Social media is a valuable tool for any business. It is a great way to reach new and current customers, you can use it to distribute content, and it can even serve as part of your customer service and experience strategy. If you participate in trade shows, you should be utilizing this tool to assist with your comprehensive inbound marketing strategy before, during, and after your show.
We’ve discussed before about the extensive planning process that should go into creating an inbound marketing campaign for a trade show. Social media plays a huge role in this process, as it is an important asset that can be used in every stage of your campaign.
Many trade shows and industry events are developing an increasingly larger presence on social media. These events are posting everything on their social media accounts, from event photos to live streaming of keynote speakers.
Take advantage of this presence by including a social media marketing plan when developing your strategy for your upcoming trade show.
Keep your social media strategy on track with a content calendar! Download your free Content Calendar template here.
1. Use Hashtags to Tag Posts
Trade shows often have their own hashtag for the event as a part of their efforts to increase the event’s presence on social media. Utilize this hashtag even before the actual event on your own social media accounts.
Some ways to include an event hashtag in posts could be:
- Announcing your intent to attend the event
- Photos from last year’s event if the show is an annual one
- Videos or teasers of a new product you will launch at the show
- Previews of special offers or discount codes you will provide for show attendees
- Blog posts with information leading up to the trade show
All these posts will be seen by anyone who is looking up that specific hashtag or even looking for information about the trade show on social media. It is a great way to attract attention from people who are interested in the event and encourage them to visit your booth during the event.
Be sure to continue using the hashtag for all posts during and after the trade show as well. This way people can continue to find you based on their interest in the event even after the trade show has ended.
2. Add Show Specific Landing Page Link to Bio
We discussed creating a landing page that is specific to your upcoming trade show to gather information from leads at the show. This page can also be used on your social media accounts. There is no rule that says you can only collect new leads at the show itself.
Update all your social media accounts to have this landing page link in your bios leading up to the trade show. People can visit this link to learn more about your attendance at the show and any products or special information you may be offering.
If you have a informational download attached to your landing page through a form, people can download it even if they are not able to attend the trade show.
Using social media to display your lead generation landing page gives you a secondary way to gain new leads from your trade show marketing campaign, even if these leads are not physically present at the show.
At the Trade Show
3. Post Content from the Show
Once you are at the show, try to designate at least one person to keep up with posting content from the show itself.
These updates could include:
- Live-streaming of demos or keynote speeches (if you are speaking)
- Itineraries or schedules
- Booth location
By keeping your followers updated with the trade show, you are able to provide them with valuable information even if they are not able to attend the show. These posts help to generate interest in your company and whatever product or service you are presenting at the show.
Aside from reaching trade show attendees or people who are interested in the trade show, there are other uses for keeping your social media updated with posts from the trade show. By attending trade shows, you are showing involvement and expertise in your industry, which helps to build up your online reputation.
4. Encourage Booth Visits Through Show-Specific Offers
Another great use for social media while at your trade show is to use it to promote special trade show offers or time-specific discounts to encourage visits to your booth. You can decide if you want any discounts or offers available to only show attendees or if anyone can use them.
Examples of these offers could include:
- A percentage off of a product you are presenting at the show
- A coupon code only available to attendees who visit your booth within a certain time-frame
- Entries into a contest by posting a photo of themselves visiting your booth
- Announcing a giveaway occurring at your booth at a specific time
These posts encourage interaction with you, not only on your social media account, but also by incentivizing attendees to visit your booth at the trade show.
One thing to keep in mind when developing your social content - these posts should work towards accomplishing your overall marketing goal, be sure they either drive traffic to your booth or to your show specific landing page.
5. Connect with New Leads
After your trade show has concluded, social media can still be a great tool to work towards turning your new leads into customers.
Try connecting with your leads on social media when the show is over. You can send them a brief message and direct them towards a post that will provide them with valuable information to show there’s worth in connecting with you.
6. Share Trade Show Content
Post photos from the show and ask your new leads to find themselves and tag themselves. This can create a sense of connection with you and your company. Continue to post content that is valuable and educational so your new leads can progress towards becoming customers.
Sharing blogs that discuss the show is another great options for social media content both for leads generated from the show and other followers as well. By recapping any demonstrations, new product debuts, or keynote talks, you can remind your followers why you attended the show.
Use these posts to guide your followers further into their buyer’s journey by linking to more relevant content offers or offers for consultations with your business.
Social media can play a huge role in your trade show marketing strategy if used correctly. Use this tool to generate interest in your show attendance before the show. Let followers keep up with your actions during the show.
Finally, recap your experience after the show and guide your new leads and current followers towards closing as a customer with a valuable and well thought out content strategy.
All social media posts for your trade show should help you reach your overall trade show goal. Develop you own goals by downloading our free Goal Sheet Template here: