Tweeting Your Way Through Trade Show Season

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A lot of B2B companies see social media as an optional marketing strategy – a nice add-on if they have time. But those who view social media this way are in the minority, and probably aren’t doing it very well. In today’s fully mobile and connected world, B2B buyers—just like everyone else—are on social media, and are using it to evaluate purchasing decisions. If you don’t have a social media strategy, it’s time to start one.

Accommodate your audience

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Millennials are a fast-growing percentage of B2B buyers and decision makers. They understand how social media works and know how to use keywords and hashtags to maximize their searches and find the information they’re looking for.

Wherever they’re searching, you want your company to be listed near the top of the search results. An active social media presence boosts SEO by encouraging external links to your content through retweets and shares. More external links equals more authority in the eyes of search engine algorithms.

Your audience is also not relying on Google alone to search. They’re using YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Why? They know your website may not have the latest info they’re seeking. Since you can’t be constantly updating your website, social media offers a great opportunity to keep your audience updated with the most current information.

For example, in the weeks leading up to PACK EXPO, we like to join the conversation on Twitter. In addition to the #PACKEXPO hashtag, you’ll find people tweeting under related hashtags for #HealthcareHub, #PMMI, #packaging, #flexiblepackaging, #lasvegas, #HCPexpo and dozens of others. In addition to potential customers, those people also include industry trade magazine editors and advertising representatives.

Make a strategy

There is no one-size-fits all social media strategy. Your social media plan needs to be tailored to your company’s business goals and objectives. If you’re ready to take on planning for yourself, check out our post on what should be included in a comprehensive social media plan. If you want help but don’t know where to start, here’s our advice for choosing a social media agency.

Put in the effort

Reaching your desired audience through social media requires as much work, skill, and above all, consistency, as all other marketing tactics. There is more to social media than 140 characters A good social media strategy encompasses copywriting, optimizing, scheduling, targeting, monitoring and analyzing. It’s not rocket science, but it takes resources.

Often companies join social media, but they don’t put in much effort because of the initial skepticism and lack of knowledge. Rather than being intimidated or hoping a few posts a month will generate leads spontaneously, create a plan and, more importantly, follow through with it.

Integrate it into the real world

One of the most effective uses for Twitter (or Snapchat, Instagram or other preferred media of your audience) is to use it to drum up booth visits during trade shows like PACK EXPO. A few tips for doing that effectively:

  • Start early – Establish your social media presence long before the show opens. Post amusing or informative links, white papers and videos about product on display at the show, resources, observations, and announcements. If you’re planning to offer special giveaways or promotions, use social media to raise interest.
  • Share Twitter names – When you get contact information for people, get their Twitter ID and other social media contact data.
  • Keep tweeting – During the trade show, use Twitter to keep attendees informed. For example, “The next demo will start in 15 minutes at Booth 212.” Your Tweets should have value, though; refrain from simply inviting them to your booth.
  • Follow up – After the show has ended, use Twitter to maintain contact with new acquaintances. Make sure you add them to your “following” list.