Having run a number of EMEA wide Social Media campaigns for our clients aimed at driving traffic to their stands at trade shows, building brand awareness at events and acquiring new followers, the Outsourced Events team has learnt a thing or two along the way. We now want to share that knowledge with you. Here are ten tips from our team offering valuable insight into how using Social Media at trade shows can maximise the benefits of your presence:
Ensure you have a Social Media presence in EMEA
To ensure maximum engagement with your target audience, make sure you have a Social Media presence within EMEA as well as within the USA. Differences in time, language and culture could disenfranchise your EMEA audience and reduce the chances of you hitting your carefully planned objectives. If at all possible, an account for each country would be the best option as these allow you to post in the local language and thus make the likelihood of engagement with your brand even higher.
During the build up to the Event…
A few weeks before the event, start following the organisers, other exhibitors, influencers and members of the press, mentioning them in relevant posts as well as retweeting any of their updates. Make sure you know and use the event hashtags. Anyone following those hashtags, or anyone you mention will be able to see your post even if they are not following you. If they like what they see, they may start to follow you too! Remember, Twitter news feeds move quickly, so posting several times a day at regular intervals is less likely to irritate potential followers as long as your posts are varied, valuable and not too sales weighted. It’s a conversation after all…
Talking of Hashtags…
Choose an appropriate hashtag for your messaging, one that hasn’t been used before, so that you can track engagement. Use it every time you post about the event.
Social Media Management Platform
Pick a social media management platform like Hootsuite, Social Mention or Addict-o-matic to monitor all your channels, hashtags and mentions. Everything is on one dashboard and you don’t have to keep flicking between applications. Brandwatch has published a great article to help you choose the right one for your goals: https://www.brandwatch.com/2013/08/top-10-free-social-media-monitoring-tools/
Don’t forget LinkedIn
On the day of the event, Twitter is immediate and relevant but during the build up to the show, as well as on the morning of each day, LinkedIn is a great arena to build your brand and let others know what has happened the previous day. Check for a LI group specifically created for the event, as well as other groups with members within the industry. Engage in discussions and post updates to your company page.
Content, Content, Content
Releasing relevant research or valuable content relating to your message should be done during the event, tagging journalists, the event organisers and influencers. Use your event hashtags and mention the event at every opportunity. Valuable content is more likely to be shared.
Social Media Competition
Devising an innovative competition on Social Media to encourage delegates to visit your stand is a great way to drive traffic. With exciting prizes the competition can reach a wider audience.
More and more events now have a Tweet Wall and we’ve seen people standing in front of the wall waiting for their tweets to appear, so make sure that all your booth team know the event handle and hashtags. It’s a great idea to have a team member dedicated to updating the stream with photos and events as they happen from your booth so that your brand is visible and delegates feel compelled to visit you!
They’re very engaging, everyone loves to look at a photo. Take plenty of exciting ones of what is happening on your booth, like posing with branded glasses, etc. Maybe your competition could include photos too.
After the Show
Keep the conversation going after the event, sharing content, asking for the best “take-aways” and remember to include Social Media measurements in your post event follow up!
If you’d like to chat about how to maximise your presence at trade shows, then contact Denise Sharpe on 0208 995 9495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.