Social Media has an increasing role in the marketing industry, and its value in building and promoting your brand cannot be underestimated. More and more companies are upping their social media presences at they catch onto the fact that it’s a brilliant way of engaging with both current and prospective customers. It’s also a great way of interacting with others within your industry, exchanging ideas and generating buzz about your products or services.
So you’re taking your company to an exhibition or trade fair. Your place is booked, and your exhibition stand is being designed. But just being there isn’t enough. While you’ll be in a room filled with potential clients or customers, who can see your stand and talk to you, you want to really capitalise on your presence at an event, and make sure that as many of your current and potential customers know about it as possible.
Social media is perfect for this as there are so many channels to explore. There are the usual suspects, i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, but have you also thought about YouTube? Or Slideshare?
Send out an email about the event to the people on your mailing list, telling them you’re going to be there. And follow up with a reminder email nearer the time. You could also consider offering a promotion or special offer on the day, which you can let people know about in the email.
Write on your blog about the event. Tell people where they can find you and let them know what you’ll be offering. Make sure you keep people up to date and respond to any comments that are left.
The show will most likely have its own Facebook page, which you should Like (And this may offer you access to exclusive content too!), and then you should join in the conversations on the event page’s Wall. On your own page, you can put links to content about the show, such as your blog posts, news items or the event website.
Get your fans to share the link too, for a bit of extra visibility!
Not so easy this one, as smaller events probably won’t have a designated page. However, larger events might, and you can Follow them. Failing that, make occasional status updates mentioning that you’ll be attending a particular event.
Most events or exhibitions now have designated Twitter accounts set up, so follow the show’s Twitter account. This is a good way of seeing who else is following the event, and who else might be attending. You can then start to engage with these people and companies ahead of the event, so that when the day rolls round, you’ve already built up relationships with some of the other attendees.
There will also be a hashtag (e.g. #ConvCon, #BETT) that you can use whenever you Tweet about the event, so that your Tweets will show up if people search for the event on Twitter.
If you’re Tweeting about your attendance, make sure your Tweets are shorter than the 140 character limit – you want people to retweet you, and longer Tweets don’t give enough space for this.
If you’re running a presentation on your exhibition stand, why not consider uploading the slides to Slideshare. This is a website that allows you to share PDFs and Powerpoint presentations publicly. It’s a good way of getting your content out there and talked about.
Why not try creating a “trailer” for your attendance at the event? Film interviews with your staff, or share useful information for attendees. Afterwards, you can upload actual videos from the event itself. And make sure your videos are optimised for your keywords – remember, videos appear in the Google search results.
And don’t forget to keep up the Tweeting and posting during and after the event. Keep Tweeting using the event hashtag, and talk to the people that you meet. Follow up on any leads that you’ve got, and write a blog post reflecting on the event, asking for people’s feedback in the comments section.
You can also upload any photos of the event to Facebook, and ask people to tag themselves and people they know. If people see they’ve been tagged in one of your photos, they’ll want to see, which will drive them to your Facebook page.
There are also plenty of other options, but you’re definitely missing a trick if you don’t use at least one of these channels to promote your attendance at an exhibition. So think about what’s likely to work best for you and your target audience, and make sure you keep it up!
Tips from Astro Exhibitions, who specialise in designing and building bespoke exhibition display stands.