Live Events Attendee Guide

Live events are a growinglive-events-blog trend, and with good reason. Live events allows for participants to join in an online conversation and create a community of participants online. With apps like Periscope on the rise, which allows for app-users to stream where they are in real-time, live events will continue to gain popularity and evolve over the next few years. It can be daunting for attendees to understand this new marketing channel and make the most of it. Utilizing social media during a live event has its own nuances that you should consider before jumping in live. Here are the top 5 tips for getting the most out of live events.

  1. Use the Correct Hashtag

Using the correct hashtag is of utmost importance. Most events these days have a dedicated hashtag. By using the event’s hashtag, you are ensuring that your tweet or post will be part of the conversation, giving you and your company more exposure.  

  1. Add Value to the Feed

Before attending the event, it’s a good idea to come up with some talking points that you want to emphasize. That way, you can weave branded messaging into your tweets, which allows you to both support the event and impact your brand.  

As a participant of the event, add your personal insight in tweets and posts about the event. Your unique perspective will be appreciated and also will distinguish you from other event-goers, who are only posting with the purpose of letting others know they are attending. Keep the feed interesting by highlight memorable moments from the event. Ask yourself before posting, whether your followers or other event attendees will find this content engaging, relevant, or interesting.

  1. Retweet, Comment, and Follow

Remember that you’re not the only one at the event. Have your phone or Ipad open to a stream of the event’s hashtag on Twitter. Then you’ll get a real-time feed of the event and will easily be able to retweet and comment, engaging with other participants. This is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals at the event and develop interest from prospects. If you like the content posted by another attendee, and think you could have a business relationship,  follow them and even repost their message. This opens the door for you to start further conversations with that person down the line.

  1. Share Pictures

Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters each, but as the saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Sharing a photo is a very impactful way to get your message across! Take good clear photos and remember to add a branded caption about the picture in your tweet.

  1. Don’t Hijack the Hashtag!

Essentially, the term means, “when a hashtag is used for a purpose that was unintended by the creator of the hashtag, negatively impacting your company, event, or brand.” We have a blog on this subject, which gives a more in-depth dialog about hashtag hijacking. During live events, it is possible for people to get carried away and start tweeting about off-topic subjects. It’s important to take a step back and ask yourself if jumping in on those conversations will add value to the feed. The last thing you want is to distract from the event going or annoy potential prospects with your off-topic tweets.

Manufacturing Day Campaign 2015

In honor of Manufacturing Day  on October 2nd, 2015, we wanted to do something special to recognize manufacturers in NE Ohio. We decided to take a unique approach for Manufacturing Day and created a social media campaign which started at the Crain’s [M] Power Manufacturing Conference (follow @CrainsCleveland & @CrainsAkron) and spanned until  Manufacturing Day on October 2nd. In this blog, learn our takeaways from doing this social media campaign and our tips for holding a successful live event.

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We started our Manufacturing Day campaign at the Crain’s [M] Power Manufacturing Conference. Here are visitors at our booth supporting Manufacturing Day!

  Founded in 2012, Manufacturing Day is an annual national event that “has been designed to expand knowledge about, and improve public perceptions of manufacturing careers and manufacturing’s value to the U.S. economy.” Popular Manufacturing Day events include plant tours, job fairs, manufacturing community events, expos and celebrations. Participants of Manufacturing Day use the hashtag #MfgDay to join the movement and support US manufacturing as a whole, with people and businesses around the country.

At Felber PR & Marketing, we understand the value of manufacturing in this country and especially in Northeast Ohio. We decided we wanted to put a spotlight on not only our fantastic manufacturing clients, but also on the organizations that make our region so strong!  From 7:30 AM until 7:00 PM on Manufacturing Day (October 2nd), we highlighted Northeast Ohio manufacturers, manufacturing educators, and manufacturing supporters through a unique social media campaign. We used #MfgDay to chronicle
this journey and unite our clients and the manufacturing supporters we featured with manufacturers around the nation.

The next generation of manufacturers at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center

It was a truly humbling experience for us to promote NE Ohio manufacturing. We featured a variety of organizations and companies to showcase the many faces of the manufacturing sector. Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (CVCC)  is an incredible school that is teaching the next generation of manufacturing with the latest technology and practices, Wire-Net is a non-profit dedicated to improving the manufacturing community resources and networking opportunities, and Buckeye Fasteners is a company that has been a staple in the Cleveland manufacturing sector since 1905, and makes the fasteners that hold your everyday devices and products together (that you probably don’t even notice).

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SSP has been supporting manufacturing since 1926

The businesses listed above are just a handful of groups that we’re featured in our campaign and each and every stop we made on our journey showed how manufacturing is thriving and growing in NE Ohio. Staff at Felber PR & Marketing were honored to tell the stories of these incredible organizations and businesses  who make NE Ohio a strong player in the manufacturing sector–both in the US and abroad.

Ohio was ranked the top state for Manufacturing Day events in 2015 (see chart below). Our campaign not only received location recognition, but also received national recognition by the NIST US Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD after we took a photo with Phil, their representative in Ohio. “It was a pleasure meeting Rob and Allie at the [M] Power event. To my surprise, the photo I took with Felber PR was shown during a national staff presentation, about how [our organization] had supported Mfg Day out in the field”, says Phil Wadsworth, Regional Manager- Manufacturing Extention Partnership, NIST US Department of Commerce.

 

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Phil from NIST US Dept of Commerce with me (Allie) at the Crain’s [M] Power Conference

 

 

 

 

 

Manufacturing Day: October 2, 2015!

Showcasing the Manufacturing Sector in NE OHIO

Mark your cmfg day photoalendars, October 2nd is a worldwide celebration of manufacturing! MFG (Manufacturing) DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing, “giving manufacturers the opportunity to open their doors and show,  in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t.” MFG DAY encourages manufacturers to work together to address and find solutions to their collective challenges; helping future generations and their communities thrive.

Since 2012, manufacturers, educators, and chambers of commerce around the globe have put on Mfg Day events, with the purpose of exposing more people to modern day manufacturing, while showcasing manufacturing positively. Popular events include plant tours, job fairs, educational fairs, manufacturing community events and expos, and manufacturing community celebrations.

This year, we’re taking a unique approach to Manufacturing Day at Felber PR & Marketing, showcasing Northeast Ohio manufacturers, manufacturing educators, and manufacturing supporters through acity-wide social media campaign. From 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM, we will be highlighting the Greater Cleveland area and the organizations that make our manufacturing sector  strong.

 

Follow us throughout the day on: @FelberPR, #MfgDay, and also follow the businesses and organizations we are showcasing below!

 

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center @CVCCWorks

SSP @My_SSP

AFV Natural Gas Fuel Systems @AltFuelExpress

Technoform Glass Insulation NA- @technoform

Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce- @TwinsChamber

Buckeye Fasteners Inc- @WeldFastenerGuy

Wire-Net- @WIRENet2

Dig Deeper: Customize Your Social Media Scheduling

social-media-schedulingCustomizing Your Social Media Scheduling to Capture a Wide Audience

Social media effectiveness is based on three factors: relevant and engaging content, industry related hashtags, and time of day. If you’ve read our blogs on how to incorporate hashtags into posts or our 8 question checklist before posting on social media, you should have  a good understanding about how to create engaging posts and incorporate hashtags into posts to capture a wider audience with a vested interest in your industry. In this blog, we’ll discuss the perfect times and days to post content for maximum exposure and engagement.

Facebook

Most people seem to need a break to get them through their afternoon slump.. Research shows most posting occurs most frequently Facebook between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., with a peak around 3 p.m. The least engagement occurs on weekends, before 8 a.m., and after 8 p.m.

Twitter

Lunchtime is when most people check Twitter. Peak days to post are Monday and Thursday. Once 3 p.m. on Friday comes, many people have checked out and in weekend mode, so we suggest posting content early on Fridays.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has the most engagement Tuesday-Thursday around noon and 5 p.m. with the least engagement on Mondays and Fridays when people are starting or ending their week. Prepare your most impactful content to be seen at this optimal time.

Google+

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google+ users are early risers. To get maximum engagement, post content first things in the morning. We suggest posting right when you get into the office to get the most views on  your posts.

Consistent Scheduling

Although there are certain days and times, it is also essential to keep a consistent social media presence. Developing and maintaining relationships with prospects and customers is a process that happens over time. By consistently scheduling posts (we suggest at least one post a day, 5-6 days a week), you are staying in the front of your prospects and customers. To discuss a customized social media plan, contact Rob Felber at robfelber@felberpr.com or (330) 963-3664 x1

Trade Shows for Manufacturers Guide

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     Trade Shows for Manufacturers – Maximize the Three Most Important Stages

  •         Pre-show: Picking your best tactics
  •         During the show: The floor show rules
  •         Post-show: Don’t squander your investment

Goal Setting:

Before you begin, you must know your main goal. Do you really know what you want to happen at this show?

