make tradeshows effective with the help of social media

Use Social Media To Make Your TradeShows Effective – Thought Horizon

By Sander Biehn | Aug 3, 2016

Sander Biehn is founder and CEO of Thought Horizon, LLC. After a successful career in sales at AT&T, he founded his company in 2013 helping organizations to build, manage and succeed using social selling.

Tradeshows can often be a slog.  The large expense of attending a show just doesn’t seem to create the desired number of leads. Using a social media tool at your next tradeshow can radically improve the number of leads you walk away with.

Many shake it off the poor tradeshow results by reasoning that it was good exposure for the brand, but the doubts linger when we consider spending the resources on the next big tradeshow.

Just yesterday my friend and mentor Sam told me an interesting story about tradeshows. Relating a story from years back, he told me how he was charged up about attending a show in Las Vegas. His boss asked him what he was going to do there. “Walk the floor!” he replied. This didn’t go over well with the boss. The boss asked him to create a written plan of what he wanted to accomplish at the show and have it on his desk before he departed.

There is some real wisdom here.

These days knowing who you want to connect with at a tradeshow, and what conversations you want to have, is easier than ever. Social media feeds are buzzing in the weeks leading up to the show. Getting appointments with others is often as easy as reaching out on Twitter.  But make no mistake, it is never going to be a cinch to land a meeting with an important decision-maker just because she is attending a tradeshow. Creating new relationships where you have much to gain requires far more than social media bravado.

You need to position yourself as a thought leader and someone worth knowing. By leveraging a social sharing tool like Thought Horizon’s ReadyForSocial®, you can get your entire tradeshow team in top condition to attract key customer meetings.  Here’s how:

1) Have your content team create and curate interesting articles worth sharing with the tradeshow attendees you want to meet.

2) Have marketing pre-write the social posts that the team will use when posting content about the show. Have marketing make liberal use of the tradeshow hashtag e.g. “#YourBuyersTradeShow2016”

3) Use a social sharing tool like Thought Horizon’s ReadyForSocial® to aggregate the online content. The tool gives the team going to the tradeshow the ability to quickly and easily schedule social media posts. The key is scheduling posts to appear in greater frequency as the tradeshow date approaches.

4) Have the team research who will be attending the tradeshow. Have them follow and respond to anything prospects are sharing on social media. Have the team follow the tradeshow hashtag and handle to pick up new followers. Use this data to figure out who your audience is in advance of the show.

5) During the tradeshow, follow the conversation online. We find it is often easier to make connections during a tradeshow via LinkedIn or Twitter than it is by walking the crowded show floor. You need to post content with immediacy, like pictures and stories from the event, peppered in with your pre-scheduled content.

Using these tactics you can bring back the magic of tradeshows.  By leveraging a social selling tool at tradeshows, you may find yourself spending even more money on them as your leads pour in and your funnel fills.


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