In a previous post I mentioned the importance of using social media to maximize the impact of your trade show experience before, during, and after the event, and in a later one I mentioned how you can prepare to make the most of it before it even starts. Today I want to focus on how to prepare effective and compelling marketing material during your trade show.
#1 Social Posts: Keep It Relevant
We all have the Facebook friend who likes to post countless pictures of their food, or pictures of themselves at the gym, etc. And as much as I think little babies and puppies are cute, I can only see so many of those pictures in my feed before I start scrolling quickly and getting to things that are new and interesting. Your social media life should be the same: keep it relevant and don’t bore your audience with fluff.
While at a trade show, it is tempting to spend one’s time tweeting or posting updates on Facebook between visitors at your booth. And even though it will generate content, lots of content, it might be better to limit your social media activity to relevant and interesting updates. Did someone make a really good point about your product, or tell you of a great experience they had with your customer service? Record it, file it, and produce it later as a blog post or video. Ask the customer for permission to quote them and use a link to their website, Twitter, or Facebook account. If you link to people’s content, chances are they will link you back.
The time at the trade show can become a time for gathering material to create content for your social media posts.
#2 The Importance of Being Helpful
I like books. I am a book fiend, and I don’t love just to read them, I love collecting them, making them, rebinding them, hollowing them to create book safes, etc. I just love everything about books. If my friends tweet about books they just finished and enjoyed, I will be interested. If a friend posts a video explaining how he or she made a DIY book scanner, I will be all over that. I care because what they are sharing is not only interesting for me, but because it is helpful, because it is something I’ve been wondering about—as in what book should I read next—, and, as in the case of the DIY book scanner, something I didn’t even know existed but that now I really, really want.
While you are at the trade show, instead of tweeting everything that comes to mind, listen to your customers and booth visitors. If somebody asks a question about your product that you hadn’t thought it was important to answer before, file it and save it as the topic for a blog post. If somebody on Twitter asks a general question about the trade show, be present and give an answer. If your answer is the first one or the most thoughtful one, even better. You will be known as someone who cares and that will be there when your customers have issues that you can solve.
But, as in the case of my friend’s DIY scanner, make your posts helpful and interesting. Reveal something that the customer might not have known before. As they say, sometimes more is less. Or, as that other cliché goes, it’s all about quality over quantity.
Make Your Customers Speak for You
A 2013 report from the Information Systems Research journal1 revealed that when customers participate in a firm’s social media efforts, the frequency of visitors increase, customers exhibit a stronger patronage with the firm, they tend to buy more premium products, and, as a direct consequence, profitability goes up.
The reason for this is simple: we all like to feel we are part of something special. Make sure your company is that something special for your customers.
Invite customers to write guest blog posts, feature them giving success stories and using your product in videos, etc. During your trade show you can ask permission to video the visitors to your booth asking you questions, giving testimonials, you can record their reaction to your products’ cool features, and then edit them into a YouTube video that you can then share on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc.
In summary, some ways to maximize your tradeshow experience by using social media are:
- Keeping your social posts relevant
- Sharing something interesting and new
- Being helpful
- Allowing your clients to speak
Don’t let your tradeshow impact end by the time the show is over. This can be a content-gathering experience that will make an impact in your social media endeavors for years. At ExpoMarketing, we can help you create and manage such content using your website, blogging, emails, social media, etc.
Click below to download our free eBook The Social Media Manual: A Hands-On Guide to Finding Prospects and New Leads and to see how you can efficiently maximize your online presence.
1 "The Effect of Customers' Social Media Participation on Customer Visit Frequency and Profitability: An Empirical Investigation,” by Rishika Rishika, Ashish Kumar, Ramkumar Janakiraman and Ram Bezawada. Information Systems Research, Vol. 24, No. 1