Events are a great way to connect with prospective customers, new employees and influencers as well as generate new content for your brand. Social media has become the best way to get the most out of the trade shows you attend.
Set the stage
Being prepared is half the battle. You have a Facebook page, what now? Before posting anything, you must first decide why you are posting about the show. What is the purpose? Do you want to increase brand visibility, engage with customers, or talk about a new product or service? Deciding what results you want will be the best guide for your actions.
Setting up a Facebook event before the show will help you generate buzz. It will also give you an outlet to release snips and teasers of the show or what you will be exhibiting. Share the event on your company page, and invite people to attend, every time someone engages with the event (like, comment, share or even register) it will show up on their newsfeed and start a trickle effect.
Another way to build up buzz is to get on Twitter. Twitter has the largest reach of all the social media platforms, so why not use it to your advantage? Create a hashtag for the event. A good hashtag should be catchy but also relevant, example #BrandXSHOWNAME2016, if the show already has a hashtag use it. This is an amazing way to scope out potential clients, engage with attendees and follow your competition.
Fire up LinkedIn and promote your event to groups your audience participates in. 64% of business owners believe that LinkedIn helps create new relationships and grow up and coming businesses.
Let’s get on with it. It’s show time and all of that preparation work you did on social media has hopefully been getting some “Likes”. It doesn’t stop there, while the show goes you must continue to be active.
Tip: Assign someone to social media duty during the show and use a scheduling tool like buffer or tweetdeck to automatically publish posts in case you get busy
Make sure you actively engage in conversations with your followers on twitter and Facebook, this will generate traffic to your booth. 72% of fortune global 100 companies are responsive to questions on Facebook. If you really want to generate traffic, play games with your followers, offer up a prize if they are the first 30 people to arrive to the booth in the next hour. The spirit of competition always brings people together.
Another way you can draw in people to your booth is to offer visitors free wifi and charging stations. The words “free wifi” are equivalent to the word “sale” at a major retailer.
For an added incentive, give your WIFI password when people “check in” at your booth on Facebook or twitter.
It isn’t over until it’s over.
So, you want to turn those new ‘followers’ into clients. How?
First off, Repurpose. Evaluate all conversations, comments and questions from each of your company’s social media platforms for potential blog posts and conversation topics you can use to engage with your followers. This is a wonderful way of expressing your gratitude for their follow and it makes them feel heard because they have a voice in every aspect of the company.
Social Media is the new kid on the block, and you need to befriend it. There are many online resources to help you learn if you don’t have a social media team. consider reading blogs and online discussion groups.