Here are some additional questions you should brainstorm with your team:

  • Can you expect actual sales and signed purchase agreements?
  • Is your goal to introduce a product line for the first time?
  • Perhaps the goal is setting appointments or simply improving customer relationships.
  • Are you there to negotiate with other vendors?

Do not forget about those that speak to the masses; media relationships can help promote your company for months or years!

Marketing 101: Consider first who you want to hear, see, feel and understand your message, then set your goals accordingly.

Pre-Show Tactics

Before you do anything, secure the show handbook – and read it! All rules, equipment order forms, press conference room reservations and sponsorship opportunities will be contained in this exhibitor kit. Pay attention to deadlines and order materials on time so you do not incur unnecessary fees.

Theme

First, establish a theme for your show or series of shows. Your theme should be relevant to your goals. Also, consider is this a one-time theme or a motif you will carry across multiple shows. Using a theme for a longer period allows you to amortize costs associated with a show. For example, printing materials for multiple shows or building show graphics that can be used throughout a series of events. Does your theme pass the culture test? Check for slang, understandable industry terms, and recognition by attendees.

Advertising

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An advertisement we created for our client for the Fastener Tech trade show.

Are you purchasing advertising in a show program, association journal or other publication? Graphics used with the tactic of reinforcing messages and driving booth traffic should match your booth graphics and show literature.

Consistency is KEY for brand recognition! Research the following: Trade publications with bonus coverage and show coverage, show dailies (publication just printed for the show), online, text and social media messages. All of these are advertising avenues to consider when building your pre-show plan.

Publicity

For you to be successfully published, the most important factor is newsworthiness.  Does your story resonates with the publication’s readers? If you cannot interest an editor from a reader’s perspective then you do NOT have a story!

  • Check with show management and see if they will release a list of pre-registered media attendees. These are credentialed media that will be at the show – looking for you and your news
  • Schedule interviews and media relationship building appointments in advance
  • Schedule press conferences: Are you making a newsworthy announcement? Press conferences may be in special rooms, booked in advance or simply conducted at your booth. If at your booth, do you need audio to carry above the show din?
  • All shows have press rooms, touch down locations for the media to work quietly. You are almost always allowed to place company literature and press kits in these rooms. Prepare media kits that tell your story and have everything ready before they arrive
  • Can you be a speaker or panelist at the show? Often these positions are filled a year in advance so plan ahead and take the stage as an industry expert

Booth Traffic

You are opening your “store” on the show floor. It’s critical that people know you are open for business.

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Booth design- National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) show

  • Determined your best, qualified prospect. Is it an owner, purchasing manager or perhaps a whole buying team?
  • Consider two-part promotions where your prospect needs to visit the booth to get the second part of a promotion (activation code, show special, after-hours invite, etc.)
  • Can you purchase or obtain a pre-registered attendee list?
  • Don’t just have a prize drawing just for the sake of warm bodies in your booth – qualify and target the attendees that you want on your carpet.
  • Training – it is CRITICAL that all booth staff know the promotion along with the overall goals and theme for the show.

During the Show

Entertainment – what else can you do to build relationships with your prospects and customers? Consider inviting prospects to a private hospitality suite. Make sure to coordinate special meetings around other show sponsored events such a major keynotes, annual meetings and other parties so as not to conflict with your event. The off-show hours are also a time to have private lunches and dinners with customers. Make sure to book appoints in advance and have transportation/reservations booked.

Booth personnel – The people in the booth are your brand’s spokespeople. They are the ones who will give tradeshow attendees a first impression of your business, so select booth personnel wisely!  A combination of sales and technical people works well. Staff should be fully briefed on all themes, promotions, lead capture procedures and how to best interact with guests and the media. Make sure to staff properly especially during busy periods and when other staff members have scheduled customer/media meetings in the booth. When a guest walks into your booth, they should know who is working for your company and who is visiting. Coordinated apparel ensures clear staff identification and enhances branding.

