How to Effectively Use Social Media at Tradeshows

There are a number of reasons that you may attend an exhibition or trade show, no matter the size of your business, or how long your business has been established. The fact is that while trade shows are exciting, increasing your reach demands the use of social media. Outlets including Google+, Twitter and Facebook will help you make the biggest splash possible at your next trade show appearance.

Going to a tradeshow you likely have three main goals:

  1. To have fun;
  2. To meet your current and prospective customers;
  3. To promote your entire brand.

While having fun may seem a bit trivial, taking team members that are sociable and outgoing will add a large deal of value to the entire experience. The fact is that social media will play a role in each one of these goals – even if you have yet to realize it.

While some of the advice that is highlighted here may apply to your daily business activities, it has been proven that up to the second media platforms, such as Twitter, have a huge impact in making the physical tradeshow, virtual and bringing something that is extremely localized to a possibly global audience.

Early Preparation

One of the most essential components that must be considered when you want to use social media at a trade show is to be fully prepared. Create your strategy early on, a few weeks before the actual trade show. If your business has not yet set up social media presences, this is the time to do so. You should begin tweeting about the upcoming trade show early on Twitter and if possible use the official hashtag that has been designated for the event.

Create a Unique Competition or Promotion with Social Media Accounts

A great way to attract even more attention and interest to a trade show is by hosting some type of competition or a special event. This can include a unique promotion, or a fun giveaway – the point is to get people to your booth. This event should be promoted through social media several days prior to the actual event.

Offer Product Demonstrations

Take your products and let trade show attendees have a “hands on” experience. Be sure to broadcast this on YouTube showing how “easy” your product is to use; or another angle that relates to your actual product. You might also consider making a series of videos that hype up the booth and then share it on your various social media sites, including YouTube for interviews or your booth competition in action. This can provide an excellent way for people to interact with you and your brand, even if they cannot actually attend the event.

Keep in mind that sites such as Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook can all enhance the tradeshow experience that you have. However, if you want to effectively handle new customers or clients, LinkedIn may be the ideal platform. You can encourage these individuals to join your page in order to learn more about your actual business on a more professional level.

Additionally, once the tradeshow is over, it does not mean that you should let the experience die. The social media connections that you have made will help you stay in contact with the people that you have met, no matter if they are providers or customers, much easier than ever before.


Tabitha Jean Naylor is the owner of and a certified Inbound Marketing Consultant with close to a decade of experience in both B2B and B2C markets.  Her intimate knowledge of how sales and marketing go hand-in-hand has resulted in a variety of successful campaigns for start-ups through NASDAQ traded companies.  Ms. Naylor holds a dual bachelor degree in Political Science and International Business from West Virginia University, where she graduated magna cum laude.  Her experience brings a unique perspective to connecting with the online world community, especially given the variety of projects she has spearheaded.  Connect with her on Twitter @TabithaNaylor or visit

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