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Using Social Media for Trade Show Marketing

By Staff Report January 2, 2014 Trade Show Tips

Organizations planning an upcoming trade show do not have to bet the farm on expensive marketing campaigns to get the word out to prospects and industry professionals. Social media is an affordable and immensely effective option for companies that want to interact with audiences on a more personal level.

Websites such as Facebook and Twitter can help businesses promote trade shows, detailing the event's location, layout and booth positions. The key to successful social media marketing, however, is not in the number of messages issues through these channels, but the value of the content.

In an interview with Forbes, Michael Fernandez, co-founder and owner of Factory 360, detailed how brands can spend less time managing social networks while still achieving results. A tool such as Hootsuite allows companies to publish updates across multiple websites simultaneously.

Communication is one of the keys to any successful social media relationship between brands and audiences. Businesses obviously want to promote trade shows, new products and services and any other exciting information happening with their companies, but social networks should also be a forum for a conversation and not just a one-way street.

"In social media, things happen in an instant," Fernandez told Forbes. "You don't want to wake up and have a whole controversy. The voice of one person on social media is as loud as 10,000. It's not a dialog between you and one person. It's between you and everyone who's watching in this arena."

Use of social media is vast
Search Engine People's Alicia Lawrence recently highlighted some key benchmarks that took place throughout the social media landscape in 2013. Organizations that have yet to integrate social networks into their trade show planning should consider that half of all Internet users access Facebook. More than half of marketers have gained a customer through the website, while 35 percent have done so using Twitter.

Mobile devices have also become a mainstay throughout the marketing landscape. Lawrence reported that 54 percent of all Facebook users access the Facebook mobile application.

Brands that want to connect with as many potential prospects as possible should use this information to their advantage when planning for a trade show. A mobile application is a great tool for keep audiences informed of everything that is happening at an event, allowing users to quickly check their smartphones and tablets to obtain such content.

Businesses that end up creating a mobile application for a trade show should take to social media to let people know that the app is available for download. Industry professionals also encourage companies to have representatives stationed at the event's registration to help people access the app and answer any questions they may have.

Social media is an invaluable marketing tool for firms that put the time and effort into the platform. Businesses planning a trade show should strongly consider integrating such networks along with mobile tools to spread the word in a cost-effective manner without a flood of complications.

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