Key Points for Booth

  • Location, location, location! Some shows require advance bidding for space. Get the best location relative to main floor traffic patterns. Note locations of main stage events and, yes, the bar
  • Your booth should have an open, friendly layout. No one wants to have to jump over a table facing the aisle where two uninterested staff members are sitting down, talking on their phone (we see this EVERY show)
  • Layout your booth to accommodate private or semi-private meetings. Having a private, closed door section of the booth makes for a nice location for media and customer meetings
  • Can you secure an island booth with traffic aisles on all four sides? Make the best use of booth graphics so all directions of traffic have a view of your theme, message and product information
  • Consider sponsorship of the show or special events at the show. Can you use floor graphics or other signage to improve your presence? What about sponsoring a cocktail party or maybe just the attendee lanyards? There are countless opportunities to show off your brand

Qualify leads – Remember your purpose at the show. All messages, promotions and advertising should be leading prospects down a path. The better you qualify the leads, the more you will maximize your investment. Consider whether you need to purchase lead capture equipment to easily scan prospects information  during their visit.

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Post-show direct mailing integrating lead capture data with printed luggage tag keepsake

Post Show

Measurement. What did you want to happen? Did it work? Let’s face it, most companies do not follow up after shows. They never put a plan in place to use the valuable leads they capture. If you do not follow up in 3-7 days, you will be forgotten!

  • Have prepared thank you emails ready to be sent to the captured leads. Graphics should match pre and during show promotion
  • Consider mailing a unique package to prospect, complete with the specific information discussed/requested during the show
  • Purchase or obtain attendee lists and scour for additional leads

Next Year’s Show

One of the best ways to maximize budget is to commit to next year’s show during this year’s event. Often there are deals to be had and better locations to be secured. Show owners are eager to get a jump start on their next trade show. Now is the time to negotiate and secure your best deal.

Need help? We’ve been there and have worked with countless manufacturers, just like you!

Call Rob Felber (330) 963-3664 x1 or RobFelber@felberpr.com  for your free 45 minute consultation.We can talk through your show schedule, booth ideas, promotion….anything you want to discuss about trade shows.

More information at these blog posts:

7 Tips for Ultimate Trade Show Success: http://www.felberpr.com/7-tips-for-ultimate-trade-show-success/

Trade Show Preparation 101 for Manufacturers http://www.felberpr.com/trade-show-preparation-101-for-manufacturers/

Community Involvement in Business: Strengthening Brand Buy-in Both Internally and Externally

Good for You, Your Company and Your Community

Giving to charity and supporting your local community is simply good business. Many manufacturers, large and small routinely engage in activities that provide monetary support, volunteer labor and even their own products, all to move the needle for nonprofit organizations. Our clients have removed graffiti from park benches, pulled a 747 to raise funds and filled school buses with school supplies.

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Our Client Technoform Glass Insulation North America raised $1,000 worth of school supplies for Twinsburg Local Schools during their Fill-the-Bus campaign.

If you are considering starting a community involvement program, first get to know your town. Read the local paper, review the chamber of commerce website and scour the social media that surrounds every society. Find the centers of influence in the neighborhood and introduce yourself and your mission to help the community. You will often see many of the same company names routinely popping up in the news and online.

Look for groups such as Rotary chapters and other established service groups – they already are plugged in and know where help is needed. Many business to consumer companies, such as restaurants and retail businesses, find that supporting their school’s community hunger drives and civic events allows them to raise awareness for their brand. Just as important, is the opportunity to put an organization in a good light.

SSP

Employees from SSP & AFV removed graffiti on viewing area rails with the Cuyahoga Valley Trail Council.

As a manufacturer with customers all over the globe, you may wonder what added value supporting local community charities has for your business. Supporting local communities gives your business the support of the local community, local government, and the support of residents. Besides business expansion, abatement opportunities and community reinvestment programs, being a good steward provides employees, current and future, with a strong culture of giving back.  Every company and I mean EVERY single manufacturer we call a client is searching for quality employees.

From line workers to chemical engineers, they all have one thing in common – they can choose where they work. We know human resource managers Google and social media research potential employees – it’s just the nature of the game. This is especially important with the millennial generation, who have a deep rooted need for social entrepreneurship, and select jobs where they feel they are tackling social issues, and having a positive impact on society.  Your potential employees want to work at a company that not only pays a competitive wage, but provides a meaningful and challenging work environment.

Wouldn’t you want to be viewed as the “pay it forward” company? When potential employees surf your company webpage, social media and blog, will they find a company that features fun and giving back or simply a sales message on how great (you think) you are? Both your employees and you have a choice where to work. Use your community involvement to not only highlight your culture,  but also to separate your shop from all the rest.

