20 Tips for How to Use Twitter at a Trade Show

Tradeshow-TwitterWith more than 230 million users, Twitter has become a popular news broadcast service. It’s a natural fit for trade shows as it is instant, mobile, creates conversation and allows for direct engagement between brand and attendee.

1. Incorporate the trade show’s hashtag into your tweets. Most trade shows will have their own hashtag (example: #XYZshow). Include it in your tweets to share updates and information about your exhibit with attendees.

2. Find out who else is using the trade show’s hashtag. They may be potential customers you can follow on Twitter.

3. Create your own hashtag. Encourage attendees and current clients to connect with you by using it as well. NOTE: Be sure to research your hashtag first to make sure it has not already been used or is so generic it could be used by an entirely different industry or misconstrued.

4. Share the location of your exhibit booth and invite people to stop by. Ask them to share photos of themselves on Twitter at your exhibit booth using your company’s hashtag and the event hashtag.

5. Create a Twitter-only contest for followers. Or offer something special that they have the chance to win if they retweet something you posted.

6. Post special content not available elsewhere. Maybe you reveal a new product, post a promotion, offer a show-specific white paper, or just give followers a behind-the-scenes look at the show.

7. Live tweet. Tweeting updates and information during the event is a great way to capture your follower’s attention and the mood of the event.

8. Schedule tweets ahead of time. Tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer allow you to schedule future tweets freeing you up during the event.

9. Start conversations. Pose questions that engage followers and get them talking about your business.

10. Countdown tweets. Build anticipation with a countdown tweets leading up to your in-booth exhibit presentation.

11. Make your tweets retweetable. Twitter limits you to 140 characters, so keep your tweets to 120 characters or less so that followers can add their own comments when they retweet.

12. Update your Twitter cover photo and icon. Just like you’d wear your best suit for a big meeting, dress up your Twitter profile with show specific graphics.

13. Communicate with Twitter followers.  Twitter is meant to be a community, not just a place for you to promote your business.  Respond to other’s tweets. Answer questions. Comment and share.

14. Become a broadcast service. Retweet and share information about the trade show including news from the show organizers, trade media or other experts in the field. The information you tweet should not always be self-serving. In fact, tooting your own horn too frequently can turn followers off.  Attempt to keep your self-promoting tweets to less than 10% of your total output.

15. Include Visuals. Much like the rest of the web, Twitter is morphing into a visual medium. Eye catching product/exhibit booth photos, infographics, videos, etc. will help your tweets stand out in the constantly moving news stream.

16. Target your hot prospects on Twitter. Research the profiles of your most valuable prospects and tweet to them directly. Invite them by your exhibit booth or to your corporate event.

17. Announce new products or services via Twitter. Most trade journalists and industry bloggers follow show specific hashtags leading up to large trade shows. Grab their attention via Twitter to land an interview prior to or during the trade show.

18. Find key influences. Identify and follow key influencers including speakers, industry media, bloggers and thought leaders. Not only will they serve as a great resource for show-specific information, but establishing relationships with key players will help you both online and offline.

19. Tweet a secret passcode. Everyone loves to be on the VIP list, so create and share a secret passcode that can be used for a discount offer or enters attendees into a trade show-specific drawing or contest.

20. Keep on tweeting. Now that you’ve shown your followers that you are a reliable resource for information, keep the momentum moving forward long after the show is over.

Once the show is over, use Google Analytics and Twitter’s internal analytics tool to track statistics such views, new followers, retweets and link clicks to gauge the success of your Twitter campaign.

And of course, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ExcaliburExh or call us today at 800-217-9479.

Peggy Swords

About Peggy Swords

Peggy Swords is the founder and president of Excalibur Exhibits, a $10 million Houston-based exhibit manufacturing and production corporation. Excalibur Exhibits designs, builds, delivers, assembles and disassembles as many as 300 exhibits per year. Swords was named as a finalist for NAWBO Houston 2003 Woman Business Owner of the Year and 2005 Enterprising Woman of the Year Finalist. Additionally, Excalibur Exhibits is a five time member of the Inc 5000, a three time member of the LSU100 and a two time member of the Houston Fast 100, a list of fastest growing privately held companies.