LinkedIn has become one of the most important ways for professionals to connect with each other. If you don’t already have a profile, then you can think of it as Facebook for people who are more interested in forging business connections than gossiping and sharing pictures. Once you have a profile, use these strategies to increase traffic at your trade show exhibit.
Connect With People in Your Industry
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Start by connecting with other people who work in your industry. You might own businesses that compete with each other, but making these connections offers mutual benefits. After all, you want your entire industry to thrive. You can encourage that by forming connections and supporting each other.
Use these connections to encourage people in your industry to attend regional and national trade shows. They may not even know the event is happening. Sending a quick message could add a new group to the show.
Take Steps to Build a Bigger Network
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Making connections with people you already know also lays a foundation that will help you branch out to build a larger network.
When you connect with your colleagues and competitors on LinkedIn, you gain some access to their networks. Browse these secondary connections to find people you want in your network. When you find them, send an invite. Most people will accept because they want more connections, too.
Turn LinkedIn Connections Into Twitter Followers
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LinkedIn is a great way to communicate with professionals, but it isn’t very fast. No one compulsively checks their LinkedIn messages unless they’re desperate to find a new job position. If you want to send quick updates to your LinkedIn friends to boost traffic to your exhibit during a trade show, you have to get them to follow you on Twitter.
There are a couple of techniques to try. First, ask them if they have a Twitter account that you can follow. When you follow them, they might follow you in return.
Second, link your Twitter account to other social networking platforms. If someone sees an interesting tweet posted to your LinkedIn account, then they might follow you to see what else you have to say. Of course, that means you need something worth reading. Spend time developing your Twitter content. Those 140 characters should take you more than a minute to write.
Use the LinkedIn Events Feature
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LinkedIn has a useful events feature that you can use to tell others about upcoming trade shows. At the top of your LinkedIn page, you should find a menu called “More.” Click on it and choose “Events.” Then you can fill out the event information and share it with your connections.
If someone has already created the event, you can mark yourself as “attending,” “presenting,” “exhibiting,” or “interested.” The event’s page will tell you and your connections how many people plan to attend the event. It’s important to mark your status. It not only shares your intentions with your network but adds to the number of people attending, which makes the event look important and encourages others to go.
What’s the most effective tool you have found for boosting trade show traffic? Does LinkedIn make your list?