Preparation

strategy

 

One of the key components of using social media at a trade show is preparation.

Draw up a strategy beforehand, in the weeks building up to the show.

When setting your social media objectives there are four basic areas to consider.

 

All of your planning should address one or all of these objectives.

•  Building brand awareness
•  Meeting existing and prospective customers
•  Generating social conversations and sales leads
•  Delivering superior customer service

If your business doesn't have a Facebook page or Twitter account, set them up. Begin tweeting about the trade show well in advance, include the official Twitter name or hashtag for the event.

Take time to consider who you would like to meet at the show, and use sites such as LinkedIn to compose lists of those you can network with when you're there. 

Grammar and Spelling

It may be fashionable in certain sectors to use misspellings and vowel-free abbreviations (ex: ASL - Age - Sex - Location, B2C - Business To Consumer) in their Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter accounts, but clear communication is vital in business.  

grammarA tweet may be just 140 characters long, but it is still a message representing your business. Nothing looks less professional than a sentence that's peppered with errors or a message that makes no sense whatsoever! 

Use Social Media Sparingly

This is a matter of quality rather than quantity. You're at a show to meet your objective - whether it's prospecting, qualifying, gathering leads, You're not there to tweet and surf Social Media. You have to have a show floor social media strategy as part of your overall Social Media strategy,  Don't fill any down time by tweeting the first thing that comes into your head, however appropriate it may seem at the time. Stick to the plan. Keep communications via social media focused on content and value. Use it to promote structured events throughout the show: product demonstrations, for example, or signings. That way, you can create a buzz around the overall event and draw people to your booth at key times during the show.

Keep It Classy

Keeping it Classy applies to the use of social media at all times, not just during trade shows.

classyOnce again social media, messages however informal they can seem, are a representation of your business. Think of the messages as your store front. If you wouldn't write something on the window of your store or office, don't write it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform.

Faux Pas: In the UK, a manager of a liquor store—part of a nationwide chain—was suspended for announcing a sales promotion on champagne the day Margaret Thatcher died, writing, "If for any reason anyone feels like celebrating anything, we have Taittinger available... on sale."

It should go without saying—but still has to be said— a business account on Twitter is neither a soapbox for your political beliefs nor a stage for your comedy routine. "Witty" and "quirky" are both fine, but keep them in check and use them only when it's appropriate!


Post Pictures and Videos

It’s about taking the experience beyond the exhibit hall and reaching a wider audience. You may have current or prospective customers who are unable to attend the show. Taking photographs and recording videos of any events you may have at your booth, and posting them as quickly as possible, is a great way of bringing the show to them.