reading time: 4 minutes Got a trade show coming up soon? If you want to boost your booth traffic and create a buzz, you’ve got to start posting about your event on social media ASAP. Even if you’re late to the game, some posts are better than no posts. Avoid being those guys/gals desperately hoping someone will stop to chat. A little social media planning will entice them to seek you out! Here’s how to do it. Before the show: Be sure to like and follow the event’s official social media pages. Find out the official hashtag that is being used for the show and begin incorporating it into your social media posts. Your well-crafted post may garner some retweets and shares, therefore expanding your reach to your ideal audience. Don’t forget — the road goes both ways. Share and retweet interesting/helpful posts from the event organizers. Post details about special happenings you plan to have at the show. Consider creating your own buzz-worthy hashtag too, especially if your audience is savvy in social media. You could post about: Unveiling a new product or service Speaking events you are involved with Demonstrations you are conducting Contests, giveaways, games, etc. Create a contest on social media and let followers know you’ll post the winners at your booth. People will have to come to your booth to see if they won and pick up their prizes. Be sure to include an image as well as your booth number on all of your posts so people can find you. Don’t forget about the press! If they are at the show, they WANT great stories and content to share. Make yours one of them. Here’s how: Obtain a list of the media that will be present at the show. Follow them on social media and reach out to them to set up meetings to discuss your story (i.e. your latest and greatest product/service, an interview with your CEO, how and why your company is a game-changer in the industry, etc.) Will there be an on-site media center? Encourage the press to visit your booth by creating and dropping off several copies of a pitch-worthy slick. Don’t forget to include your booth number and social media information! Does the event website have a section for exhibitor press releases? If so, take advantage of that and send one to the media representative asap. At the show: Just before the event, share some fun behind the scenes photos of your set-up process, like a booth ‘before and after’ or an amusing, unexpected challenge, like “Um. Where’s our carpet?!” Or a “Hey look! We’re conveniently located near the bathroom! See you soon! ;-)” Posts such as these help start conversations. During the show, post photos of your booth traffic with something like, “Come see what all the fuss is about at #EventHashtag – visit us at booth ### and learn about XYZ.” Post images of the happy winners receiving prizes from your giveaways and contests. Post a short piece of compelling video of your speaking events, demos, product unveilings, etc. Capture and share video testimonials from anyone that stops by to tell you how much they love your product or service. Be sure to get the permission to post! Take a look at other tweets that have the event hashtag and get involved in any fun, interesting and trending conversations. After the show: Gather all of your new contacts and follow their social media profiles. Follow-up with the press and personally thank any that stopped by your booth. Prolifically share articles and posts that the press/media has written about you. Write a blog post about the event. Avoid re-hashing your sales pitch again. Instead, provide insights about what you learned and other interesting information about the show (things like “Here are our contest winners!” Or “We found the best place to get coffee…” or “We are looking forward to next year! Here’s why…”) Share your blog post on all of your social media profiles. Send a follow-up email to all of the contacts you met at the show. Thank them and include a link to your blog post. Include your social profiles in all correspondence. Sure, it’s a lot of work but you’ll be happy you planned your social media strategy around the event. And if it just seems too daunting, we can help! From blog posts, to press releases to social media updates, we’d be happy to team up to make your show a great success. Give us a call!