For those unable to attend SXSW in person, social media has proven a powerful tool for keeping in-the-loop on the latest news and trends. Whether it is live tweets from sessions or Instagram photos from the exhibit halls, social media users were able to experience (at least a portion of) the SXSW events online. For businesses, sharing highlights from a tradeshow, professional development workshop or press conference via social media can help to enhance relationships with existing and prospective clients. Something as simple as tweeting ‘Learning about what the Affordable Care Act means for businesses with less than 50 employees’ can let key audiences know that you are up on the latest rules and regulations, and committed to working with businesses of that size.
Here are four event-related opportunities to share key information with constituents via social media:
Professional Development Workshops & Conferences
Are you attending an industry-specific tradeshow? Exhibiting at a small business expo and attending a handful of professional development workshops? Before heading out to the event, take a look at the sessions you will be attending and create a list of key topics that matter to your target audiences. For example, if you are a manufacturer attending a workshop on the costs of outsourcing production overseas, your clients may be interested in the pros, the cons and examples of companies who have been successful with this approach. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and a blog are all avenues through which you can share this content. Depending on the volume of content and its relevancy to various audiences, one conference may yield a series of blog posts that span the course of a month. These posts can be cross-promoted via other social networks to increase exposure.
Is the Governor announcing his biennial budget? Will the mayor be announcing a new business moving in to a key area of the community? Before attending an event – or publishing a related social media update – think about what this news means for your business, prospects and clients. If the press conference will include highly detailed information on which you must focus intently, consider taking notes – either manually or electronically – and synthesizing them in an e-blast or blog post. This will allow target audiences to obtain key information and commentary that explains the associated costs and benefits.
While one would likely opt against live tweeting every individual or company that is honored, awards ceremonies often feature a keynote speaker whose address may warrant a handful of tweets or a post-ceremony blog post. There may also be an opportunity to craft a blog post about industry trends using the award-winners’ work as supporting points.
Are you noticing new small business trends as you walk through a tradeshow floor? Are other businesses focusing on information that impacts your customers within their booths? This is key data worthy or one or two social media marketing updates.
Given the geographic reach of many tradeshows, there are often folks with an interest in what is being displayed and discussed who aren’t in the room. Leverage this as an opportunity to strengthen relationships with these folks by serving as a conduit to the information they are interested in receiving. In advance of the tradeshow, post that you/your company/your colleague will be in attendance and ask current and prospective clients what information they are looking for from the show. Share live updates from the tradeshow, if possible, and follow-up with post-event summaries as well – i.e. Five data security trends from XYZ tech expo. Package the trends within the context of the benefits and consequences each could have for your target audience to demonstrate your company’s awareness and understanding of key industry topics.
While it is easy to get wrapped-up in preparing for a tradeshow or soaking in all of the knowledge imparted upon you during a professional development seminar, think about how you can harness your business event experiences to benefit clients and prospects. Translating one’s event experiences into social media marketing content that brings value to target audiences is an opportunity to differentiate oneself and their company from the competition while enhancing organic SEO.