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Social media isn’t what it used to be. Public Relations professionals used to manage a brand’s social media presence by taking an organic approach—a natural, casual engagement strategy that prompted authentic interactions with the audience. Those days are long gone; we now live in a post-organic social media world where paid promotions rule over all.
PR pros are no stranger to major industry changes, which is why we need to remain on our toes in order to keep up with the changing social media landscape. The downside of this shift toward pay-to-play social media is obvious, as our organic efforts are disappearing and social media is morphing into an advertising outlet. Despite these big changes, there is still plenty for PR pros to celebrate in this “new world”:
- We still create the stories. Despite the shift away from organic social media, PR professionals still have the power of developing and crafting a brand’s message. According to a blog post from Vision Critical, approximately 91 percent of customers want brands to be authentic with their social media content. With this in mind, it’s important to construct and convey a genuine identity that the target audience can engage with and relate to.
- Paid social guarantees a larger audience. Organic content may have helped maintain an authentic image, but only certain Facebook followers would actually see your content (with even less seeing it following the algorithm changes the platform made this past June). With paid social media, you’re giving your brand’s content the opportunity to be seen on a much larger scale. On top of that, specific demographic and psychographic information is used to narrow down your audience to those most likely to embrace your message. There are no guarantees that this highly targeted audience will go out and buy your brand’s product or service, but with the insights provided from social media and the expertise of marketers, we’re able to get key brand messages in front of the right people.
- The customer service element expands. Regardless of what industry you’re in, the phrase “keep the customer satisfied” remains a great piece of advice. With your content being seen on a much larger scale, user engagement increases, meaning a greater emphasis must be placed on monitoring. By being able to quickly respond to comments and questions from social users, a brand is likely to be seen as being attentive and customer-focused. And by resolving any issues, customer attitudes toward the brand are more likely to remain positive.
Marketers may be living in a post-organic social media world, but this is far from the end of social media—it’s simply one change in a long line of innovations. All platforms, especially Facebook, have made updates that impact the way marketers engage with their audiences, and they will continue to do so. Adapting to these updates by shifting your social strategy makes it easier to continue engaging with fans and potential customers. Social media isn’t what it used to be, but there are plenty of ways for brands to thrive in this new world.
There is a new approach to the old standby when it comes to the rules of engagement for trade show booths. While it is still key to pitch and vet trade show attendees to secure leads, attendee expectations are rising. It is not as simple as greeting attendees and giving a strong sales pitch in order to secure lead generation information or close deals.
How many times have you had an interest in stopping by a booth at a trade show, but diverted your route to avoid a wall of eager sales reps? An aggressive sales strategy can not only hinder booth interactions with trade show attendees, but may also have attendees avoiding your booth altogether.
With 85 percent of a company’s trade show success dependent on the performance of booth staff members, we often share with clients that having well-trained staff is a top rule of engagement for implementing a passive booth strategy. Well-trained staff members can help increase ROI. They know the importance of how to effectively engage with attendees, including standing with a relaxed and open posture to welcome attendees to step inside the booth, minimizing time spent talking to other staff, only engaging with attendees when they are less than six feet away, and waiting for the moment when an attendee makes eye contact to greet him or her with an open-response question.
In addition to having well-trained staff members to engage with attendees, the increasing presence in technology is also playing a role in the successful execution of passive booth engagement strategies. Having some form of technology within a booth is the second rule of engagement that we often share with clients looking to implement a passive booth strategy.
Attendees naturally respond to the presence technology-enabled activities within a booth, which allows a company to create an inviting environment that ultimately draws attendees in. Building a passive engagement strategy with experiential technology at its foundation is a tactic being used by many of today’s top brands. Some examples of experiential technology include:
- Touchscreen Kiosks. Touchscreen kiosks are a simple way to incorporate interactivity within a booth. Kiosk content can be used for lead generation surveys, a hub for digital product information, product demo videos, customer case studies, etc. Touchscreen kiosks are a great way to passively capture lead generation information and a tool to spark conversations between booth staff and attendees.
- Interactive Presentations. Enhancing presentations with audience polling, animations, and multi-touch displays is a great way to attract and engage attendees within the booth.
- Virtual Reality. Branded virtual reality experiences are gaining popularity as interactive ways to generate booth buzz and immerse attendees in a highly entertaining way.
- Video/Social Media Walls. Video and/or social media walls with branded visual effects are often a more eye-catching tactic than the standard booth graphic. Think: product videos, customer testimonials, and live social media streams. Branded video and/or social media walls provide a simple way to draw in and engage attendees from a direct or even subliminal level.
At Martino Flynn, we work with our clients to develop a custom trade show marketing mix to meet their lead generation goals. For more information about Martino Flynn’s trade show marketing capabilities, contact Chelsea Metzger at email@example.com or give us a call at 585.421.0100.