If social media platforms are not a primary marketing channel for your organization, you are missing out. Aside from being efficient and cost-effective, social media also offers an easy connection to build and sustain an event community year-round. Here, Liz Matzke, marketing manager for World Dairy Expo and noted speaker at Expo’s Tradeshow 365 Marketing Summit Nov. 21 in Chicago, talks to ExpoAssociate Editor Arti Patel about investing in social media, furthering community investment between events and why leveraging interest is vital to driving event attendance.
Expo Magazine: Why is the dairy community so heavily invested in social media and in what ways is it most actively involved?
Liz Matzke: The dairy industry is full of passion! It is not a typical 9-to-5 job, but more a way of life. This creates people who are passionate and emotionally involved in their business. Social media is truly about emotion. World Dairy Expo is able to create or help someone relive the expo experience through photos, videos, stories and even trivia questions. Additionally, in recent years, there has been an increase in social media education to dairy producers in an effort to help them tell their story of production agriculture. Dairy producers are also very tech savvy.
Expo: Savvy on mobile? How so?
Matzke: The industry is full of the latest cutting-edge apps, software and hardware to help dairy producers become more efficient and provide better care for their land and animals. Social media is a natural fit for this group. There is an endless number of people who blog, have farm Facebook pages, pin recipes [on Pinterest] or are tweeting about their daily routine on the farm.
Expo: What tactics can a show manager employ to help drive attendance to an event by using social media in the weeks or months prior to the show?
Matzke: World Dairy Expo utilizes Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Through these social media avenues, we are able to create excitement for our event. We offer previews of our seminar and a farm tour series, showcase companies and farms that are involved with World Dairy Expo and reward our fans through trivia contests. World Dairy Expo is active all year on these sites. There is always something new to share.
Expo: What are the latest uses for social media that you have either been thinking about employing or have been experimenting with recently?
Matzke: Social media is always changing. At World Dairy Expo, we work as a team to decide the social media outlets that best fit our overall marketing plan and can give us the best return on investment. While social media is free, it can take an extensive amount of staff time depending on the scope and breadth of your messaging.