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To Tweet Or Not To Tweet

Using Twitter as a communication tool to help generate traffic at tradeshows can work to garner interest for your company and brand.

Using Twitter can lead to increased trade show booth traffic.

In the weeks leading up to a tradeshow I recently attended with a client, I began Tweeting on their behalf. Using the show’s hash tag (#), I drummed up some pre-show interest and caught the eye of several attending industry trade magazine editors.

When I arrived at the show, live Tweet boards throughout the exposition allowed people to post comments. Although I continued to Tweet and promote my client, very few others were using this platform. In fact, the number of exhibitors who were also using the Tweet boards was less than 10. And this was a fairly large show with several hundred exhibitors and thousands of attendees.

Using Twitter as a communication tool to help generate traffic at tradeshows can work to garner interest for your company and brand. It’s not the end all to be all, but it is an effective tactic that can help you distance yourself from the competition and attract more attention. Our results were very positive. We increased traffic to their booth, engaged editors we may not have seen, scheduled productive booth visits, and secured pre- and post-show coverage in many of their key publications.

Here are some strategies to help make your Tweeting more effective at your next trade show or conference.

  1. Start early. Establish your Twitter presence long before the show opens. Post amusing or informative links, white papers and videos about product on display at the show, resources, observations, and announcements. If you’re planning to offer special giveaways or promotions, use Twitter to raise interest. Giveaways can also be linked to Twitter usage.
  2. Share Twitter names. When you get contact information for people, get their Twitter ID and other social media contact data. Make sure yours is on your business card, as well as on your web site.
  3. Keep tweeting! During the trade show, use Twitter to keep attendees informed. For example, “The next demo will start in 15 minutes at Booth 212.” Your Tweets should have value though; refrain from simply inviting them to your booth.
  4. Follow up. After the show has ended, use Twitter to maintain contact with new acquaintances. Make sure you add them to your “following” list.

Using Twitter during trade shows can raise awareness for your brand and help separate it from the competition -- and ultimately increase sales leads.

Steve Staedler is a senior account executive at LePoidevin Marketing, a public relations and marketing firm based in Brookfield, Wis. He can be reached at 262-754-9550 or [email protected].