Linda tasked me recently with identifying interesting people and conversations from Marketing Week Live 2011 (#mwl2011). Whilst there was lots of activity on the hashtag, I didn’t find anyone or anything that I thought worth bringing to her attention. I’m sure there were lots of interesting companies there, but they were so caught up in getting people to visit their stand, they forgot to mention why.
Are You Selling Fruit And Veg?
Much of the hashtag activity resembled market stall vendors. We’ve all walked down the street hearing, ‘Bha-nah-ahs! Five for a paaaaaand!’ A lot of companies on #mwl2011 were doing exactly the same kind of thing, shouting ‘We’re on stand x111, come and say hi. There’ll be cake!’ yet they’re not on the street, nor selling fruit.
What Kind Of Cake?
So we know where company Z is, and we know there is cake. Whilst we’re wondering what sort of cake, we’re missing a more important question – what does the company do?
Whilst enticing people with cake might sound like a good idea, #mwl2011 is a tradeshow full of professionals, looking to network and build relationships. Cake, loved as it is, isn’t their top priority. What your business could do for them is, but that wasn’t mentioned in the Tweet.
So…You Do What?
Of course I could check out their website to find out what they do. But hundreds of companies Tweeted that they deserved a visit. Who has the time to go on hundreds of websites, only to find out that the companies are completely irrelevant to them?
When writing Press Releases, you have to remember to include the Who, What, When, Where and Why’s?
Most of the hashtagged tweets ran like this:
‘Come and see us at #mwl2011. We’ll be on stand X100. Have a chat and free donuts!’
How many of those W’s were answered? Why should we come and talk to you?
Three Tips For Better Hashtagging
- Put company information in your bio, so tweeps can quickly see whether or not you are right for them.
- Give people a business incentive to come and talk to you. ‘Stand x100 for chats on how social media can help your business.’
- Cake is not a USP. But don’t stop giving it away, though.
Considering it was a marketing tradeshow, a lot of companies missed a great opportunity to market themselves on the hashtag. Cake, on the other hand, got a lot of exposure.