An important part of attending an event is to ensure people know that you’ll be there – one of the best, and potentially cheapest ways to do this is through the use of social media. Hopefully you already have active social media accounts for your business, but if not, now is a great time to set them up.
Before the Event
Effectively using social media to promote your exhibition attendance requires a lot of forethought and planning, if you wait until right before the event to start posting about it you may have missed your opportunity.
Creating a plan or a schedule well in advance will allow you to post regularly and consistently in the time leading up to the event. Include the content of the post in the schedule to save time later on and to save on stress when you’re not sure what to post.
Imagery to accompany your social media post is also beneficial. If you have access to a graphic design team, ask them to create an exciting image that promotes your attendance of the event and provides valuable information such as dates and locations.
Studies show that Tweets with images get approximately 18% more clicks, 89% more favourites and 150% more retweets – this is why using imagery is so beneficial!
Alongside an image you also need to come up with a unique hashtag (#). This will allow people to see everything they need to know about your attendance of the event in one place. It also allows you to monitor what people are saying about you when using the hashtag. Hashtags invite people to share more leading up to your event.
The exhibition organisers will also often have their own hashtag, so ensure you use this in all of your social media posts. When other attendees search the hashtag they will easily be able to view what you are posting.
Leading up to the event it can also be effective to follow some of the other businesses that are attending the same event as you – try to drum up some conversation!
During the Event
You’ve put in the effort to create excitement online for your attendance at the event, but the hard work doesn’t stop there. Having someone dedicated to social media for the duration of the event is a good idea as they can post about the show in real time.
Ensure you take pictures of the event to go with your tweets – pictures of attendees engaging with your staff and exhibition stand work well. Continue to use the hashtag you created before the event and monitor it to see if anyone else is using the hashtag, from there you will be able to reply to anyone that is engaging with you.
At the event you can also encourage social media engagement in person, make sure your chosen hashtag is clearly visible on your exhibition stand. If you are expecting a lot of engagement throughout the event it can also be a good idea to have a screen that displays posts using the hashtag in real time. This allows attendees to see what is being posted about your business.
During the event you can also host giveaways and competitions on social media to generate excitement around your brand. One idea could be to ask visitors to post using your selected hashtag to be entered into a draw for a prize.
After the Event
After the event ask for a list of all of the leads that were gathered during the event. Engaging with these leads on social media is a great way to improve your relationship with them and can ultimately help the sales team to close the sale.
After the event is your chance to show how successful the event was for your business. This can be done in a number of ways, such as a blog post or video. You can also compose a story using your visitors' posts, pictures and testimonials.
Reviewing Social Media Performance
Measuring the success of social media campaigns can be difficult, Google Analytics is a valuable resource here, allowing you to track online traffic as a result of social media. This can include visits to your website and even sales that originated from social media.
The most popular social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have built in analytics pages. These can be extremely useful in providing you with stats for your posts. From here you can compare how popular posts before the event and during the event were.
We hope our tips help you to make the most of your next event using social media. Share your own social media top tips with us on Twitter or Facebook.
At XL Displays we are experts in custom exhibition stands and portable display equipment such as pop up displays and roller banners. For advice and information on preparing for your next event, please contact us or call us on 01733 511030.