Have you considered using LinkedIn marketing to enhance awareness of your trade show participation? This professionally based social network is rapidly growing in size and influence. Leveraging LinkedIn to promote upcoming shows and your exhibit information can serve as a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.
Making LinkedIn Work for You
If you have not yet established yourself or your company on LinkedIn, begin by visiting www.LinkedIn.com and setting up your professional and business profiles. The site provides easy-to-follow instructions.
Next, begin building your contacts by searching for colleagues, clients, and prospects who are on LinkedIn. Click the "Connect" button to ask them to join your professional network on the site.
This will enable you to build a group of targeted people to whom you can promote your trade show news, product information and event participation. You can send out updates about trade show dates, times, and your booth location. And, you can include a brief, yet compelling message that motivate people to visit your exhibit.
For example, you may want to share that you will be demonstrating a new product, providing special buying incentives to booth visitors, or distributing a material that features key success tips in your industry. Following are additional ways you can utilize LinkedIn marketing strategies.
Building Your Network Through LinkedIn Groups
To further expand your contacts and company awareness, join industry-related groups that are on LinkedIn. You can find these groups by using the search box at the top of the page. When you find a group that interests you, click the "Join" button. Check your settings to ensure you receive email notifications of posts and group activities.
Once you are a group member, participate in topic discussion and regularly post valuable industry-related information or helpful tips. You may want to start posting once a week or so. This will help build awareness and provide more opportunities to build your connections for LinkedIn marketing purposes.
Keep track of your groups and discussion activity by clicking on the "Interests" tab and then "Groups" in the drop down menu.
RSVP for Trade Shows on LinkedIn Events
Check if your trade show has been listed in LinkedIn Events. If it has, RSVP for the event and then see who else has RSVP'd for it. Cultivate relationships with those who have RSVP’d by inviting them to connect with you on LinkedIn, following them on Twitter, visiting their blogs, and arranging meetings with them at the trade show.
If the trade show is not listed in LinkedIn Events, create the trade show event, highlight your exhibit, and invite your connections to attend.
Check if the Event has its Own LinkedIn Group
Join the trade show’s LinkedIn Group if it already exists, and if it doesn’t, ask the trade show organizers to start one. Join conversations, provide links to any relevant content you’ve produced, and post thought-provoking questions and updates on the group’s page.
If the trade show doesn’t have its own LinkedIn Group, search for industry keywords and join relevant LinkedIn Groups. Post updates on these LinkedIn Group pages to find out if anyone will be attending the same trade show.
If you are interested in investing in paid promotion to extend your reach and impact, LinkedIn as a easy-to-use Campaign Manager tool where you (1) input your advertising goals; (2)identify whom you want to reach with your ad, based on the platform's audience attributes; (3) choose your ad format from the examples provided; (4) identify your budget and schedule for your campaign; and (5) upload your creative. Then LinkedIn proves tools to measure the impact of your ads and make adjustments as necessary.
After the Trade Show
After the trade show is over, conduct your lead follow-up activities and include an invitation for prospects to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Then, you can use this professional networking site throughout the year to send out status updates that keep you and your company top-of-mind. You can also include links in your status updates to product videos, blog posts, special events, and press releases.
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