14. June 2013 01:18
Social media is a great way to boost the promotion of your participation in trade shows and events. It doesn't require any allocation from your promotion budget to use, aka FREE, and offers the added potential benefit to go viral, aka BONUS Distribution! However, social media does require time which equals manpower. So get your team together to review the overall marketing plan and brainstorm ways to make the most of social media to publicize your event. Go through each phase of the event - before, during and after. Define what messages you want to post to which site(s), the photos and videos you plan to use or need to capture, and when you want to release them.
Here are a few ideas that may help get you started.
LinkedIN, Facebook, and Twitter, are all great places to start promoting your event. Make sure to include the date, time, location and your booth number if its a trade show. Use this opportunity to give your audience a sneek peek of your plans - engagement activities including contests or drawings, sponsorships, new products, special offers and giveaways, even hospitality. Add your own hashtag or the official one for the event to any tweets you publish that reference the event or your presence there. Include the hashtag on your website and invitations to make people aware of it. Ask your target audience to follow you and share the content you release, too.
There's really no limit to how creative you can get with social media interactions during the event. For example, with your hashtag or the event's hashtag, you can invite followers to gather for a Tweet Up at a specific time. Tell them why they should come and make it feel exclusive. Ask them to join you to see a demo, meet a special guest, receive a surprise gift or just enjoy some refreshments and network. Create a Foursquare location for your booth, and offer specials to people who check in there, or use the tips function to create clues for a scavenger hunt. Upload photos taken during the event to Instagram so people can see what's happening in real time. When visitors arrive, encourage them to add you on Facebook, Twitter, or any of their favorite social network sites.
Don't overlook the potential for promotion after your trade show or event. Upload video clips from the event to YouTube, post photos on Facebook, or write a blog post. Send out your "thank you for visiting us" message with an invitation for recipients to post their photos and tag themselves. Remember to continue using your hashtags on tweets because people who attended the event like to check those threads after the event.
Social media can be part of an integrated campaign strategy to publicize your presence at trade shows and events. For more social media tips and ideas, download our free guide now!