Most businesses think of trade shows as opportunities to put their sales team into action. While every trade show has lucrative opportunities for sales reps, they also offer great opportunities for another part of your business: the social media team.
With an increasing number of trade show attendees checking their smartphones as often as they check exhibits, creating a highly visible social media presence for your business can give you a huge marketing advantage.
Read on to learn five simple yet effective tips for getting your business in front of as many people as possible using social media at your next trade show.
1. Add social media profiles and QR codes to your banners
Your display banners aren’t just for branding. By listing your social media profiles on banners and portable display boards, you make it easy for prospects to connect with you after the show.
If a large portion of your sales base is tech-savvy, you can even use QR codes to let visitors to your booth quickly add your company on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
2. List social media information on business cards and brochures
In the days following a trade show, many prospects will end up inundated with sales calls and pesky emails. One of the best ways to rise above the flood of salespeople is to connect with prospects on social media by listing your details on a business card.
3. Connect with social media influencers before the event begins
Trade shows are major events, and they’re almost always attended by the industry’s most influential journalists and bloggers. Find out who will be attending your next trade show and connect with them before the show to build a relationship.
Knowing a reporter or two will give you a distinct advantage when it comes to press, as many reporters will share their top trade show stories with each other. Knowing one is often all it takes to gain access to a wide variety of bloggers and journalists.
4. Add prospects on LinkedIn to expand your personal network
LinkedIn is a great tool for learning more about your prospects’ needs. Add people that you meet during a trade show to LinkedIn immediately and search for shared connections.
If you have several connections in common with a prospect, you can mention them when you follow up with a sales call, further boosting your reliability in the eyes of your prospective customers.
5. Run competitions and promotions during the trade show
Competitions are excellent ways to attract attention at trade shows. In the weeks leading up to the event, try running a simple social media trade show – a retweet contest, for example – to encourage attendees to connect with your brand.
Even the simplest of prizes – some free company merchandise or a voucher for a small discount – are often enough to encourage hundreds of attendees to stop by your booth during the event.