Trade Show Tip #2:  Plug in!

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Social media provides opportunities you cannot afford to ignore when attending a trade show, especially one the size of Outdoor Retailer.  With well-timed and relevant messaging you can begin to herald the arrival of you and your products weeks in advance, and potentially generate more traffic to your booth.  And not only should you be posting, you should be following.  Follow your competitors and your ideal customers and you stand to gain a greater appreciation of what they deem valuable, as well as what new and cool toy is on its way.

When should you get started?  Now! 

There are a few things you should think about before you get going:

  • Are you comfortable with the social media forum?  If not, hire someone who will help you generate regular relevant messages.  Remember, having a twitter or facebook account is useless unless you use it!
  • Schedule a time that you check your feed.  I tend to log on a few times a day, and while I’m at the show check the OR tweets constantly.  Think of your social media time as reading the headlines in the newspaper or on line and you’ll start to get the hang of it.  Pursue the posts that grab your attention and interest and ignore the rest.
  • Social media is a format to build relationships with your followers; not nonstop selling.  I look at social media as a way for those in my field to get an idea of who I am, so from time to time my posts will be slightly personal and share my love of hockey or an outdoor endeavor and inspirational messages in addition to retail sales or fashion merchandising issues.  Remember we tend to do business with people we like, so help your clients get to know you!

Most of all, have fun!  Social media is not going away, and while it cannot take the place of human interaction, it IS a marketing tool that can become priceless.  And, it’s free, so get going!

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