How to take advantage of social media to impact your next trade show

Establishing a strong social media presence will have an impact on your next trade show. However, many companies are afraid of social media because it takes a lot of commitment. In order to maintain visibility, you must stay active and provide followers with consistent, high-quality content. There are many advantages if you actually decide to commit. Here are some reasons:

Gather insights

Social media like twitter and Instagram is a valuable market research tool. In the weeks prior to the event, take time to research key words and hashtags that are relevant to the show, your brand, and your industry. This extracts useful insight from potential attendees. What are they excited about? Do they know you’ll be there? You can take social media analytics even deeper by using data mining tools to discover the most commonly used words, phrases, and sentiments.

A channel for communication
Make your presence known to users who are discussing the event by responding to, liking on Instagram and retweeting their tweets. This reminds people you’re accessible and proves you care about customers enough to interact with them. Adding this personal touch will incline users to visit your booth.
Your social media should be a channel for communication. For example, you could announce a “Live Q&A”, where you spend an hour or two answering questions about the event, your company, and the products at your exhibit.

Live updates

What’s happening at your booth right now? For example use Instagram or Twitter to talk about any promotions, giveaways, or exciting demonstrations that are scheduled at your exhibit, and provide incentives to attendees who share it on their own timelines.
Bear in mind that not all your followers will be there live. Be deliberate when live posting by using only high-quality info and photos that all of your followers can enjoy.

Customer satisfaction tool
Social media is an excellent customer satisfaction tool. Similar to the pre-show research process, take time to discover how users felt about the trade show overall — along with your booth, your products, and other competitors at the event. Ask for constructive feedback — they might provide useful insight that will improve your next trade show appearance.

This follow-up process can save customer relationships. If you find a user with an issue or a question, contact them right away with the solution. Small gestures such as this will build you a reputation for proactive, communicative customer service.

Social media advantages in summary
If you’re willing to commit to your social media accounts, you’ll reap the benefits at your next trade show. It will keep you fresh in attendees minds, and your company will build a reputation for being interactive, communicative, and personable. Combining these advantages will lead to higher booth traffic, more sales leads, and a successful trade show overall.