It’s easy to fall into the trap that social media is a magic solution for mass communication, given the number of people on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. But there is no substitute for face to face communication when comes to talking to your clients.
Social media is powerful, but the amount of attention it receives is far more than its size. People are social creatures, but most conversations still take place face to face, and its never going to change. Face to face conversations have credibility, especially when it comes to word of mouth marketing. Its more persuasive than a post on Facebook or Linkedin and has a higher chance of someone taking action, maybe even making a purchase. Talking face to face is how people make decisions, and this directly impacts sales.
Events are all about gathering in person and networking. Exchanging ideas, communicating using verbal and nonverbal cues to speak with one another, some of that can be done with social media. Face to face events are a great opportunity to establish a relationship with attendees and other exhibitors. These connections can’t be replaced with social media, rather, social media tools should be used to complement talking face to face.
Start with your message, and why people should care about it. Find the right people to talk about it (influencers, bloggers, and brand ambassadors) to share your story. Your marketing strategy probably includes many options that include social media as part of a larger plan.
Create a live experience that is only available at your trade show and drum up excitement using social media. Don’t put everything on a website, if you give it all away, why do people need to visit? Create a reason for people to visit your trade show stand, use social media to promote it, word of mouth will follow, and that is the key to social marketing for your events. For example: post a special phrase or password, and then ask attendees to give that password to you in the stand to be given a prize or special offer.
People will share their experiences online, its human nature to tell each other about interesting things that happen to us. Social media is based upon the premise of telling each other what we have done and where we are. Events are all about this too, so there is a built-in relationship between the two, if you can strategize your approach and take advantage of the relationship.
Basically it’s all about embracing social media thoughtfully to back up face to face conversation. A real life conversation is always a winner, even if you can’t track it in likes and shares.