Every day of our lives we are besieged by an ever-increasing wave of digital content. Advertising and updates from family, friends, advice from ‘influencers’ or businesses. However frustrating you may feel this bombardment is, the truth of the matter is that billions of people worldwide, yourself included (or you wouldn’t be reading this!) continue to log in and read a tiny fraction of the total content across a range of platforms.
As a business, it could be risky to ignore the larger platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can be sure that a large percentage of your target audience is reading something online, somewhere. The trick is to find where your audience is and position yourself there as a voice of authority on a subject, or an expert in a particular area, building a relationship and therefore trust with your customers or future customers.
Large businesses, with budgets to match, may well be investing in ChatBots, AI, VR and other high tech ways of interacting with their customers, in line current buzzwords & trends, but for the majority of small or medium-sized companies, it generally still comes down to an actual real person managing their social media interactions.
But how can YOU harness the almighty power of these media giants to YOUR BENEFIT for exhibitions, trade shows or conferences? Simple – find out where your audience congregates and address your communications to them accordingly. All the platforms provide free analytics to allow you to easily a number of key factors that will distinguish the where, what, when and who of when you should ideally post.
Find the voice which suits your brand and the messages you wish to portray & be consistent
-Post on the right days
If your audience is not online over the weekend, keep your posts until the working week or vice versa
-Post at the right time of day
-Research your # hashtags
Find the show, the venue, any themes for the event…and use them on all your posts
-Follow customers, suppliers & competitors
Gain an overview of the market you are operating in, and what activity your competitors are engaged in
-Talk to people & interact
It is ‘social’ media after all!
Who uses Social Media?
With its famously short attention span, Twitter is fast & furious and more popular with a younger audience. Find the right time of day to talk to the largest possible audience and repeat it often in slightly different ways of possible to cast a wide net. The Twitter analytics function will help you quickly identify the key times of the day. With 13.6 million users in the UK alone, ignore it at your peril.
Twitter is great for exhibitions and shows. Show off pictures of your stand, your staff, your products in action – but make sure you tag the show, the venue even the location. The idea is to make sure that your post and your images appear in as many timelines as possible. The immediacy of Twitter works well as often people are checking it whilst on the go while travelling to or maybe even at the show itself. Why not encourage them to take some pictures & tag YOU in it?
It can be really useful to build awareness of an upcoming show to a potential audience. Use it to invite people to your stand, let them know where to find you, what they can look forward to when they do find you. Anything you can think of to build their anticipation. Again, #show and #venue on every post – there will be people looking for that show, you want your company to pop up every time someone does!
A lot of businesses continue to use Twitter to engage customers and make announcements. People are willing to interact with brands in a relaxed way via Twitter.
If you are exhibiting at a show, you should consider building a pre-show, during-show and post-show strategy around on Twitter.
A very widespread media with over 2.27 billion active monthly users. (Interestingly 14% of which are in India, the USA is second with 10% of users with the UK a mere 2%)
Driven by strong images which will be prioritised by their algorithms. Facebook tightly controls what posts a user will see in their newsfeed. Simple errors could cause your business post to be strangled and have a massively reduced reach. Facebook implements a 20% rule, if more than 20% of your image is text it will not be displayed in most users newsfeeds.
You may have 2000 followers, it does not mean that every time you post it will appear in the newsfeeds of those 2000 people. Complex algorithms working behind the scenes trying to figure out the type of posts users interact with and shows them more of those. If they follow you, but don’t interact with you – chances are, they won’t see your future posts.
Basically, Facebook would like it very much if you simply paid to advertise. You can customise and target by geographic location, job title, life events, age, interests and a whole lot more really easily. If you are sure that your target audience is on Facebook – then it may well be worth doing it – anything from a couple of pounds up to £100’s.
The majority of people still use Facebook for social interactions with friends, pursuing interests and hobbies. Ads are seen as a little more invasive here and it is possible that people are reading it in their downtime. They are therefore not necessarily in a ‘work’ frame of mind. The sheer volume of numbers makes Facebook attractive as a potential audience, but it is unlikely to give you the biggest engagement. It also depends on what you are advertising – Gin Festival? Facebook would be perfect. Financial Services? Not so much.
Again, use #show and #venue hashtags as this will help your organic reach. Want to spread the word wider? You are going to have to pay…
With over 610million registered users worldwide, including key decision-makers, LinkedIn provides some very real opportunities for businesses.
Aimed squarely at business users, this is not where you come to find funny kitten videos. People using LinkedIn are already in a business frame of mind, that’s what they expect to see and engage with here. Built on the idea of personal connections, it is truly astounding just how connected the world of business can be. You never know who knows who. Just recently a friend in the UK (with no connection to politics in any way) discovered they were only 2 connections from Jacinda Ahern – the New Zealand Prime Minister!
LinkedIn in all about the person to person connections, make this work for you. Connect with people you work with now, people you have worked with in the past, key people at your customers, suppliers. Who knows who may be connected to your next new client!
A younger demographic and higher usage amongst those interested in the arts, lifestyle and wellbeing. With a strong leaning towards female users over male. Driven by strong photo-centric design Instagram is all about the images.
For more visual-based products or services, then this may be the place for you for more fact, text-based information, figures or graphs then your relevance may be limited here. This is not generally what people are on Instagram for…
This doesn’t mean you should abandon the idea, however. Maybe there is some part of your business for which this medium WOULD be suitable. Using EBISS as an example: our main business is Exhibition and Event logistics so possibly better suited to LinkedIn or Twitter. However, we also specialise in fine art packing and shipping for artists, galleries and art fairs. Suddenly Instagram becomes far more relevant, as that is exactly where the audience for those particular services will be found.
For a more detailed breakdown of Social Media usage try Social Sprout.