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Get More Trade Show Leads With Social Media

Want to use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to get more leads in your trade show booth?

Social Networking

There are two key strategies you can leverage with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in your pre-show promotions.  You can reach out to your own network on these social networks, or rapidly tap into groups that already exist for your trade show or industry on these social media sites.

Long Term: Build Your Own Social Media Following

The first strategy is a more long-term plan.  As it takes time and effort to build up your own following, whether they are called fans and friends on Facebook, connections and followers on LinkedIn, or followers on Twitter.  If you have already built up a following, then voila!  It’s a short-term plan for you.

When you have gained a group of followers, communicate to them before the show with a potent reason to meet you in your trade show booth, just like you would with any other media.  If your clients, prospects, and influencers are into social media then building your own following is the way to go and using your own network for pre-show promotion is a bonus.

Short Term: Leverage the Trade Show’s Followers on Social Media Sites

The second strategy can be achieved in a relatively short time.  It’s to tie into the people who have connected to your trade show’s presence on these social networks.

For Facebook post your comments, advertise you’re unique trade show promotion or new product news on the show’s Facebook fan or group page.  For example, you can make a post asking people to come see you at your trade show stand, load up your product photos to the fan page, link to a YouTube video or make comments to the news the show posts themselves.

Within the trade show’s LinkedIn group, you can post news items about your new products, or join discussions about what will be happening at the trade show.  As an exhibitor, you will almost certainly be accepted to the show’s group.  If the show doesn’t have a LinkedIn group yet, then ask the show to start one or search using your industry keywords and find the best groups for your industry, and start a discussion asking who is going to the show you are exhibiting at.

When using Twitter, leveraging the show’s Twitter followers is achieved by sending tweets filled with great reasons to visit you at the trade show. Include in your message the hashtag for the show (like #CES for the CES show) which increases the likelihood you get read by attendees who are reading that hashtag Twitter stream.  If the show doesn’t retweet your message you can direct message the show’s Twitter account, let them know you are an exhibitor, and ask them to retweet your message to share it with your followers.

Just remember that if you would consider a message to be spam sent via email, it may be considered even more so via social media so tread lightly in these arenas.

Get More Visitors to Your Trade Show Display

You will have greater interest from people in your own network (strategy 1), but fewer of them will be going to the show.  You will have greater opportunity for new connections using the show’s network (strategy 2), but you won’t always have the power of an existing relationship and will have to have an even more potent message to stand out, just like all pre-show marketing.

We have focused on Social Media for Pre-Show Promotions however keep in mind that many show visitors will have personal mobile devices on them at the show so think about how you can integrate Social Media Marketing into your at-show promotions too.

Don’t leave you social media development until you are preparing for a show. Start now so you can maximise your exposure, develop a following and build your social media trade show leads show after show. 

If you have any comments about this article or have more suggestions on how to use social media to improve you Trade Show Leads please share them below.


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