Social media represents the latest (for now) addition to the already rich assortment of communications channels that can (should) be adopted for an exhibition. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this fast and fleeting medium doesn’t require any preparation. Establishing a social media communications strategy can really help to boost the returns of your exhibition participation. We have listed some key points for you. Make use of the exhibition’s hashtag (and if applicable, your company’s and/or activity’s hashtag): You will draw the attention of many (potential) attendees if you use the hashtag especially right before, during, and just after the exhibition.
Spread out your posts and updates: It can be tempting to write up one main text and then post it in one go on all social media platforms; this may be time-efficient for you but it is far from efficient on the whole. The life-span of an individual post amongst the continuous stream of online messages is only a few seconds long. Spread the posts out over a few days and opt for different times. There are some handy message planning tools out there that will enable you to write one big text in one go and still post bits of it intermittently.
Let everyone join in: Make sure that all stand staff members and your company’s employees/collaborators spread the news about your exhibition participation amongst their networks. Provide them with the relevant hashtags and give suggestions about what they could post. Create a messaging schedule for the stand team at the exhibition; this is recommended so that you take optimal advantage of the buzz created during the exhibition and to avoid that your stand staff spend too much unnecessary time playing about with their smartphones.
Provide variation: Every phase of exhibition participation requires a different kind of messaging. Everyone should be prompted in a distinctive way to come to your stand. A multitude of posts will draw attention but not necessarily in a positive manner; even your most faithful followers will get irritated if you always send the same message. Prior to the exhibition, you should give some thought to different tweets that the company, stand staff and other participants could send out.
Keep an eye on the statistics: Which update got the most response and which post was retweeted the most? Who reached the most followers and/or got the most response? You could turn the activity into a competition to stimulate your personnel to tweet, post, update…