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7 Ways Social Media Can Help Your Business Stand Out at a Trade Show


When it comes to trade shows, businesses are always looking for smart and novel ways to get the word out about their products and services. In a crowded exhibition hall full of competitors and distractions, it can be tricky to stand out and make a strong impression. At times like these, social media can be a great asset for getting yourself on people’s radar. It can help you reach potential customers before, during, and after the event. Here are seven tips for marketing your business on social media at trade show time:

  1. Use the event hashtag – Find out what the event hashtag is and see who’s using it prior to the show. Attendees are likely using or monitoring that hashtag on Twitter, looking to connect with others who are also planning to go, but depending on your industry or how the show organizers are using social media, this hashtag may also be in use on Instagram as well. Conversations may already be underway on the trade show’s Facebook page. Join in. It’ll get the word out about your business and show your enthusiasm for the event.
  2. Connect before the trade show – If there are people you know you’ll especially want to talk to at the trade show, whether they’re prospective clients, business partners, or journalists, reach out to them on social media before the big event. Connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, or wherever they appear to be most active on social and start a conversation. Let them know you’d love to grab a coffee if possible at the event. People are often pressed for time at trade shows, so be sure to let them know the specific business opportunity or topic you’d like to discuss.
  3. Share video and photos – People are more likely to respond to your social media posts and share them with others if they include video clips or photos. Consider taking snapshots or quick video clips of the scene at the trade show and sharing them on social media during the event. You can occasionally post snapshots of your booth, which will make it easier for people to find in the exhibition hall. Some companies even get started early, snapping pictures of their trip as they’re en route to the show. It gives their followers, and even people who can’t make it to the show but wish they could, a glimpse into what the event looks like behind the scenes.
  4. Run giveaways and contests – Everyone likes a good contest or trade show giveaway featuring cool and useful swag like USB drives and power banks. Running such a contest or giveaway on social media is a great way to draw an even bigger crowd to your booth. You can encourage people to participate by tweeting using a special contest hashtag or by posting a photo of themselves at your booth and sharing it with their followers, for example, which gets the word out about your business to even more people. There are many different ways you can run a contest during a trade show, and incorporating social media into the mix can give it a turbocharged boost.
  5. Advertise your social media campaign with promotional products – Handing out promotional products that feature a social media campaign is a great way to do to let potential clients and business partners know that you’re active on social. You could print a campaign hashtag on pencils that you give out, for example. Another great idea is to choose a promotional product that ties into the concept of the campaign itself. For example, an advocacy group promoting the health benefits of vaccinations might choose a syringe pen or a syringe highlighter and print the hashtag #VaccinationsSaveLives on it to reinforce the messaging in a meaningful, memorable way. Whatever the campaign you are running or the message you want to send, there are a variety of creative ways to amplify it by syncing promotional products with social media.
  6. Get video testimonials – Customer testimonials are among the most powerful forms of marketing out there. If you know that some of your most loyal customers will be at the trade show, see if you can get them to record video testimonials for later use on social media as well as your website, YouTube channel, and email newsletter.
  7. Blog about the show afterward – Share a recap of the trade show and the highlights from your perspective after the big event is over. Include photos, details on the giveaway if you offered one (don’t forget to thank everyone who participated), and any other interesting things that you think are worth mentioning. This gives folks who couldn’t be at the show a look at what it was like from your perspective, and it also presents your business as an active member of the industry community. Just as with the video testimonial, this blog post is perfect for sharing on social media as well as in a company email newsletter.

Do you have a trade show on the horizon? We can help advise you on custom branded promotional products that can make a difference for your brand. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 for creative and innovative branding ideas to help your company stand out and make a great impression.