Co-written by Chloe Wiersma

Trade shows are an essential opportunity for B2B companies. Days of presentations and mixers are built around the purpose of spreading ideas and getting exposure. But the times have changed and that face-to-face interaction is no longer enough.

If you really want to get your company at the center of the conversation you need a strong online presence.Click To Tweet

So how can you build that presence? Sadly, simply posting updates on social media won’t cut it. Businesses must be intentional about implementing a planned social media strategy, but actually doing so takes time and can be more complex than it initially seems. To get started, here are a few tips for owning your social media presence at a B2B trade show.

Leverage social-savvy executives as thought leaders

One of the key resources for companies in the B2B industry are their executives. These leaders are often well known in their respective industries and can serve as public faces for the company both by pushing out their own messages and sharing those posted by the company’s official channels. Trade shows are full of people competing to get their voice heard, and using an executive’s already established credibility to push the company’s message forward makes a big difference.

Target your audience through promoted posts

No matter how shareable your posts are, social media is no longer solely an organic medium. If you want to truly reach the decision makers in your industry, you have to be intentional. Budgeting for promoted social media posts will help you to get more mileage out of your activity. A tiny investment can make a big difference with how far your posts go. It isn’t up to you whether attendees will stumble by your booth, but you can make sure they see you when they check their phone between—or during—sessions.

One effective feature in the paid social toolbox is geofencing, which allows you to target your social media posts to those within a geographical area. Consider a conference center, a hotel and the surrounding blocks. This way you can tailor your message to the precise location of your audience and reach them more directly.

Queue up content in advance

Regardless of how prepared you may feel to draft posts live during the event, it is impossible to predict what will be happening while you are there. Soon enough, the day has come to an end, and you realize you only posted twice.

Save yourself the trouble and draft posts in advance to ensure a steady cadence of content throughout the show. Keep it simple and develop a content calendar with posts that highlight your company’s presence at the event. What is your business trying to accomplish at this show?  What are they exhibiting ? What sessions are your employees participating in? Preparing posts ahead of time may feel tedious, but it will pay off when you have that much more bandwidth to live post about the things that surprise you.

Establish clear responsibilities among your team

The key to making sure that your message gets out clearly and consistently is to not put all the work on one person. One proven strategy is to split the team. Keep one person on-site to take photos and generate live content and one person off-site editing those posts before posting them. In the time in between, the person off-site can monitor for the pulse of online channels, while the person on-site can pay attention to the trade show floor. Having both helps mediate your posts and allows you to amplify key messages while staying relevant in the ongoing conversation.

To clearly establish a plan for social media management, consider developing a social media strategy document for your team that defines roles and responsibilities through the trade show. This can provide a summary of what’s expected from each individual and when, while reminding everyone of important processes and guidelines during the trade show.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up

Trade shows are hectic, but these tips should help get you on your way to mastering social media for your next one. Still confused? The Buzz Bin has plenty of resources for live posting, or how to succeed at trade shows in general, so worry not! Beyond everything listed here, don’t be afraid to experiment. These tips are just a starting place and social media is always changing and implementing new tools for engaging with and finding your audience. So get to posting!

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