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Social Media Trends for Trade Show Marketing

Just when everyone became comfortable with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, new platform features and emerging networks are changing the social media landscape. Here’s a look at some of the top social trends, and their potential impact on exhibit marketing:

Ephemeral ContentFacebook, Instagram & Snapchat stories are all examples of ephemeral content – spontaneous social posts that only last for a period of time. It’s an intimidating form of content creation for businesses, who have mostly always focused on creating well thought out, enduring posts. That’s why Instagram created Story Highlights for Business – a way to permanently archive your Instagram Stories and then curate and feature them at the top of your Instagram profile. This is a great place to showcase your top recent trade show moments, or to give a nod to your best partners and influencers.

Facebook Algorithm ChangesFacebook made a major change to its News Feed in early 2018, saying it would be showing users more posts from friends and family, and fewer from businesses and publishers. Going forward, trade show marketers will thus have to rely more on promoted posts, ads and influencers to reach their Facebook audiences.

A New Social Network?The social network Vero has been around since 2015, but it only began seeing explosive adoption in early 2018. Vero competes with Instagram for photo sharing. It offers many features that Instagram doesn’t, including allowing users to share links. Those social links may become an increasingly visible source of inbound traffic to exhibitor websites, similar to the traffic your site gets when you share links to it on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Chatbots for All Sized BusinessesChatbots are computer programs designed to simulate talking to a customer service rep or sales rep. Once used only by large companies for fielding simple queries about business hours or return polices, many are now being developed for small business use, such as for handling restaurant reservations or for responding to inquiries received via messenger apps. With more than 80% of customer inquiries or complaints ignored or poorly handled, AI-driven chatbots can help busy exhibitors field questions and escalate hard leads to your sales team.

The evolution of digital marketing presents new challenges and opportunities for the exhibit industry. Adjusting to the changing expectations of your virtual audiences can help you better capitalize on your in-person interactions, as well repurpose you content from live events on your social channels.

Using Promotions & Social Media to Get More Trade Show Visitors

While social media has changed how to do trade show promotions, it has not changed the strong need to use promotions to boost your booth traffic. With attendees only spending quality time at about 5% of exhibits, exhibitors still need to excel at promotions in order to get those valuable visitors to move out of the aisle and into their booth.

This book contains 28 articles, half geared to trade show promotions, and half about integrating social media with your trade show program. Use the ideas in this book to get more brand awareness, attendees, leads, and sales from trade shows.

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About the Author

Matt has been with the Skyline lead generation and customer engagement team for over 15 years. He manages several campaigns in areas that involve database marketing, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media marketing and website marketing. He is also a certified marketing automation administrator working on several email campaigns for Skyline's live seminars, webinars and product announcements.

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