SMARTPHONES, SOCIAL MEDIA, TRADE SHOWS AND THE 43.5%
In the minds of many legacy business owners, social media marketing and trade show marketing are two entirely separate fields. In the minds of many technology business owners trade shows are irrelevant.
But, guess what? Smartphones supposedly made everything smarter and changed the dynamics of trade and commerce.
In an effort to make everything smart, smartphones are also supposedly to be blamed for our dis-ease of digital fatigue. Hence, it is no surprise that, "CMOs are investing more in live events because they deliver brand messaging effectively amid the growing cacophony of digital marketing in our daily lives.”
PAT YOUR BACK. YOU ARE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS 160% GROWTH
There is no denying that social media has intertwined itself into every aspect of marketing and business survival. Yes, social media marketing is also a fairly complicated field, but even a small business can use some of its most basic functions to boost its bottom line — It all starts with finding the right #hashtag for your business.
When you tie in social media to improve your results in trade show marketing, your trade show marketing efforts multiplies and cause your social media exposure to grow, so your business gets a greater return on all of its marketing investments. Because, according to CrowdTwist study, 43.5 percent of Millennials said they use social media to spread the word about products or services, meaning that people within any given network have more access to what their friends, family, and acquaintances are buying.
Keep going, you will get to see how we used our hashtags at #Exhibitorlive to bolster our brand exposure and made an effort to positively pay it forward.
Hashtags are everywhere. A hashtag—written with a #symbol—is used to index keywords or topics on social media. This function was created on Twitter, and allows people to easily follow topics they are interested in. You can’t go online without seeing dozens of them, they’re plastered on the sides of transit buses and commuter trains, they’re on our cereal boxes and our coffee packages, we see them in the movies and on little badges in the corners of our TV programs.
In fact, #ShareaCoke started a new era of 'hastagging'. Now, having a hashtag is a business imperative. You are dealing with a set of customers who want to be recognized and create a conversation around, what you have to offer.
“The distinctive and widely shared attitudes and beliefs of this generation will slowly, but surely, reshape corporations in its image and end the confrontational and bottom-line oriented world that Boomers and Gen-Xers have created.”
Large corporations have been spending a lot of time and money researching and developing new ways to use social media in general and the hashtag in particular to generate more profits. Experimental programs are already in place with Twitter, Amazon, and American Express to allow customers to make purchases using hashtags. Whether you love them or despise them, hashtags are here to stay.
How Can Hashtags Help My Business?
By using hashtags to promote your trade show marketing efforts, and using hashtags as part of those efforts at trade shows, you can expand your brand and message exposure exponentially.
Since the hashtagged word becomes an index of conversations around a specific word, you gain more insight into who’s talking about your brand and products. Hashtags are used on virtually every social media channel, for easier insight into what consumers are saying, where they are, and how they’re using social media. All of these things can help you target your future marketing efforts even more precisely.
By planning and putting in some effective research up front, your marketing exposure will begin to grow and gain momentum on its own, going forward.
Hashtags when optimized by phrases or keywords pertaining to your industry, you grow tentacles and appear on different feeds.
#TasteSuccess was the theme of our campaign and #ExhibitorLive was the show and Vegas was the venue
Hashtags makes your brand easy to discover. Once you’re easier to discover, you’re likely to see higher social media traffic. Hashtag searches occur on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all the time and google+. H
Hashtags are a great way to help showcase brand advocate recommendations. Nielsen discovered 92% of consumers trust brand advocates over businesses.
Questions to ponder before YOU COME UP WITH HASHTAGS for a specific venue or EVENT?
Know your personas. Know your objectives.
Determine the objective of the search. There is too much data to just jump into it.
1. Do you plan to launch a product and want to know if there's interest amongst your target audience?
2. Do you want to see what current customers are saying (customer service opportunity)?
3. Do you want to determine how you stack up against your competition?
4. Do you want to know about the perception of your brand?
5. Do you have a service and want to know how to optimize? Listen for customer feedback.
6. Do you need to strengthen brand awareness efforts?
Make a list of the keywords you specifically utilize for your social media/brand
Make a list of keywords associated with your industry (this will help you find and see competitors).
Create guidelines for how far back you will go back to look for comments/interactions. Jot down your findings in a spreadsheet. Depending on the comments, think how you can improve upon it?
Draw up guidelines for how findings are handled. For example, how will you respond to bad comments/reviews?
What verbage to use to show your support for positive comments/reviews?
How do you respond when others talk about your competitors in a favorable light?
When and where do you use your branded hashtag(s)?
NOW, THAT YOU HAVE DONE YOUR RESEARCH AND ESTABLISHED A GUIDELINE Here are some thoughts for starting your own marketing snowball
When you choose hashtags for your brand, your products, or your promotions, you need to use some care. It’s best to choose the simplest, shortest hashtag possible.
Once you have some ideas in mind, search for it on each social medium, and on Google. See if it’s in use, and check to see if any likely misspellings of your proposed hashtag are in use. You may find that one of those is in use by something you don’t want your customers accidentally being directed to.
Another important consideration is misreading. Hashtags are not case-sensitive, but often they’re written with capital letters to help readers understand and remember them. Realize that people will type your hashtag out with all lowercase or different capitalization than you intended, so it’s important that the meaning not depend on capitalization.
For example, one hashtag-gone-wrong used the country code CH to promote The Hobbit in Switzerland. The creators wrote #HobbitCH. Oops!!!
There are no spaces in hashtags, so also consider what will happen if a reader envisions the spacing of the hashtag differently from what you had in mind – like Susan Boyle’s debut album party, which was #Susanalbumparty. Ummm.. No thank you.
Hitch A Ride
Whenever you make a post with your hashtag, think about what other hashtags you might include on the post. Don’t go crazy: two or three per post is enough depending on the social media channel.
