Spring is in the air and that means that trade shows are just around the corner, and many are asking me about how to use social media to attract people to their trade show booth.
Here’s the thing – for social media to really work with a trade show, you need to have followers. If you don’t have followers on at least one social media platform, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, then social media won’t be effective in attracting visitors to your booth. It’s just not going to work.
I had a client ask me to creatively a way to use social media to attract visitors for a trade show this spring. I took a look at their social media platforms to see what they were doing and there wasn’t much to work with. They didn’t have a Facebook page, their LinkedIn page didn’t have many followers and their YouTube channel only had a couple of videos. Using social media to attract visitors wouldn’t be effective in this situation.
If they had a company page on LinkedIn where they were providing updates, or if they were in LinkedIn discussion groups related to their industry and providing interesting content for example, then they could start to develop a following. After a period of time and a number of followers are accumulated, at that point there would be an opportunity to make an invitation when the big trade show comes around.
To ask people to come to the booth before you have a following is a little bit like going into the street with a bunch of invitations to party at your house and just handing out invitations. Some people might come for the free food, I guess, but the people that would really respond to this invitation are people that know you: your friends, and people that you have a relationship with.
Developing a social media following can take time but once you have them, social media can be a powerful tool to attract trade booth visitors and make connections on a large scale.