5 Brand New Twitter Tools to Leverage at Your Next Trade Show
One of the most simultaneously exciting and infuriating aspects of online marketing, in any industry, is how quickly websites and strategies can change. Whenever one of the major “lynchpin” sites like Google or Facebook updates their systems, it creates a cascade of thousands (or millions) of businesses having to change their strategies to adapt. Every time it happens, it means established strategies go out the window. On the other hand, every redesign opens up new opportunities for messaging. Well, this time around, it’s Twitter that’s getting the makeover.
We’ve talked before about the importance of working social media into your trade show strategies, and this seems like a perfect time to revisit the topic. These Twitter updates are currently rolling out among users over the next few weeks, so now you can be ready to embrace them as soon as they hit your account.
However, before getting into specifics, let’s quickly address a broader question that comes up:
Does Twitter Matter In B2B Sales?
It’s a fairly common misconception that Twitter is “only” for children, culture vultures, and government protesters. However, that’s not really the case. Most B2C companies see the value in Twitter already, but the truth is that it’s a powerful outreach tool in every area of business.
According to a survey last fall, 85% of marketers, even in B2B, were actively using Twitter as part of their outreach. That’s only slightly less than businesses using LinkedIn, and more than were on Facebook. And according to Twitter’s own numbers, exposure to Tweets results in an average 47% increase in website hits.
Plus, it offers certain benefits:
- Twitter has the third-largest user base of the social media services, after Facebook and Google+. (And even that’s iffy, since Google tends to include all account holders in their G+ numbers.)
- The 140-character Tweet is “just right” for sending quick messages that don’t require much user time investment.
- The short message format also makes Tweets perfect for “pop up” announcements, at least for users who allow notifications on their device.
- Custom links and pictures can be easily embedded and immediately seen.
- Twitter-based contests get wide exposure and participation.
- Worldwide use guarantees conversations happening all the time.
- “LiveTweeting” is a great way to have running commentaries on events in progress.
- Popular #Hashtags can quickly go around the world within minutesand bring huge brand exposure in the process.
In short, Twitter honestly is a powerful outreach tool, and it has plenty of potential for your trade show marketing – especially with this new redesign.
What’s New With Twitter?
First, just as a disclaimer: This is being written based on reports of the “beta” testing among those who first saw their accounts updated. It’s entirely possible Twitter may change some of the details in the weeks ahead, as rollout continues.
1 – A New Visual Layout
In terms of marketing potential, this gives you a great way to unify your brand and presentation across multiple media.
Both the banner and the bio picture have been increased in size, and the main page itself also has a very Facebook-esque magazine layout with several columns. One big change here is that the size of your Tweets will change based on their popularity and retweets, to the point of becoming “popped” elements. Your most popular lines will end up being much more noticeable.
The user is also being given a lot more choices in layout, and Twittermay even incorporate side-to-side scrolling, as some of the article-driven websites already do. They’re experimenting with it now, and I’m very curious where they go with it. Side-scrolling is rising in popularity.
This visual layout also gives more emphasis to pictures and videos you post, with the images showing up natively. Twitter may be looking to compete with Pinterest on this front.
2 – Pinning Your Tweets
Speaking of which, you’ll also be able to selectively “pin” some Tweets to the top of your page, putting them front and center.
There are numerous applications for this. Just as a few ideas:
- Putting your most representative quotes at the top, as part of your profile.
- Keeping your trade show LiveTweets front-and-center on your page.
- Presenting your best pictures where they’re easily seen.
- Mentioning short-term offers or other special deals.
- Time-sensitive announcements, like sending people notice an hour ahead of a talk you’re giving.
- Conversation starters like a retweet accompanied by a question about the Tweet.
This can be an all-purpose messaging space, so be creative!
3 – Improved Activity Pages
Your “Activity” Page may become your new best friend on Twitter. Besides listing your own activities, it’ll also display virtually all public activity on the part of your Followers as well as those you Follow. It’ll give you a quick at-a-glance look at your corner of the “Tweetosphere” and give you an overview of what’s trending among your connections at the moment.
Obviously, this means that anyone who’s following you will immediately see your trade-show related Tweets, and they’re going to be more likely to follow along.
4 – Realtime Alert Popups
Again, just like Facebook, Twitter now integrates in-browser announcements of new Tweets, retweets, and private messages. When combined with the existing power of mobile devices to deliver Tweets as announcements, this means Twitter becomes a great go-anywhere communications tool.
Our advice here is, once again, look for ways to integrate this feature into your trade show booth and your expo appearance. As we’ve discussed before, the ubiquity of mobile devices at trade shows makes them a great way to attract attention from attendees. This is your opportunity to send out alerts and in-show messaging that’s immediately relevant and time-based.
5 – Faster Page Loading
I’m taking a “We’ll see about that…” approach to this one, but Twitter claims that they have radically sped up their server responsiveness. Apparently, all these new visual goodies and such will load even more quickly than the old version.
If this is true (and I hope so), it’s going to make trade show livetweeting even more powerful, especially when combined with your ability to creatively re-arrange your main page. You’ll be able to quickly push your running commentary to the top, so that when someone looks you up in your trade show booth, what they’ll see are your insights into the show itself.
Having a “big picture” perspective and insights into your industry is a great way to build cred in any online venture, even on Twitter. These changes will give you a lot of ability to put your insights in front of people.
Are Your Trade Shows Tweeted?
We love social media here, because it’s such a great way to keep your trade show visitors excited and engaged. Virtually any way you can integrate social into your trade show displays is going to pay off with better leads, and more overall exposure.
You can have your employees use their personal phone but be careful with the risks of a mobile workforce.
Keep an eye on this blog in the weeks ahead, and we’ll keep you updated on any new developments in online exposition marketing as they happen!