Before we talk about the power of the hashtag, let’s provide a quick intro to those who are new to social media. A hashtag (the pound sign) is used as a way to follow or participate in a specific topic or conversation on social media platforms. For example, if you want to learn more about #AdditiveManufacturing or #WomenInEngineering, you would use the hashtag to search that term or phrase for which you want to see what the buzz is all about!
Conversely, if you are a business, you probably want to be leading the conversation on the topic of which you are the expert! Once you have integrated social media marketing into your overall marketing program, you can learn how to use the power of the hashtag to support your trade show season.
Want to know our secret to maximizing exposure while attending a trade show? Embrace the #hashtag! This # symbol, followed by a word with no spaces, is used in tweets to mark keywords or topics as a way to categorize Tweets. In Tweets, the hashtag will become a hyperlink that you can click to search recent tweets with that hashtag included in them.
You’re probably thinking, “Okay, but how will this help my tradeshow exposure?” Planned events routinely have their own #hashtag. This is usually promoted months before the show has even begun. This is a great way for people to interact during live conferences and enable those who are not able to attend to follow the conversation on Twitter and participate in the discussion.
#Hashtags also allow you to monitor and analyze what others are saying about the event.
Here are a few tips when participating in the #hashtag discussion for a trade show…
· Start Tweeting BEFORE the show! Start using the #hashtag weeks or even months before the show to promote your company. Tweet the #hashtag to share information with your audience. Tweet your booth number. Tweet to prospective clients that you look forward to seeing them. Tweet to media/publications to let them know that you will be releasing a new product, conducting a demo, or sharing an info session.
· During the show will be the most valuable time to tweet! This is when there will be the loudest buzz around the trade show, and you want to be a part of that! Stand out among your exhibitors by engaging in conversation, prompting and answering questions, post photos, and give out prizes! (Who doesn’t love another free t-shirt?!)
· After the show, continue to engage. Just because the show is over, doesn’t mean the conversation has to be.