best ways to utilise social media for event promotion

Before we tackle the how, we need to address the why. Why should you spend your time learning how to harness social media for your business?

Consider this:

  • According to marketers worldwide in May 2017, 50% said that using social media marketing during trade shows helped bring more people to the company’s stand.
  • In 2015, 56% of businesses with 10 – 49 employees stated that they used social media.
  • In 2014, it was found that 28% of SMEs had their own Facebook profiles.
  • Roughly 37% of Twitter users will buy from brands that they follow.
  • 55% of B2B buyers say they search for product/vendor information on social media.

There’s a whole social sphere out there, brimming with people that want to engage with you in new and exciting ways. Your role is to give them an explicit reason to.
Let’s explore ways you can do this before the show has even kicked-off.

Make a Pre-Show Social Splash

1.“Wait. What hashtag is it? You’ll want to find out the official hashtag that the event organisers are using across their own social media marketing and incorporate this into your own messaging. Why? When you add a relevant hashtag to your Tweets or Instagram posts, you’ll also be engaging with a wider audience outside of your Follower count!

2.Introducing… Take to your social channels and start spreading the word! Send out informational social posts with the date, time, and location. And, be sure to fill your messages with interesting facts, stories and links to engage your followers with what you’re up to. Think about what action you want them to take after they’ve read your post and tailor your messaging to this.

3. Here are some ideas to engage your community:

  • Tease new products/services you’re announcing at the show.
  • Highlight speakers/guests attending the show and engage with them directly.
  • Continue to share relevant information.
    From registration being open to where guests can find your stand!
  • Countdown to the event itself with engaging imagery.
    Don’t you forget about me
    You don’t want to announce and then forget all about it until the event comes around. But, you need to have a reason to continue to talk about it!

4. Share behind-the-scenes snaps Social media is the perfect platform to build a personal connection with your customers and potential customers. Whereas you’ll save the “meat” of it for press releases and articles within your website, social media can build the story of your journey from event conception to lights, camera, action. Consider different social media platforms, too! Perhaps this is a good time to launch Instagram for your business? Or, maybe you could find a new way to engage your community via Snapchat? The important bit is that you’re showing your prep for the event in a creative and engaging way. Plus, be sure to share posts from event attendees – it’s direct engagement and free marketing to spread the news!

It’s a common mistake to leave your social media marketing to the show itself, you may think, “but, I don’t have anything to talk about!?” – create a reason to talk about the show. If you’re engaging users before the show, they’ll be more likely to respond to you once you’re at the show.

It’s Showtime!

Your community are engaged. They’re ready for the show. Now to find that perfect balance of continuing to serve those that are attending and give those that missed out serious FOMO*!
*fear of missing out

1.How’s it looking?
The day has arrived. Quadrant2Design make the install process as seamless and easy for our clients as possible, once it’s handed over, be sure to showcase it to your followers! Where can they find you? Who will be greeting show go-ers at your stand? Introduce them!

2.Monitor, engage, repeat. If you’ve been talking about your exhibit beforehand, you may notice a higher number of engagements during the show. If users have seen that you’re active, then they’ll be more inclined to engage with you – because they know they’ll get a response. Be sure to track your notifications across your social media channels for the duration of the show.  

3.Share content from guest speakers When you’re covering an event on social media, don’t just stick to the confines of your own exhibition stand; bring the whole thing to your followers! Some of ‘em won’t be there and they’ll want to see what it’s like. The more you excite them now, from the show, the more likely they will be to attend next time, which = more footfall to your stand. Attend key conferences at the event from thought leaders in your industry and share quotes in real-time. Be sure to tag your posts with the hashtag and drop in a cheeky @ mention, this means they’ll get a notification of your post and may be inclined to share it, thus widening your reach!

4.Get your followers directly involve with questions/polls At the beginning of this, I mentioned how each message you post you want to be thinking, “what action do I want them to take after reading this?” Questions and polls are an explicit call to action that readily invites the user to engage with you. But, what do you want to ask them? You can engage them directly with the event as a whole… Which food stand took their fancy? The great debate of Hot Dogs vs Burgers rears its head once again. Who was their favourite speaker? Be sure to highlight your exhibition stand, too. Got a Quadrant2Design rotating banner? How many spins does it do in a minute? Find out and ask your followers to guess!

D’awh, that was fun. Now what? Whilst Quadrant2Design take care of the break-down process of your exhibition stand, think about ways you can continue the momentum.

Post Show Progress

It’s all over! Now what? Whilst Quadrant2Design take care of the break-down process of your exhibition stand, think about ways you can continue the momentum.

1.“How was it for you?” Social media is a great platform to provide feedback on! Think about when you have a negative or an especially positive customer service experience, the social media savvy among us will head straight to Twitter to let everyone know exactly what we think. Ask your followers what they enjoyed about the event, did they visit you? What was their highlight?

2.Spark user-generated content I’m sure that you got loads of photos at the events! I bet your followers did, too! Ask them to share photos with their key highlights and repurpose this content across your channels, whilst crediting the source. Everyone loves it when a brand engages with them directly, you can be that brand. Think about how you can use the content on each of your key social media platforms and in what context.

3.That’s all, folks! If you’re writing a wrap-up of the event or sharing key announces via your website, be sure to call it out through social media. Think about the asset creation for your social posts and be sure to engage your Design Team with the look and feel of any imagery used. Perhaps you’ll share a snippet from the wrap-up within your social post, but you’ll ideally want to drive users to your website for the crux of the update.

4.It’s over! But, how did it go? Reporting.
I know the thought of lots of numbers, spreadsheet and data can be enough to get you reaching for your fourth coffee of the day. But, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be an absolute headache and it’s pivotal for your learning of your social channels and what resonates with your followers. Using Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights and other native tools, you can document the impressions, engagements and reach of your content. Be sure to jot it down in a top-line format that makes sense to you and is shareable within the wider business.

What Works For You?

Let us know what you find works for event promotion on social media!
Continue the conversation over @Quadrant2Design.