The marketing power of social media is no longer a secret. The millions of people logging on and checking in every day make up a massive potential audience for your business. But it can be daunting to navigate the ever-changing world of the internet, and the Web ultimately remains an underutilized tool in tradeshow marketing.
Fortunately, there are very few barriers to entry into the world of social media and it doesn’t take much time or energy to plug into that huge pool of potential. While there’s an almost endless list of social media outlets these days, here are a few things you can try at your next show to tap into the power of social media and set yourself up for tradeshow success!
Love it or hate it, Facebook is everywhere, with over 900 million active users as of April, 2012. A big part of the ever increasing Facebook landscape is businesses who have realized that Facebook isn’t just for personal pages anymore. If your business doesn’t have a Facebook page, you should change that, now. Once you have your page established and branded, use it to promote your tradeshow appearances.
Start in the weeks leading up to the show by letting your Facebook fans know where you’ll be and when. Give them an idea of what they can expect both from your business and from the show in general. The more comfortable they are with the particulars of the show itself, the more likely they’ll be to attend.
During the show, make regular posts about how things are going, what you’ve been doing, any giveaways you’ve done or any interesting people who have stopped by your booth. Include images and videos to really amp up the excitement. You can also post shots of any promotional products you’re giving away or interactive promotions you’re featuring. Participants checking in on you with their smartphones will almost certainly head over to visit your booth.
You can even use Facebook as a promotion itself. Offer a discount or coupon to anyone who posts a photo of themselves at your booth to their own Facebook page and tags you in it. Now you’re not just marketing to your fans, but to all of their Facebook friends as well!
A regularly updated YouTube channel is another great resource at your disposal. Once again you can start uploading videos before the show to give attendees an introduction to what you’ll be presenting and any tradeshow ideas you’ve been working on. Make a fresh video for each show you attend and include the show name, date and location. Use the tags section to include anything else you think will help people find their way to your video when searching YouTube and then embed the video on your website and link to it on Facebook and Twitter.
After the show post a recap video with clips from your booth activity and details about how things went. These clips don’t have to be meticulously produced or even especially promotional, the idea is to engage viewers and give them insight into your business. The comfort and confidence you exhibit in the videos will often translate into similar feelings about your company in your viewers.
There are countless other social media sites you could use, but if you’re relatively new to social media, these two giants are a great place to start. For seasoned social media gurus, these tips can apply to virtually any platform.
About the Author
Shannon Martin is a trade show marketing consultant with more than a decade of experience in the trade show and conference marketing arena. She is the lead editor for TradeShowMarketing.Com and lives in Palm Coast, FL.