Last week I received a direct message on Twitter, a discount or percent off from a random company I follow. This particular company has sent me a direct message every month for the last four months. I still have no idea what they do or what they are really selling. It’s a marketing automation fail.
You and your sales team can almost feel the excitement in the air the first day of a trade show. All the booths are clean and clutter free. Your exhibitor neighbors are chattering about last minute details. Your staff is charged up on an extra cup of coffee and their first day’s morning meetings. The doors to the exhibitor hall opens and thousands of potential clients rush through to see who has the best swag and maybe, just maybe, talk about buying something from someone. You’re hoping to be that someone.
Three days later your staff trudges into the exhibition booth, their luggage waiting expectantly in the car. The booth next to you is down to just a handful of junior level sales reps. The coffee, if there’s any left, is a bit stale. You’re looking at a list of thousands of people who visited your booth and wondering how exactly you are going to follow up with all these contacts when you get back to the office.
Like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest- Instagram has rocketed into social media. It’s an up and coming visually-based social sensation that business owners should consider,especially if their target market is young women from the ages of 18-29. Facebook jumped on the bandwagon a few years ago and bought out Instagram, which currently has 100 million users monthly who post 40 million pictures per day.
So what’s it to you and your brand?
Show your products. Almost any business can take advantage of this photo-focus platform. Are you a photographer? Add pictures of your favorite hascamera lens or show off your talented photo art. Are you a sales rep for a detergent distributor? Upload before/after pictures of laundry or the different types of detergents you are selling.
Go behind the scenes. If you are a marketing company and have numerous clients, use that to your advantage. Filming a commercial? Printing up a catalog? Take pictures throughout the process. Give the consumers something to look forward to. Give your followers VIP access.
Show the impact of your work. Give your followers an exclusive front look at the impact of your work. Post pictures of what it’s like a day in the life of your office.
Bring your followers along. If your business attends trade shows, take your followers with you by photographing your trip. People can get a better feel of what your brand or products are about if they have one-on-one access to wherever you’re going.
Include your followers-they may become potential consumers. Ask them to take pictures of themselves using your product. If other followers see people using your products, they’re more likely to use them as well. It’s show-and-tell, or in this case, show-and-use.
Use hashtags. With public accounts, anyone searching for a hashtag used in a photo caption will be able to see that image. Hashtags are a great way to get your brand more attention. However, don’t overuse them. Make sure you’re using words that are relevant to the picture you are posting. Become familiar with popular hashtags and find a way to incorporate those into your photo captions. For example: #fbf (flash back friday) or #instafood. Be creative. Set up different hashtag themes weekly and see if you gain more traffic.
By not focusing completely on the hard sell of your product(s), your brand may come off as more interesting than others. The photos you post to Instagram can directly be sent to your Facebook or Twitter page if you choose to do so. Instagram is a great way to engage your customers into the whole of your brand.
One of your most important clients just walked in the door. You stand up from your desk with a smile on your face when you notice you definitely aren’t getting one in return. The customer is on a rant and by the look on your face, you’re a bit scared. Maybe that you will lose their loyalty or in all honesty, you have no idea what’s going on. So what do you do to make things right?
Business trade shows present opportunities to promote your business, your brand, and your products and services. The people who attend these events have a genuine interest in your products or business. So why not use this is a way to have face-to-face interaction with potential buyers or loyal consumers.
Our local Chamber of Commerce held its annual business expo this week. I’ve been working with a couple of clients getting booths ready and researching creative trade show ideas that work. Gathering the attention of busy and often times distracted event goers becomes a major focus for businesses. Here are four businesses who used their space in insightful, fun ways. (As a disclaimer, one of these companies became a client after the writing of this article. The others are not my clients but they had some creative ideas.)