., the better. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is the beloved T-shirt. Recipients will have it in their dressers for years. T-shirts are always the best trade show swag!
If you or a teammate are actually speaking at the conference, record video and share it on social media. Video quality doesn’t have to be Hollywood-like, but be sure to mic the speaker to ensure good audio quality.
Do all this sooner than later -- you want to keep scheduling tweets and posts while you’re at the show. It’s a busy time for sure, but stay active!
3. Post-Trade Show
Just as you were passing out your party favors and business cards, taking names and numbers, etc., you should have been collecting the same from other trade show participants. Now is the time to start making contact with them.
Reach out, remind them who you are, and start developing business relationships. Try to connect on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter. If they have a Facebook business page, like it.
If you’re sending follow-up emails, make sure they include clickable social buttons.
Did you present a seminar or offer educational materials during the show? They will make good sharable content after the event. You can share:
- Video clips
- Presentation slides
- Links to other helpful material
Analyze and Adjust
If engagement levels off, don’t assume your efforts aren’t working. Hang in there, and just make a few adjustments next time a trade show comes to town. Building a following can be tough, but nothing worth having ever comes easy.