1. Plan in Advance
The best social media strategies are planned well in advance; there’s no good just showing up on the day, snapping a few unplanned pictures and hoping for the best. Once you have the plan, layout and design for your trade show stand in place, as well as your marketing plan, you can begin planning for your social media, too.
2. Choose the Right Hashtags
Before an event or exhibition, do your research into appropriate hashtags.
First, look for any specific hashtags to do with the event you will be attending. These are a good way to be a part of the buzz and excitement before and during an event, and to keep yourselves on people’s radar afterwards. Plus, if the event organisers like your posts, they may repost them on the main event account which will boost your engagement.
Next, research other accounts that have shown an interest in this exhibition or in your industry in general. Flag the ones who really engage with brands in a positive way; these are the people you want to target.
Finally, if you don’t already have your own company hashtag, now’s the time to create one - and to create a bespoke hashtag for your brand at the event you’re attending. It’s a great way to get people engaging with your business - and for you to track your posts after the fact. Make sure you add your hashtags to any marketing materials for your exhibition to maximise engagement.
3. Meet Your Audience
Prep work before the event is key. You can use your social media channels to network with event attendees in the run-up to the big day; it’s not about numbers, it’s about really engaging with them and piquing their interest. As well as potential customers, be sure to connect with industry journalists and influencers; add them to your network and invite them to visit your stand. The more information they have in advance of the event, the more likely they are to include you in any ‘round-ups’, articles or posts. For journalists and influencers, detailed information, fun facts and high-quality photography are essential - so offering any of these will always get you brownie points.
4. Offer Incentives
There are a number of different ways to use your social media to entice people to visit your stand. What you want to create is a buzz around what you’ll be offering on the day to encourage people to check it out for themselves. You can do this with:
- Competitions - everybody loves the thought of winning something. Host a competition on the day, and advertise it on your social media in the run-up. This will encourage people to make a deliberate trip to your stand. You can also run social competitions on the day, for example, asking people to post an unusual picture of your stand or logo using your hashtags for the chance to win a prize.