Using Twitter Hashtags (#) During Your Trade Show

Using social media for trade showsUsing social media before, during and after your trade show presents you with a unique opportunity to have targeted and specific conversations, real-time, with prospects and clients. Social media can have a big impact on your ROI. We definitely believe in using social media as part of your trade show marketing plan, and here’s a few ways to get started.

Twitter for trade showsFor now, we’re going to focus on Twitter and the ever popular hashtag, or #. What is a hashtag? Using a # symbol on Twitter followed by a relevant keyword often signifies a “trending” topic if enough people use the same #. This means everyone who uses the same # will be collected on a single page allowing for you to capture leads and engage in targeted conversations.

If you’re not familiar with the real-time social networking site you can find an in-depth study on Twitter 101: What is Twitter Really About?

trade-show-tips-twitter-feedSo why would businesses want to use such a site to market themselves on? The short of it is, millions of people are communicating daily, hourly even; heck, every second (which is somewhat insane) on Twitter. It’s a real-time and engaging way to connect with consumers, brands, people all over the world. If you’re interested in knowing more about, and maybe how to get started, Hubspot provides a good, free Ebook: How to Use Twitter for Business.

Ways to use # Pre-Show

1. Most events and trade shows will make a hashtag specifically for the upcoming show. Look for it on their FB or Twitter page, or on their website. For example, you find NAACS using #NAACS13 as theirs. If you’re attending the show you can post on Twitter a message such as:

“Heading to #NAACS13 next week? We can’t wait to see you! Stop by booth 103 and say hi!”

Because you included the show’s hashtag, your message will show in their feed and be visible to anyone who looks at the page. Another benefit is the show will often re-tweet your message if you’re using their hashtag so you will become visible to an entire network of new people who either attend or exhibit at trade shows.

2. Create your own hashtag and encourage your prospects and clients to connect with you by using it as well. In essence, start a conversation! Tell them you’ll be posting special content and to find you there. Maybe it’s revealing new products, new promotions, or simply a behind the scenes look at the show for those who couldn’t be there.

Ways to use # At-Showexpand-reach-with-trade-show-twitter-use

1. You definitely want to try and live-tweet during the show. This means that during the actual show, and most likely from the show floor, you are taking a few seconds here and there to post photos, ask questions, and make sure to encourage visitors to stop by! Of course, you’ll always include the show’s hashtag at the end of your messages (and yours as well if you’ve created one). This one is also big for getting the show to re-tweet your message!

Using twitter for trade showsWays to use # Post-Show

1. Just because the show’s over doesn’t mean those hashtags are useless! This is the time when exhibitors really go through that hashtag page to search for leads and opportunities they might have overlooked or didn’t have time for before. To have your company visible at the top of the show’s page Tweet a simple message a day or two after the show such as:

“What’s your favorite thing about attending a trade show? #NAACS13”

Not only are you engaging them in conversation, but you’re relationship-building. Twitter is a great opportunity to get out there and start having conversations with real people in targeted ways! It’s a way to increase your followers, increase your sales and increase your brand presence. Here’s another great article thanks to Content Marketing Institute: Use Hashtags More Effectively in Your Social Media Content: 4 Tactics.Trade show success and social media

To Recap:
1. Using Twitter, and especially hashtags, are a great way to engage with prospects and customers in a targeted way.
2. Use the trade show’s designed hashtag for the show to engage with show exhibitors and attendees.
3. Use your own hashtag to start a conversation and to build your following.

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