When you do launch your efforts, consider the following checklist:

  • Promote through your social media and website to your customers and vendors (which, by the way is just as important as the local community
  • Ask employees to engage with company social media and use email to promote the cause
  • Make sure you assign a “good” photographer to capture the event
  • By all means, have employees in company apparel such as golf or t-shirts and hats
  • Consider other visuals such as the “large check” or company banners that emphasis the effort
  • Send out a press release in advance to the local media about the program
  • Find out if media will be present and introduce your company upon arrival at the event

In the end, giving to charity is both great for the company and the community. Find causes that align with your brand and allow your employees to be involved at every step of the process. A brand is composed more than just the words in your mission and vision statement. Brands are living and breathing organisms, which everyone should buy into. By becoming involved in charity events that exemplify your company’s values, the brand is being strengthened both internally and externally. The employees are acting as living and breathing examples of the company’s values, strengthening their commitment to the organization. This not only allows for further employee buy-in to the brand, but also strengthens the community’s trust in your brand. The benefits to the community will be vast and the impact on your company, well, that’s immeasurable.

7 Tips for Ultimate Trade Show Success

 

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You have spent time speaking to clients and prospects, researching just the right venues for your company to exhibit. Now, you have taken the leap and  signed up for a trade show. You (and management) know this will be an investment of  your company’s time, money, and effort. You’re staring at the email confirming your booth. Perhaps they are now bombarding you with offers, both free and for a fee. To quote a teenager… “OMG” what have you gotten yourself into.

Breathe…..okay, breathe again.

It is important to carefully plan and research to make the most of the trade show. We’ve outlined the best ways to attract prospects, have a successful trade show exhibition, and provide incentives to prospects, to create a lasting impact!

  1. Location, Location, Location

The location of your booth is important because it determines the amount of visibility your company gains. Most trade shows offer their prime location spots earlier at a higher cost and are offered a few months to a year in advance. Some shows even have a lottery or bidding process (often by seniority). So if you want a prime spot, you’ve got to act early! If you have a smaller budget but want to request a spot with good traffic, here are some places that tend to have good traffic/ visibility. Consider placement by entrances, close to lounges or internet kiosks.

  1.   Create a Booth that Stands Out

We touched on this a bit in our blog Trade Show Preparation 101 for Manufacturers but it cannot be stressed enough. Lighting, branding, messaging, and handouts are all things that should be considered to create the ultimate impact with your customers. Check out our blog for a more in depth explanation of things you should consider when designing the visual layout of the booth.

  1.   Strategically Choose and Train the People at the Booth

It is important to choose people that are approachable to maintain your booth. Your technical people may be the most knowledgeable  about your products and processes, but may not  necessarily be  the person who should be at the front of the booth greeting people. If you can, have them there to answer more in depth questions but the most energetic and smiley should be at the front of the booth to draw people in. Train the people at the booth before the trade show and give them 3-5 key statements to stress at the trade show which highlights what makes your company so special. Do you have a long history of being family owned? Are you creating cutting edge products? Your PR team can help you develop these key phrases and say a lot in just a few words. Remember, your prospects are busy running from booth to booth. It’s important to get to the point quickly and draw them in!

  1. Contests and Giveaways

People like free stuff. We must caution not to just put out promotional products. You’ll get junk leads, and people just taking stuff for the sake of filling their bags. More importantly, plan a theme based and tie to your value proposition. The goal is “carpet time.” Get them talking and capture their info. Then, you can provide a thank you for stopping by the booth. Plain and simple. It is important to keep in mind what your customers want. Luxury items like an iPad are always popular at events but things as simple as coasters, Post-It’s and pens can draw people in; just make sure it’s the right people for the right reason Make sure  the people who enter your contest or giveaway sign up for your newsletter or if you don’t have one, give you contact information. That way, you can follow up with these individuals after the tradeshow and keep them in the loop about what’s happening at your company.

  1. Offering Beverages and Snacks

The trade show attendees are tired and most likely hungry and thirsty. Offering something as simple as free miniature waters to attendees could open the door to further conversation and future sales. These beverages and snacks should all be branded with your logo and taglines. If you can make the snack or beverage related to your product/services, it’s even better. Example: a gardening supplier who gives out rootbeer, with a label that looks like a vegetable root in the dirt. The more creative you can be, the better! Make sure to read your exhibitors rules however. There are often size restrictions on food and beverage, if allowed at all. The show does not want to have you detour them from the day-old $17 salad in the cafeteria they are pushing.

