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How to use social media at a trade show

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Here are four excellent strategies for connecting with prospects using platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook before, during, and after your next trade show.

1. Hold a social media competition

Trade show success is all about getting into the memory of your prospects. Give the attendees a reason to remember your business and they’ll go out of their way to see you during the show.

Holding a competition online is one of the best ways to build anticipation and make your business memorable for attendees. Offer free giveaways, special discounts, or cool prizes for attendees that follow you on Twitter prior to the show.

Since attendees will be excited about the prospect of winning your competition, they will be far more active on social media – especially on your account – on the day of the trade show.

2. Reach out to bloggers for publicity and feedback

In the weeks (or months) leading up to your next trade show, reach out to popular bloggers in your industry for publicity and feedback. Offer to write guest blog posts for them, supply free samples, or sponsor their blog or online community.

Bloggers have huge audiences, and many are highly responsive to offers of special discounts for their readers or free blog content. Find a way to help them and their readers they’ll find a way to help you.

3. Write a post-event summary on your blog

Does your company blog? If so, you should post an event summary on your blog in the days following each trade show you attend. A detailed post-event blog post can be all that’s required to attract the attention of attendees and event sponsors.

Another great blogging idea is to prepare a list of trade shows for your industry. If you can make your list the authoritative source for trade show information, you’ll notice attendees subscribing to your blog to stay up to date with industry events.

4. Follow up with leads using LinkedIn and Twitter

Most sales teams start following up on their trade show sales leads a few days after the end of the event. Beat them to it by following up on the spot using LinkedIn and Twitter.

Once you’ve received a lead’s contact information, search for them online and add them to your network. This way, you’ll be first in line to contact them after the show with any special offers or business opportunities.

Remember, you also need to be easy to contact

Not all sales are made through outbound marketing. Often, you’ll have leads wanting to contact you after a trade show. Make yourself easy to find by making your contact information visible on high-quality advertising banners, as well as on your business cards and company brochures.

Using social media at a trade show is a great way to connect with prospects without the noise of traditional sales getting in the way of your goals. Try these four tips at your next trade show and see if social media can work for your sales team.

Peter Symonds is a trade show marketing expert from Display Wizard – who design, print and distribute display and exhibition solutions for the use at exhibitions, trade shows and events.

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