Trade shows are a great way to get your products and services in front of people. But if you’ve ever attended one, you know that it is difficult to stand out in the crowd. Creative and attractive pop up displays are one way to grab show attendees attention while they are browsing the aisles. However, having a digital presence before, during and after the trade show can be an effective way to bring foot traffic to your booth and make lasting impressions on potential customers. Using social channels like Twitter and Facebook can maximize the value of your trade show presence. Here are 10 ways to leverage Twitter and Facebook to make the most of your trade show marketing:

10 Ways to Use Twitter and Facebook for Trade Show Marketing

1. Create a Facebook event.

Create the event a few weeks before the actual trade show event. Invite all of your Facebook fans to attend and share the link on Twitter, LinkedIn, and all other social networks you are active on. Once the invites have been sent, interact with event attendees. Post any special offers, deals or contests you are running, and be sure to answer questions people have about the event. If you know where your location at the trade show will be, tell event attendees where to find you. Also, don’t forget to add a photo, so people can recognize your booth!

2. Have a retweet contest before the trade show.

Retweet contests usually aren’t the most useful contests in terms of building an interested and engaged following. However, if you have the retweet contest before the trade show and make known that the contest is for event attendees (the prize must be picked up at the trade show), the contest works well. You are now guaranteed to meet the winner(s) of the contest at the trade show, providing you with an easy introduction.

3. Use Facebook to introduce your team.

Take photos of each person attending the trade show. Then, have each person draft up their own 100-word biography, giving their first name, title and background. Create an album of employee photos, using the written biography as the photo caption. Share the album and each photo separately, on the days leading up to the event. Now people will be familiar with your team and may feel more comfortable talking to them at the trade show.

4. Tweet a secret word.

When it comes to trade shows, it’s all about getting people to come to your booth, right? Make it fun! Tweet a “secret word” on the days leading up to the trade show. Make it known that if you share the secret word with someone at the trade show booth, you get something (a pen, candy, or something else you can give out with your logo on it) or a percentage off a future order. This will make it exciting for people to find your booth at the show.

5. Record a video update.

If you have a flip camera or a cell phone, you’re in business. Record short updates throughout the day and post them directly to Facebook and/or Twitter. Get people involved by interviewing them on camera, too. Remind the video stars to check out the video posts and share them with their friends. These make for great on-the-go content, and allow you to interact with people attending the trade show.

6. Engage in Twitter talk.

While you’re at a trade show, live tweet the event. Follow event keywords and hashtags and reach out to event attendees. Encourage people to visit your company and the show by visiting your pop up displays. Be sure to tell people about any live demos, freebies or information you have at the show.

7. Be trade show paparazzi.

Hybrid PRO 20x20 Island Kit 17 View 1Photos can be repurposed and used on other social networks, making pictures great content pieces. Take photos of people at your booth and upload them to Facebook and/or Twitter. Include the person’s name or Twitter handle and anything else that is appropriate. Ask how they are enjoying the show, what their favorite part has been or what booth they have been most impressed by. Make sure the photo subjects know your Facebook and Twitter URLS so they can check out their pictures after the show.

8. After the show, write a wrap-up Facebook note.

Write a Facebook note, sort of like a blog post, wrapping up the event. Discuss how the event went, where it was, who attended and any anecdotes from the day. Though you can’t tag “fans” in the note, you can tag other businesses. If you collected business cards, you could tag different businesses that visited your booth. This way, businesses will get a Facebook notification and be more apt to click through to your note.

9. Send follow-up tweets.

If you tweeted back and forth with someone at the event, be sure to send a follow-up message. By following up it shows that you remember the interaction and now they’ll be more likely to remember it, too. Also, following up via Twitter to a person you were conversing with on Twitter is a smart move, as it is clearly a network they are comfortable with.

10. Measure your results.

If you don’t measure your results, you will never know how effective (or not effective) a Facebook or Twitter campaign was for your trade show marketing. Be sure to take baseline measurements before the Facebook and Twitter campaigns start and take the same measurements after the event. Also, enter as much information as possible into your CRM system, like if you engaged with them on Facebook or Twitter before, during or after the event.

Using Facebook and Twitter for your trade show marketing can provide opportunities for leads and lasting relationships – you just have to know where to begin. Try these ten tactics and let us know the results.
Do you have any Facebook or Twitter trade show marketing tactics to add to the list? Leave them in the comments section below.