Trade shows are an excellent way to connect with your audience and raise awareness about your business. We know that with the right booth, message, staff and materials, your brand can rule the show. But what if your impact could stretch beyond the confines of the trade show time frame? Now, with social media, the potential to make waves at your next trade show is bigger than ever. This guide will show you how to maximize the impact of your trade show marketing through social media, from before it has even started to well after the booths come down, by using the right strategies and techniques.
The most successful brands at trade shows achieve the most interactions and impressions by driving traffic to their booths. Give your potential customers plenty of time to get excited and plan for your trade show. In the weeks leading up to the event, activate your social media channels to generate as much buzz as possible. Create a public Facebook event announcing your presence at the show and highlighting some of the exciting new products you will be featuring. As the day draws closer, post on all social media channels regularly to give your customers a preview of what’s to come. Many trade shows now have their own event hashtag, so be sure to include that in all of your posts along with your company hashtag.
Finally, scrounge through your staff for the secret moviemaker and ask that person to create a teaser video about the product you’ll be showcasing at your event. Only do this if you have enough time – releasing a poorly made video will give customers a poor impression of your brand and have the opposite effect that you want it to. Make the video exciting, but keep it short so that it’s social media friendly and easy for your audience to share with friends.
You’ve put in the time, money and effort to make your showing successful – now share it! Snapchat is a superb medium for posting live photos and videos of your booth, your product and your happy customers leaving with a purchase. This is also a great opportunity to ask your customers to give a short testimonial explaining why they’re excited about your product and share it with your followers (be sure to get their permission before you post).
Trade customer involvement on social media for a giveaway. Consider giving a small prize (maybe a coupon to purchase branded swag) to each customer who checks in on Facebook and lets their friends know they’re at your booth. If you don’t have time to throw together enough prizes for every consumer, purchase one big prize that will really excite attendees, and offer entrance in a raffle for one post about your product or event. When you announce the winner of the raffle, be sure to live stream the excitement on Facebook and Instagram!
Let your audience relive the excitement on your company blog. Include the videos, photos and positive customer feedback you collected at the show. Aim to follow up with customers who attended, and encourage those who did not make it to prioritize attending your next event. This is a great opportunity to utilize that Facebook event you created back before the show – post a link to your blog on the event wall to get maximum exposure to a relevant audience and drive traffic to your website. Be sure to include links to purchase your product online, if possible.
With these social media marketing strategies, you can turn an event that takes a few hours into a month-long (or longer!) promotional campaign at little cost to your company. Follow our blog for more trade show tips, including this guide to giveaways, and leave your ideas in the comments!