  1. Position Your Company as the Expert in the Industry

Publishing  white (technical) papers is a great way to show that you are “in the know”. Topics like the newest trends in the industry, the state of the industry, or a detailed review of your technology  are valuable to their prospects. If you can position your company as the expert, your prospects will learn to respect and trust you.  Reminder, have your technical people on hand  at the trade show if possible. Sales people are great at getting people to visit your booth but your prospects will most likely have more in depth questions about your products or processes. If you can have a engineer to answer your prospects questions, your prospects will be even more impressed with your company’s expertise.

7 . Social Media is King at Trade Shows

You should have a social media marketing plan set before the trade show. Follow the trade show management and all industry editors on social media. Track the trade show’s hashtag and those who use it. This is a great way to connect with people who are attending the trade show. Make sure to “like”, “share”, and “repost” others  messeges about the trade show and also “follow” trade show attendees. Social media levels the playing field.. Your competitor may have greater recognition in your industry or have a bigger/better booth,  however, social media allows for your company to be on the same platform as your competitors. If you use social media well, you can create as much buzz and visibility as your competitors, which will lead to prospects seeking out your booth at the show.

Download Your Free Trade Shows For Manufacturers eBook

The Danger of Hashtag Hijacking and How to Prevent It

If you read our  blog on hashtags, you know that hashtags are essential in social media and provide your brand’s with the ability to find prospects, develop relationships, and make sales. Although implementing hashtags into your social media is important, a good hashtag can be used in a poor way if individuals “hijack” your hashtag.  In this blog, we define hashtag hijacking, discuss the causes of it, and tell you three ways to prevent a major hashtag hijacking scandal that could have a negative impact on your brand.

What is Hashtag Hijacking?

When a hashtag is used for a purpose that was unintended by the creator of the hashtag, negatively impacting your company, event, or brand.

What Causes Hashtag Hijacking?

Internet “Trolls”

The most common type of hashtag hijacking comes from attention seeking people, commonly referred to as “trolls”. You may have seen this on Twitter. People who take a hashtag and distort its meaning to promote some “junk” offer that is completely unrelated to the hashtag. These trolls like to use multiple popular hashtags in their tweets so that they are more likely to get visibility in Twitter searches. The “hijacking” refers to stealing your well intensioned audience and redirecting their attention to their cause.

Businesses typically run into internet trolls when they’ve set up a hashtag for an event or contest. While this can be an annoyance, trolls who abuse hashtags don’t cause major problems. This is because they tend to move on to another hashtag to gain more exposure after just a short time. If the troll is very persistent and does the same activity over and over again, you can report them as spam to Twitter. Twitter defines activities such as posting links with unrelated tweets and posting repeatedly to trending topics to get attention as spam.

“Haters” of Your Brand

The second kind of hashtag hijacking can have a far more serious impact to a brand’s reputation. This occurs when a hashtag is created by a brand to gain positive PR, but is “hijacked” by “haters” of your brand. These negative individuals use hashtags to to attack the business in a nasty, rude or sarcastic way.

Examples of this include the #ILoveWalgreens campaign and #McDStories. Both are examples where people used the hashtags as a platform to vent about their issues with the companies and share their grievances.

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Hashtag Hijacking Preventiom

Avoid Controversial Topics

  • Before creating a hashtag, play devil’s advocate. Think of every possible way this hashtag could be taken out of context and used to your disadvantage.

Make Your Hashtag a Statement NOT an Open Ended Questions

  • Make your hashtag a statement rather than a question. For example, #MarkSmart is a much better hashtag than #WhyILoveMakersInc. #WhyILoveMarkersInc gives people an open invitation to use sarcasm, so #MarkSmart is a much better option.

Monitor, Monitor, Monitor!

  • Sometimes even the best thought out hashtags can be taken over by internet trolls or haters. It is important to monitor hashtags and intervene if someone is using your hashtag to trash your brand or “spam” up your hashtag feed
  • With all Internet activity and negative comments, crisis communications tells us to react quickly, address the issue with sincere interest and try to solve the complainants problem in a fair and transparent manner.

For help with social media strategy and implementation, contact us at (330) 963-3664 or RobFelber@felberpr.com

Trade Show Preparation 101 for Manufacturers

How planning produces results and return on investment

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Trade shows and industry conferences provide manufacturers with a platform to show prospects, customers, and industry media their entire line of products and services n a short amount of time. It is important as manufacturers to utilize this opportunity and use it to their advantage. Preparation, like most worthwhile endeavors, is key to increasing profitability and productivity during a trade show. At Felber PR & Marketing, we have years of trade show execution and experience. We’ve compiled the top 5 do’s for ultimate trade show success.

