For many marketers, social media has not been embraced to the fullest extent. But social media is not going away, and it has become a communication tool to use before, during, and after a trade show. Why have event organizers begun to use social media as a trade show strategy? And why and how should you – as a marketer create a social media trade show strategy?
Because it allows attendees to network, locate industry trends, new products and services, and find specific information.
- Networking – Social media helps to create a community around a trade show. Before the trade show, attendees can connect with others who are as like-minded as they are.
- New Product & Services – Locating real-time information about new product and service releases as they happen is integral to attendees.
- Information – Companies and event organizers can listen to what attendees are looking for, and better service their desires at the upcoming trade show or with their trade show displays.
How often are attendees unable to attend the trade show due to reduced budgets or a scheduling conflict? Social media allows the expansion of the audience. Blog posts, tweets, and YouTube videos allow attendees to obtain real time information about what they are missing at a key trade show that they were unable to attend. Across the globe, social media allows attendees to connect from their computers even if they are unable to make it to your trade show booth.
Social media also increases the length of the trade show through the use of hash tags, blogs, and online communities which allow interaction way in advance of the show open date, and long after show close. Trade show organizers often allow online new product boards that link directly to exhibitor portals and social media communities, making it easier for attendees to navigate the trade show on demand.
So how do you use social media with a trade show marketing strategy?
Plan ahead, involve your sales team, marketing team, and create a calendar of social media activities. Get buy in from management, ensure everyone knows the brand messaging, and implement your social media strategy using methods of content creation and consistent engagement with attendees and anyone who engages with you! We will discuss measuring your results in a future blog post, as this is a crucial step.
How have you been successful in using social media with your trade show strategy? Share your comments below!