Newbie Tip: Using Twitter To Get The Most Out Of Trade Shows

There’s really no excuse for NOT interacting with trade show and conference attendees on Twitter. They’re there, tweeting away about topics that are directly related to your business – ripe for the picking, really. And even more so now that Twitter just added eerie real-time tweet targeting.

So what are you waiting for?

You may not be super Twitter savvy yet, but Tweeple new and experienced can benefit from these Twitter trade show tips from the folks at SDL.

Attending trade shows and conferences are excellent ways to network and generate leads, but paying to attend these events is expensive. And even if they can get there, many small and medium-sized business owners have little money left for marketing.

But there are tricks, via social media (and particularly Twitter) that SMBs can use to leverage what’s going on at that big event, gain prospects and network – without ever leaving the office.

As SDL (@SDLsocial) Vice President of Product Marketing David Clark (@clarkdavidv) explains, the key is using a social media monitoring tool to find those customers (before, during and after) who are posting questions, complaints, inquires, and comments about the event, their participation at the show, what they heard at the show, who is attending, and so on.

By drilling down into the data, posts can become an opportunity to sell products and services. Prospects are out there talking – you just need to listen.

Clark offers these seven tips for highly effective conference/trade show networking and marketing, all done from the comfort of the desktop:

  • Research the Event.Before  the event happens find relevant groups/hashtags to follow for troves of useful information, insight, and sales leads
  • Set up searches. Include the event’s name, hashtags, relevant topics and industry keywords
  • Market Yourself. For a fraction of the event’s price tag, SMBs can create advertisements, landing pages, product pages, or YouTube videos demonstrating the value their product/service
  • Look for Influencers. Look for the main voices in each media outlet, disseminate information through them or add them to your sales leads database
  • “Attend” the Event. Using Twitter during the event is a must, conversations and questions happen in real time and SMBs can use this as an opportunity market themselves
  • Offer a Promotion. See what competitors are offering, then throw your hat in the ring by advertising specials through Twitter (using event hashtags).
  • Follow Up. Contact prospects post-show with information about your brand, answer their questions and make the sale.

And if you DO attend, be sure to live-tweet during the event, using the tips above. Also, make sure your business cards include your Twitter handle, so folks can reach out to you after the event.

Do you have any other tips to add?

(Tips image from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.
Publish date: April 17, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT