Social Media Is Here to Stay - Use It To Drive Traffic to Your Trade Show Exhibits

Friday, December 20, 2013

As soon as businesses started promoting Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, it became pretty obvious that social media was here to stay. It's easy to see why: social media is a phenomenal marketing tool when used correctly. Businesses can connect with their clients and receive feedback in ways they couldn't before. They can share new product information and announcements, conduct surveys or just get to know their customers a little better at little to no cost.

So how can you integrate this amazing marketing tool into your trade show exhibits?

Pre-Event Marketing

Just as you would any other marketing tool, start using your social media accounts to promote trade show exhibits and your presence at such. You can create Facebook posts asking who plans to attend the event and what they are most looking forward to. You can announce that a new product will be unveiled at the event or provide a teaser that doesn't quite give away all the details. This gets the conversation going and starts to generate buzz about the trade show exhibits and your business.

Don't forget that catching up with friends and colleagues is as important to many trade show attendees as seeing new products. Make it easy for them by creating an event on your Facebook page. This allows your Facebook friends to RSVP to the event. It is a quick and easy way for clients to see who's going to be at the exhibition and who isn't. In a similar fashion, you can send out invitations to your colleagues on LinkedIn and start to generate excitement there as well.

Best of all, these techniques don't cost anything other than the time it takes you to update your status or send out an email. You're still providing the same information that you typically provide with more traditional marketing methods, just in a new way.

Integration Into Trade Show Designs

Even when the event is going on you can use your accounts to keep customers apprised of what's going on. If you do unveil a new product, announce it and post pictures of it. If you've won an award, let all your followers know about it. It doesn't have to be a press release worthy announcement. A simple Tweet will get the news out and generate interest in your company.

Another idea is to provide running updates about the event on your social media pages. This can be done via status updates or even live feed. Providing these updates helps keep those customers who couldn't attend the event in the loop and keeps your business front and center.

If you plan a giveaway, Tweet about it! It'll remind attendees to swing by your booth. Make sure you "Check-in" at your booth and post it to your pages so your followers know where to find you. Or create a Foursquare location and let smartphone GPS apps guide attendees to your booth.

Modular trade show designs offer plenty of opportunity to welcome social media into your booth. Set up some seating or an open area when attendees can take a break and check their messages. A display for a trade show may contain a QR code that links to your website or Facebook page that visitors can quickly scan and then read later.

Use Informal Connections To Develop Formal Relationships

Social media is a fun and informal way to get your message out there and meet and understand your clients better. It allows you to shine through as a business full of people with personality rather than just a company to do business with. It can provide that people to people connection that exhibitors value so much. Get a head start on building those connections through social media then solidify the relationships in person at trade show exhibits.

Social media isn't going away. Used wisely, it can generate big results with little work.