Trade Show News Network recently published some unthinkable social media statistics they gathered by surveying 223 attendees of their “Social Media for Trade Show Promotions” webinar. Here are a few you need to pay attention to:

  • Of those who voted, only 16% claimed they were active and getting good results for their efforts
  • 40% of those who voted shared they had little to show for their efforts
  • 45% of those who responded admitted they’ve done very little social media for trade shows or haven’t even started

What does this mean for you? Well, there’s an opportunity for you to leverage social media to support the trade show experience you want your customers and potential customers to experience. After all, there’s so much room for improvement out there that frankly, it’s a low-hanging fruit.

The truth is, if you’re not leveraging social media at trade shows to create buzz around your brand and your booth, you’re missing out on reaching a new audience and deepening their level of engagement.

Now that you’re sold, what’s next? Here are some hot tips from our own Chief Marketing Officer, Rhiannon Anderson.

SH Blog Icon 200x200_8.13_Social_PhoneQ: Do you think social media is still relevant on the show floor today?

Rhiannon: Absolutely. Here’s the reality: people are spending more time on social platforms than anywhere . . . ever. Like, 3.2 billion people. That’s half the population.

And they’re spending an average of over two hours engaging in these platforms every day. Half of these users are using social media to search for product. We have an active audience that’s looking and listening. We just have to know where they’re going and meet them there.

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SH Blog Icon 200x200_8.13_social_bubblesQ: How can brands better leverage tools like social media to create better connections?

Rhiannon: Social media is a great place to create brand awareness, promote your trade show campaign, and create engagement opportunities. It allows users in a no pressure space to interact with your brand. To ask questions. To be heard. To feel valued.

While the content you’re putting out and presenting to your audience is critical — it’s really the conversation it creates that’s so valuable. This is about more than randomly slamming people with advertisements. Rather, it’s listening to their felt needs, making a meaningful connection, and then helping them discover the best solution.

SH Blog Icon 200x200_8.13_BargraphQ: How should brands measure the success of their social media efforts?

Rhiannon: Overall, likes, shares, and comments are all good engagement indicators. But the real sweet spot is finding the strategy and messaging that will drive your social traffic to engage 1:1 at your trade show booth. That’s the biggest, greatest measure of engagement in my mind.

Maybe you promote a unique hashtag to your social media audience, with the promise of a special prize if they visit your booth and mention the hashtag. It’s fun. Nonthreatening. And it’s memorable.

SH Blog Icon 200x200_8.13_HashtagQ: What are some ways you’ve seen companies use social media cleverly on the show floor?

Rhiannon: It feels like the sky’s the limit here. You just have to align your tactics with your brand and the trade show experience you’re trying to create.

I mentioned the hashtag idea before, but I’ve also seen companies share exciting fun photos that entice people to stop by and see what’s happening. And I’ve seen companies post photos of their clients with a short, engaging vignette about them. It’s a great way to demonstrate how they value people . . . and there’s a fun side to it.

Giveaways are great. On the trade show floor, commentary is another interesting tactic. The whole point of all this is to bring the experience to life for those who aren’t there while engaging those who are there with you so they feel valued and a part of it all in a special and unique way.

SH Blog Icon 200x200_8.13_DirectMailQ: What alternatives are there if brands aren’t open to using social media?

Rhiannon: If, for whatever reason, leveraging social media just isn’t an option, you just need to be sure you’re executing really strong pre-show, show, and post-show communication through traditional channels.

Interested in uncovering everything you need to create your best trade show campaign ever? Download our free resource: 7 Keys To An Irresistible Trade Show Campaign.

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7 Keys To An Irresistible Trade Show Campaign

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