Social Media

Question: I am exhibiting at a local Home and Garden Expo. How can I strategically use social media to enhance my traditional trade show promotion and marketing communications?

Answer: We live in a connected society both in business and personal endeavors. If you want to reach your target audience, you have to consider being connected through both traditional and digital media. Today that includes primarily a website, a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can use these media to communicate brand messages, announcements, post white papers, take positions on industry issues, or invite the audience to visit you at your business’ location or trade show.

Some of these outlets are appropriate for your business. Some are not. A lot depends on your overall sales and marketing objectives, what content you want to deliver and how you want it delivered, as well as how your target audience prefers to receive information.

You might want to consider using social media pre-show/at show and post show:

Photos of staff Teasers
Promote specials Involve partners
Ask questions to get audience thinking about YOU

At Show
Extend your event to non-attendees Be a source of news
Build sign-ups for the future
Give social media physical presence in your exhibit

Post Show
Payoff from the live event Post inside information Ask for feedback
Post recaps of key show events via a video of demos Say thanks
Source: Richard Norby

Here are some thoughts on the major business social media tools:

Low volume / high value Minimum: 3 x per week Quality vs. Quantity
Like a mini-website for sharing event assets and keeping followers up-to-date. Use to build loyalty and awareness
Make it easy for others to share content

Best Practices
Get likes, shares and comments Be useful and informative
Make it about your business with a “call to action.”

High volume / low value Minimum: 5 x per day Maximum: none Quantity is key
Best social media on-site tool for event engagement Great for disseminating news & promoting special offers Good for connecting to other social channels
Excellent for quick, real-time conversations & monitoring the pulse of your audience

Best Practices
Create vs. curate Retweets=sharing the love Hashtags

Low volume / high value Minimum: 2 x per week
Best platform for thought leadership through discussion groups Good for providing status updates
Leverage targeted adds
Build and deepen relationships

Best Practices
Post at least 2x per week Share content that is about you
Post something useful for your audience

High volume/ high value Minimum: 5 x per day Quality images are important
Source: Adrienne Baumann, 508Marketing

Best Practices for the use of Social Media
Use actionable lingo Keep it simple
Be specific Be giving
Offer real value
Make it painless and convenient Make it urgent
Be different

Be open to all the newest digital communication tools that are available to support your traditional methods for reaching out to your current and potential customers.

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