So, you’ve made the investment in a fired up trade show
display and you’re ready to ramp up your booth traffic. To do more than just
build your physical presence at a trade show, use the opportunity to ramp up
your virtual presence using social media.
The online conversation can multiply if you use some of these simple tips to get your show started.
1. Tweet before, during and after the show.
You can use a
free online tool such as hootsuite or tweetdeck to schedule a thread of tweets
to run before, during, and after your trade show. You can change one word in
each post, such as “10 days left…” “9 days left…” You can also vary them a bit
based on what kind of message you would like to post. Think of what specific
message you would like to promote, and then schedule it around your event to
maintain your presence even while you’re away.
2. Develop a content development strategy.
Fresh and valuable content takes time to develop.
And like a fine wine, it gets better with age. You should have a strategy, or
some kind of content calendar in place if you plan to have regular fresh content
development moving through the social media funnel. Think of the types of
content you create. Maybe it’s industry-specific news of relevance to your
audience. You should also have an internal content calendar to spread your
organization’s content you want to share – such as photos with clients, photos
at headquarters, blog posts, etc. Take all of this valuable content, and
schedule it to post throughout your event, so you can drive traffic not only to
your valuable online properties (your website, your social media profiles,
etc.), but so that you can have rich properties to drive search engine
3. Listen to thc conversation already happening.
something that is already being discussed around the event? Make sure to pick up
on keyword phrases that are being used over and over again, and align yourself
with the conversation by using those same keyword phrases. Perhaps it is the
name of the event. Find the hashtag that is being used for the event. One
popular event hastag that we were jumping in on recently was #CHAShow. We were
able to learn about videos being shot at the exhibit, and were able to jump
right in the conversation. You can do this, too, if you keep track of the
tweeters that are already having a conversation. Join in.
4. Reach beyond
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Listen to the conversation on different
social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, but don’t ignore
the value and power of Google+. There are industry specific blogs you can follow
(if you don’t know which ones, Google your industry name and the world “blog”
and you’ll not only get a list of currently active blogs, but the first page of
results will have blogs that rank highest in the search engines. You already
have your homework done for you. Now, you just need to align yourself by
commenting or contacting the blog authors to let them know where you’ll
4. Foursquare discounts and prizes.
You can engage your booth
visitors by offering discounts using Foursquare or Gowalla. Maybe you might have
a check-in premium, a special event check-in at the trade show, or a scavenger
hunt. Whatever the offer might be, engage and encourage your exhibitors to do
5. Post your event photos!
Photos are one of the most
viral pieces of social media content, because they don’t take any time
investment to share – as long as there is an easy way of sharing them, people
will spread the word. Don’t just post them on flickr, but post them using
services like twitpic, and definitely share them on google+, too!