After the tradeshow, it’s time to go back to regularly scheduled social media posts. That said, don’t forget to integrate stories and photos from the event for the next few weeks — and even beyond.
“We still follow up with thank-you emails and calls direct to the attendees, but we’ve added a recap blog post, follow-up newsletter email and social media photos from the tradeshow floor,” said Chris Clemens, marketing manager, FoodTools. “Tradeshows are a big investment, and we try to keep the show vibe alive for a few weeks following the actual event.”
Claudio Bauza, senior director of sales and marketing/business development at Nexcor Technologies, is also keenly aware of the benefits of social follow-up.
“After the tradeshow, and sometimes during if we have the time, we send out LinkedIn invitations to the people we meet on the show floor,” Mr. Bauza said. “Even though we have their contact information for follow-up, connecting with them on social media adds another channel between us where we can communicate news and information about our food safety software.”
Ms. Siciliano offered a different tactic that works well for her team. She said social media is a great place for marketers to advertise directly to tradeshow attendees after the event. A list of attendee email addresses gathered from people who visited your booth can be used on Facebook to create Custom Audience ad groups.
“Coupled with the right message, those ads can be far more effective at converting leads into customers than ads with general audience targeting,” Ms. Siciliano said.
Looking into the future
As social media evolves from consumer audiences to business-to-business markets, many baking leaders wonder if it is worth the expense to invest in social media planning.
Al Cason, president and chief operating officer, Bud’s Best Cookies, Birmingham, Ala., said social media is simply too important to ignore.
“Like it or not, social media is here,” he said. “A company can either embrace it and let social media help form the personality of the company or they can ignore it and be left behind. Most of our company’s social media is geared toward the public, but we’ve found that some of our social media posts have been of interest to investors.”
As strategies for business-to-business communication develop, tradeshows will continue to push innovation onward. Because, as industry professionals know, there is no place like a tradeshow to make connections.