You’ve decided to take your company to an exhibition or trade show. You’ve got a shiny new product to promote, and a custom built exhibition stand that’s going to get you noticed from across a crowded exhibition hall.
But being there just isn’t enough. You need to make sure that the people that need to know about you being there know about you being there. And one of the best ways to do this is via Social Media.
Social Media is playing an ever increasing role in many businesses’ marketing efforts. The viral nature of Social means that it can have tremendous value when it comes to building and promoting your brand. It is a fantastic way of not only building relationships with your existing customer or client base, but also engaging with potential new clients.
So how can you go about making the most of Social Media when you’re at an exhibition? The main thing is: know what it is you want. Regardless of which network you use, be clear in what you are trying to achieve by posting. And have a plan for each Social network. Your updates will be different on each one, so make sure you know what you’re going to post and when.
Twitter for exhibitors
Still huge, and showing no sign of falling out of favour, Twitter is great for events as your updates are so short.
A few weeks before the event, see if there is an event hashtag you can follow. You might find this on the event website, or the event organisers may Tweet it out ahead of time. You can then use this hashtag in a variety of different ways
- See who else is talking about the event. There might just be some potential customers or clients in there. And you can also find out if your competitors are going along.
- Keep track of updates regarding the event: guest speakers, arrangements, advice…
- During the event, you can Tweet using the hashtag. That way people at the event can see you’re there. If people can’ attend, they may still be following the hashtag for news and updates.
- After the event, use it to thank people for visiting your stand, to thank the organisers, or to offer or ask for feedback.
Facebook for exhibitors
What would a post on Social Media be without at least a mention of Facebook? The Social behemoth is still the most widely used social network. And because it is so widely used, you need to make sure you’re making the most of it.
If the event you’re attending has its own Facebook page, like it. You may get access to exclusive content if you do this too! Join in the conversation on the event’s Wall. On your page, post content about the event, such as photos of products you’re promoting, links to news items or your blog posts about the event, or info about any promotions or special offers you’re running on the day.
Pinterest for exhibitors
Now the third most popular Social Network on the Internet (in the USA at least), Pinterest is a place where users can “pin” and “repin” things they like, be they images, links, videos, ideas, pretty much anything. Why not try creating a Pinterest board for your company, and pinning information about the exhibition there, such as date, time, venue, location of your stand, photos of products, etc. You could also pin photos of staff who will be on your stand, along with personal messages.
And if you see anything you like about the event on other users’ boards, repin it. That user will be notified that his or her content has been repined, and may well head your way to find out more about you.
There are so many ways that you can use Social Media to promote your attendance at an exhibition. But remember, too much self promotion is annoying to your followers and fans, so don’t post updates every five minutes. And keep your content varied across the various platforms. Nobody wants to see you post exactly the same things everywhere.
Author bio: Helen Laird writes for Astro Exhibitions, a firm of exhibition stand designers based near Manchester, UK. Astro design and build exhibition stands for companies from all over the world, at venues right across Europe. Their exhibition stand portfolio includes clients such as Casio, Shell and BASF.