Using social media to create exhibition presence
A strong social media presence is the holy grail when it comes to building a buzz around your exhibition stand. But, in the busy lead up to a show, it’s all-too-easy to put it low down on your priority list, use our tips to give it the attention deserved before, during and after your next big event.
Being active on social media will expand the reach of your exhibition, humanise your brand and generate a buzz, meaning you’ll get more out of the event. You’ll reach more people who may not have attended the show, as well as attracting those at the show who may not have heard of you but are following hashtags related to the event. So what are the secrets to success when it comes to social media?
It’s all in the planning
Your social media strategy should be an integral part of your overall exhibition strategy, regardless of the platforms that you use. Create a content plan that details what you’re planning to post and when. Having a plan makes it a lot easier to post and stick to it rather than posting intermittently. Platforms like HubSpot provide tools that allow you to schedule your posts in advance, making it even easier to plan ahead.
Build awareness and interest before your event, letting people know that you’ll be attending and what they can expect. Share ‘sneak peaks’ of new products and services that are going to be launched at the show to drum up interest.
Don’t forget to hashtag
Find out the show hashtags and use them in all of your posts relating to the event – this will generate interest from those that are following the hashtags (even if they’re not following you yet), building hype around the show to make it more successful for you.
You can target people who have shown an interest in the event to narrow your audience and reach the right people.
It may even be worth creating your own unique hashtag for the event to promote your brand’s presence.
Provide an incentive
You can use social media to make your stand a ‘must see’ before you’re even at your trade show. Here’s how:
- Run a competition that includes attendees taking a picture on your stand with your show hashtag and your social media handle to give attendees a chance of winning a prize. This will also help you to build a list of attendees to follow up with.
- Use social media to allow people to book appointments to see your staff prior to and during the event.
- Use the exhibition as an opportunity to create a promo video for any new product launches that can be shared on social media after the event.
- Offer freebies for those who come and visit your stand, or offer tokens that can be redeemed when people visit you.
Connect before the show
Before you attend your show, take the opportunity to connect with others that you know will also be attending the exhibition – customers as well as other people who are working there, such as show organisers, industry journalists and other companies attending that may want to collaborate. This gives you the chance to make connections and develop relationships – and when these people re-share, like and comment on your posts it will help increase awareness of your event further.
Keep updating with fresh content
On top of your scheduled posts, you need to keep your content fresh and free-flowing. Exhibitions give you some great content opportunities if you make the most of them, so take photos and videos at any given opportunity! You can then pick the best to share to your social platforms, including your Instagram Stories. Ideas for exhibition content include:
- 3D visuals of your stand design
- Setting up
- Selfies of your team on the stand
- Product demonstrations
- Visitors engaging with your stand
- Highlight giveaways
- Visiting other attractions at the show
- Pack up
- Selfies with happy customers
- Time lapse videos
Using social media can bring visitors to your stand, but it also allows people who weren’t able to be at the event to feel like they were there with you. Make sure that you’re responding to comments, likes and questions quickly to keep everyone happy and engaged.
The all-important follow up
Once you’ve packed away and recovered from your busy exhibition, make sure you follow up with leads, customers and supporters. Send a personal thank you to your team, visitors who engaged and anyone else who offered you support.