The right approach makes both more effective

 

In the B2B world, there’s a great debate about the effectiveness of trade shows as a part of the marketing mix. There’s also a great debate about the effectiveness of social media within B2B circles. We believe that the combined efforts of Social Media and Trade Shows create a perfect recipe for building value in each other. See below for some best practices we employ on behalf of our clients in relation to social media for trade shows.

Pre-Show

  • Develop strategy and goals for Show; ideally, reflect them in website content (blog, landing pages)
  • Identify conference hashtag(s); any time you post about/from the conference, use the hashtags
  • Include hashtags in any pre-Show press releases/promotions
  • Identify thought leaders ahead of time (industry leaders, bloggers, columnists, Show speakers, sponsors); engage, network, and tap them as resources (especially on LinkedIn)
  • After making contact, invite thought leaders to booth
  • Alert potential attendees to the need to register for demonstrations
  • Announce new features – call to action: demonstrations
  • Promote new/existing products – call to action: demonstrations
  • Announce who from your company is going to the Show (where appropriate) and leverage their networks
  • Gather contacts through all the above activities, and reach out to them before the Show 

 

During Show

  • Take and post photos/video of booth going up, staff, visitors, and thought leaders
  • Make in-person contacts for everyone you reached out to beforehand; take photo & video content
  • Continue to engage with thought leaders during the Show
  • Twitter: Follow everyone you meet, especially those tweeting from the conference using the hashtags
  • Exchange business cards and connect with those people on LinkedIn; before heading to the cocktail hour is a great time to do this
  • Release/announce something of interest to audience during Show – include in posts
  • Leverage social media for any contests to drive traffic to booth; always include photos & video
  • Take photos of people during demos, and identify them if they have a social media following (ask)
  • Announce that demos are available at certain times
  • Take photos of booth, and post to social media
  • Take photos of staff socializing with customers and potential customers, and post to all social media (identify people where possible)
  • Take photos/video of booth breakdown 

Post-Show

  • Humbly brag
  • Choose one “phenomenal” photo from the Show and create a post that will grab potentials’ attention; put money behind promoting this post across all social media channels
  • Share Show content like photos, video, key takeaways
  • If contests were held during Show, promote winners across platforms
  • Announce new clients where appropriate


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