Choose the Right People to Work the Trade Show
Managing your company’s booth is a full-time, non-stop job. It is essential that your booth is never left unattended so bring at least 2 people to a trade show. Make sure whoever you assign to represent your brand at the trade show is outgoing and friendly. A smile can make a world of a difference and get people to come to your booth and ask questions.
Post Consistent Social Media Before and During the Trade Show
Take advantage of social media to boost your company awareness. Post “teaser” videos and photos before the trade show to let people know that you are attending. This will not only create awareness but also help get people interested in your products. During the show, use the event’s hashtag, as well as popular trending hashtags ,to gain more exposure. Need a primer on Hashtags? Click here. Also, this may seem self-explanatory but don’t forget to put your booth number in your posts! People need to be able to locate your booth.

Maintaining a Presence Both Online and Offline
It seems that every year, more and more trade shows in specific industry niches are back-to-back or during the same week. Because of this, some of your target audience may not be able to attend the trade show you’re in which you are exhibiting. It is crucial to create a social media presence that makes those who cannot attend the trade show feel like they are physically there because some of your target audience may be unable to come due to scheduling conflicts. Content from the show, such as pictures, videos, product demo videos, and slideshows should be made visible on social media or your company’s blog. If possible, take pictures with those who visit your booth, especially if they are media that cover your niche audience. Then post the pictures using the event’s hashtag, the person in the picture’s Twitter handle and an industry hashtag or two if you have room, to gain the utmost exposure possible.

Create a Visually Appealing Booth
The more visually appealing your booth is, the more attention and traffic you’ll get. It’s as simple as that. Your products should always be the focal point of your booth, so put them at the front at make sure they stand out. Utilize lighting and keep in mind the appropriate colors to showcase your products in the best way possible. If your company has received media coverage, show it off at your booth. This will allow for prospects and other media to see what you’ve accomplished and get a better understanding of your position in the industry. You can even offer reprints of prominent articles and case studies as show handouts. Consider technical or “white papers” as handouts as well to qualified prospects.

Post Event Follow Ups are Crucial
Trade show follow up is just as important as the actual execution of the trade show. Keep track of all business cards you’ve gotten and connect with these individuals on LinkedIn and Twitter. Just like any pre-show promotion to drive traffic, having a memory invoking reminder of their visit will separate your company for all those who never bother to follow up at all.
Consider repairing templates ahead of time for thank you messages to those you spoke with you. This will save you a lot of time in the long run. Use the template and add a personal touch to each message about what you spoke about to the individual you are writing. This will help for you to spark additional conversations with your target audience.
Trades shows can be very overwhelming but with proper short-term and long-term planning, you can see major results.

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These steps are easy to incorporate and allow you to manage prospects easier and sell you products with confidence because you are prepared.

If you would like to find out more about creating a trade show social media plan and optimizing your time a trade show, contact Rob Felber at Robfelber@felberpr.com or (330) 963-3664

Social Media in Business: A Millennial’s Perspective

Our blog this week is from Kiersten Dietrick, a graduating senior from Gilmour Academy who has shadowed us at Felber PR & Marketing for the last week. We thought that her perspective on social media would give good insight to our clients on the importance of social media in the modern business world.

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As an 18-year old living in modern-day America, I’d say I have a lot of firsthand experience with social media and how it affects the way the people communicate across the world. Even though I mainly use it to share pictures, read news, and keep up with friends, I’ve seen how it has changed the world of marketing, advertising, and business. I’ve even witnessed my high school adapt to the digital age by creating accounts on various social networking sites, and it is obvious that social media is an excellent way for companies, organizations, and people in general to be able to reach out to larger audiences.

While businesses and advertisers used to rely heavily on television or radio advertisements to boost awareness of their products or services, they now are creating more awareness of their brands through online social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter.  Since society has recently been turning their attention more towards social media, becoming active online can help companies stay relevant in the public eye. Not only have these websites been utilized by everyone ranging from children to professionals, society’s increasing use of smartphones and other mobile technology allow social media to be virtually everywhere. We live in an age where, even though modern conveniences like television and radio are still widely used, people are probably just as likely (if not more likely) to be constantly checking Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and companies need to take advantage of this simple yet incredibly efficient technology.

