This week for our She Said, He Said posts we tackle the topic of utilizing Twitter at a trade show. I lead off today with my take and Shelby will follow up tomorrow. Also, #shehechat is on at the normal time of 8 p.m. CST tomorrow (Thursday) following our live appearance at the Milwaukee Web414 meeting.
I first used Twitter from a trade show about three years ago. I was still a relative newbie at the time; having only signed up six months earlier and I only had about 30 followers. It turned out to be effective, however, because my friends over at WhatTheyThink.com came by our booth and shot this video of me that reached their entire audience. That’s the moment I realized the true power of social media networks.
Go with a strategy
About a month ago at the same show, we went armed with a Twitter strategy. First, Shelby manned the @ColorMetrix account as she has done since February 1 of this year. Sure, I jump in sometimes to tweet or retweet from the account but mostly it’s her baby to run. She’s earned that right by sharing relevant content and engaging in a way that has quadrupled the following in about nine months.
That strategy stays the same at a show. You’ll find the company account tweeting and retweeting information about us, our products, our partners and other interesting show information. Shelby will also engage people looking for us and help them find their way to the booths in which we are exhibiting. That’s how we manage the company account.
Personal account strategy
At trade shows, I end up busy most of the day engaging face-to-face with customers and partners. My Twitter strategy needs to take a back seat to that activity. So when I have the time, the first thing I do is check my @ messages to make sure I’m responding to those who have reached out to me. Next, I check the @ColorMetrix stream to see if there is content there I should retweet. While that seems redundant, I have 10 times the following of ColorMetrix and why not leverage that, right? When all that’s done, I use my Twitter trade show secret weapon.
Trade shows and the hashtag
These days pretty much every trade show has a hashtag. Either at breakfast or while catching a shuttle bus to the show I scan the hashtag stream for what’s going on at the show. I also look for good content to retweet with the hashtag. Typically, if you are active within the hashtag stream, the biggest brands at the show will be retweeting you. We used to call that guerilla marketing when you piggyback with the big boys. A retweet by a big brand at your show just adds creditability to your strategy.
That’s what’s working for me at trade shows. Make sure to check back tomorrow when Shelby will share a more detailed description of how she manages @ColorMetrix during a show.