In case you have never given this combination any thought before, it definitely does not seem like something that should work. Trade shows are this old-timey, literally historic way of promoting your business and social media is one of the most modern and contemporary mediums where you can do the same. They really shouldn’t go well together, should they?
Well, in reality, they go together as well as a mojito and a cool summer evening, like a new relationship and a walk on the beach, like eggs and bacon. The only thing you need to know is how to utilize social media to enhance your trade show exhibit, which is what we will be talking about here.
For one, you can use social media to attract visitors to your booth, which is the primary goal. As this very useful blog post from NVP Exhibits states – you have only three seconds to catch someone’s eye at a trade show. With social networks, you can make those three seconds last longer. In addition to this, you can use social media to learn more about your competition as well as the people who attend trade shows, your potential customers.
So, let’s go deeper!
Facebook is still the most popular and widely-used social network and it goes without saying that you will want to use it for your trade show needs. It is particularly useful for this purpose as it is used by a larger percentage of “not young people”, which is not often the case with social networks.
You should start using Facebook as soon as you decide to exhibit at a trade show. You need to interact with the organizers and other people who are involved in the said trade show. You should spread news about your upcoming participation every chance you get. If you are offering various deals at the trade show, make sure your Facebook followers can see this clearly. Of course, a little bit of Facebook networking can go a long way.
You will want to use Google+ for everything you are using Facebook for, only this time due to the strength of Google itself, it can lead to more exposure for you. Also, you should take advantage of the Hangout’s video streaming feature, which will allow you to do a live stream of what is going at your booth. This will work best if you can get some of your satisfied customers to share their thoughts about your business.
Twitter is a fantastic social network for enhancing your trade show experience because it is instantaneous and it can give your followers the impression they are at the trade show, even if they are not. You need to constantly tweet about the trade show, the things that are happening at your booth and more.
Even before the trade expo begins, you need to lay down the groundwork. Find out what the official hashtag will be and do not be afraid to use it. It might also be a good idea to boost your following with tools like TweetFavy which can result in increased visits to your booth down the line.
You can also organize giveaways for the people who follow you on Twitter. Give out prizes for people that take a selfie at your booth and post it on their Twitter profiles with the appropriate hashtags. You can even organize little games such as scavenger hunts that will use Twitter.
YouTube can actually be one of your greatest allies when doing a trade show. The reason for this is that people are just suckers for short videos, especially promotional videos where you show off your products or services. If you are putting out something new, make sure to make a video that will introduce this novelty to the world. Once the trade show is over, you can make up a nice compilation video that will show people how it went and what the atmosphere was like at your booth.
LinkedIn is best used for the networking part of the trade show experience. Get all your contacts, business cards and notes in one place, go through them and connect with those people on LinkedIn. Let them know who you are and remind them of what your business is all about. This is probably the least exciting way to use social media in combination with trade shows, but it can be of great value down the road.
These are just some of the examples of how you can use social media to enhance your trade expo experience. You will most certainly come up with more exciting ways in which to do this and if you do, do not hesitate to share them with us.