Perhaps a big reason why social media has taken off in recent years is because it fits our modern society, which over the years has become increasingly more fast-paced and attuned to multitasking. The United States is a prime example of this, where people are constantly running around and do not have time to sit around and read their news. Social media provides people with a quick method of reading the most up and coming news and developments, even with their tight schedules. With just a couple taps of the finger, people have fast access to almost any information they could need.

Take sports fans, for example. Personally, I love my favorite hockey team, and would watch them play every night if I could. But as a high school senior wrapping up my final semester, sometimes that’s just not feasible – having those late-night games on while I’m trying to cram for finals is a recipe for disaster. However, social media has certainly come through for me in those situations. I may not be able to watch a game, but following my team’s Twitter account as well as the accounts of various reporters and beat writers gives me play-by-play updates and summaries of everything I missed. Watching a highlights video on Facebook, although admittedly not as fun as actually viewing the game, still tells me everything I need to know – and does it in just a few minutes as opposed to a few hours.

Thanks to the widespread use of social media, information can be spread more quickly, efficiently, and effectively than ever before. This is because it allows everyone to have easy access to the same information regardless of things like distance or location. Just one tweet, Facebook post, or YouTube video has the potential to reach millions of people. How else would mega pop star Justin Bieber go from just an average kid to the heartthrob of 12-year-old girls everywhere in such a short amount of time? Bieber was discovered by a marketing executive of a record label through videos he posted to his YouTube account. The connection allowed Bieber to promote himself and get his talent noticed on a larger scale. It just goes to show that connections are everything in the digital age – if the right people find you and like what you have to offer, chances are they can help you gain the publicity you’re looking for.

Although social media is prevalent and provides a method for people connecting with one another in a quicker and more efficient manner, it has not made other forms of communication obsolete. Companies can still reap the benefits of using traditional advertising, such as radio, television, mail, telephone, and even face-to-face interaction to market themselves. Social media, however, something that has undeniably revolutionized the way people interact with each other on many different levels, and especially in the world of marketing, is something that should be taken advantage of. With that, here are some tips on how you can use this technology to its full potential:

 Stay “In the Loop” With What People Are Saying

Another huge benefit of social media is that it allows us to track what people say about people, events, and a plethora of other topics. When marketing or advertising, especially to a certain audience, it’s extremely important to have a decent understanding of the people you’re trying to reach. Tracking “hashtags” on Facebook and Twitter is an easy and effective way to keep up with how the public feels about a certain topic. Word-of-mouth goes a long way these days, and something as simple as a referral or retweet from a popular account can be a great way to get exposure. Knowing what tags people are likely to search through and tagging your posts or tweets appropriately can help maximize the exposure you’ll get in that regard.

Present Yourself Appropriately and Efficiently

One of the main reasons social media has become so successful is because it doesn’t require a large sacrifice of time or effort to be effective. Companies trying to put themselves out there shouldn’t lose sight of this when trying to build themselves up in the digital world. In general, the more complicated or time-consuming a website is, the less likely people are going to want to take the time to sift through all the unnecessary information. Keeping posts as short and sweet as possible while still communicating the necessary information is the best way to effectively reach people. Additionally, aesthetic appeal is something that shouldn’t be ignored. TV commercials make use of catchy jingles, bright colors, and humor to grab people’s attention while at the same time presenting the information they want to present. If your website, blog, or social media account follows that same ideology, you’ll be more likely to attract and keep people’s attention.

Find the Right Contacts

In recent years especially, we have seen plenty of examples of how videos, events, and even people can go completely viral in short periods of time. Sharing things on social media often has a snowball effect – one person sends something to someone else, that person shares it with two other people, and before you know it, whatever they were talking about could end up being discussed all around the world. This process can be sped up if someone with a large following decides to share something. Companies should be on the lookout for opportunities that could allow themselves to be seen by someone who could help them gain a lot of exposure, and by putting themselves out there as much as possible, they could increase the possibility of being discovered by more and more people.

Continue to Make Use of Traditional Media

While social media is a great tool for reaching large audiences, other forms of media can help maximize publicity when used in conjunction with social networking. Commercials on radios or TVs can be a great way to initially encourage someone to visit your website, blog, or account. There’s also still immense value in communicating through print, telephone, or even face-to-face. Social media can’t replace all these traditional methods, but it can definitely enhance them when used properly.