But if, for example, you’re promoting a new product at South by Southwest, include #SXSW in your post, because, that better-known and more popular tag will get your post and your own hashtag much bigger exposure than it would get on its own.
Also, events and trade shows promote their own hashtags so you will maximize your efforts by using theirs. If your post involves a giveaway, include #entertowin as a tag, and it will start circulating on its own! Be careful not to jump on every hashtag trend out there. Attaching yourself to a trending hashtag can be negatively perceived, especially if that hashtag has nothing to do with your company, product or event.
Officially Recognize Pain Points and Moments of Delights
Ask your customers, how do they feel at the pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase stages as they attempt to achieve their goals? Find their frustration in dealing with your brand or their job functions and come up with a hashtag that addresses it. Chances are if your customers are feeling certain 'emotions' (positive or negative) when dealing with your brand — the same feeling with resonate with your prospects.
"As technology changes, so do consumer expectations. Customers today are impatient, and their standards are unforgiving. Increasingly, consumers expect brands to intuitively know what they need, when they need it, and deliver it instantly. Tackling those challenges has meant rethinking the way our business operates." — when you create a hashtag, you give your prospects a frictionless way to engage in the conversation happening around that hashtag.
Twitter Tools For Your Hashtag
What The Trend is a tool that can help you find the top hashtags from the last 30 days. Find creative hashtags that aligns with your content and are recently trending and get new viewers for your content.
Twitonomy can help you find personalized hashtags that revolve around the content you post on your Twitter accounts. It shows powerful influencers and the level and quality of engagement.
RiteTag offers up-to-date usage data to show you how hashtags are performing in the real world. While the premium plans offer more functionality, the basic free plan still offers plenty of utility.
Hashtagify.me is another great tool for finding trending hashtags on Twitter. Plus, it also has an option to get email updates on trending hashtags as well. It offers free and premium plans for all sizes of companies, from individual users up to enterprise accounts.
Tweepi is also a great tool that allows you to follow either the followers or the friends (i.e. mutual followers) of a Twitter user of your choice.
What study shows about the usage hashtags in these 3 channels —
AND WHAT OUR EXPERIENCE COUNTS FOR at #ExhibitorLive 2018
For Twitter: According to a recent study you should indulge in posting only one or two hashtags per tweet, as that has proved to increase engagement on your content by 21 percent.
The same article also states that if you use three or more hashtags per message, you lower engagement by almost 17 percent. However, our recent experience #ExhibitorLIVE shows otherwise. Again keep in mind, this is based on very low sampling, hyper-segmented audience in the 2 day event
2 HASHTAGS GENERATED LESS ENGAGEMENT AS OPPOSED TO 5 HASHTAGS. 3 Could be the MAGIC NUMBER
For Facebook: "In some cases, studies suggest that Facebook posts without hashtags receive greater engagement than the ones that contain multiple hashtags." Your best bet — BE BRAVE AND KEEP AT IT.
According to one report, posts with hashtags received only 0.8 percent viral reach, while posts without hashtags had 1.30 percent viral reach.
USING 3 HASHTAGS, 2 HASHTAGS AND 1 HASHTAG IN FACEBOOK — YOU BE THE JUDGE
If you are using @facebook for your marketing, here are the 2018 updates that you should be aware about. It is particularly palatable for event marketers, if they know how to use the inner workings of hashtags
For Instagram: Yes, it is customary for Instagram posts to contain up to 15-20 hashtags in some cases. However, it is important to keep it relevant to the post.
TO BE RELEVANT, WE Incorporated THE VENUE, THE INDUSTRY, THE TARGET AUDIENCE, THE BRAND, THE MISSION, THE FEELING OF THE BRAND, THE CREATIVE DIFFERENCE AND OF COURSE, THE OVERACHING AUDIENCE
According to a study, interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11 plus (different) hashtags. Note: The new hashtag-following feature could potentially change the way user accounts are followed, and this has potentially far-reaching implications for those heavily invested in the platform.
If you use @instagram for your marketing, you should know these latest features. Based onyour YOUR engagement, your brand exposure just might be restricted.
Give Them Something To Talk About
Creating something post-worthy at a trade show doesn’t have to involve a 10-story Ferris wheel or a supermodel. Last fall in Utah, one exhibitor placed a single banner stand on the outside of their booth. The banner was simply a photo of a giant crocodile with a hashtag on it. The aisle was jammed with people waiting to take a picture with the crocodile! You can use photographs or drawings, or even well designed graphical banners with funny, motivational, or philosophical sayings on them. How about a selfie from inside your exhibit to win a prize every hour?
Whereas selfies are great, if your customer is somehow unhappy with you product, taking selfies will not help them. Instead, devise a hashtag around that frustration or product update and start building a core group where your customers can help you in building a better product and help each other along the way.
Hashtags allow you to create a collection of social media posts around the same or similar topic by making it easier to search, find, and share those thoughts. It allows you to connect with and engage other social media users around a common theme or interest.
Try using Hashtags to promote your next trade show or event – Before, During, and After the show or event! Incorporate the show’s existing #hashtags with one of your own. (For example: Hey, check out the newest widget in booth 5555 at Widget Show next month! #worldsgreatestwidget #WidgetShow )
Encourage everyone in your organization to use them in related social media posts. It costs nothing outside the time to think through the process and implementation.
The payoff could be priceless.
Shawn Lacagnina is an expert at face-to-face marketing with over 20+ years experience helping clients successfully communicate their image and message to their audience. For more information on trade show displays, trade show booths, and trade show exhibits in Houston, please email Shawn directly at ShawnL@skylinehouston.com or visit http://www.skylinehouston.com.
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