Ecobuild is one of the largest events for the construction industry and the build environment. With more than 1,300 exhibitors, 750 speakers and 50,000 visitors expected over the three-days event focusing on the sectors biggest challenge: creating a sustainable build environment. This blog posts looks at the marketing opportunities created by such a huge event and how the #ecobuild hashtag can be used to connect with exhibitors, fellow visitors, speakers and allow those not able to attend a chance to ‘get a piece of the action’.
The hashtag (#) is one of the greatest things about Twitter, but its marketing potential is often underestimated. For those of you not very familiar with Twitter or what a hashtag is, let me explain… Including the # symbol in front of a keyword (or a topic) makes it possible to aggregate all tweets with the same hashtag together. This creates an immediate, real time stream of dialogue about that particular issue or keyword. It might seem a bit overwhelming at first because the stream is unfiltered, seeming ‘noisy’ but once you eliminate the unnecessary tweets you will be presented with a wealth of useful information and interesting Tweeters you might not have come across otherwise. This is what some Tweeters are currently saying on Twitter:
Hashtags provide a unique opportunity for construction marketers to connect with prospects who are talking about your company’s products or services. For example product manufacturers can follow the #architect hashtag to see what they are discussing, what problems they are having and what products they are talking about or recommending. It is then possible to offer your help and advice if they are discussing a product that you offer or looking for information or specifications that you know you can help with.
A list of Leads and Prospects
Social media dashboards such as Hootsuite allow marketers to easily save a hashtag so that the stream is instantly available to you. This makes it simple to monitor the discussions and engage with a global audience by replying or retweeting their tweets. Becoming involved in the conversation and connecting with these potential clients is a much better way promoting your business than using the traditional ‘hard sell’ tactics. As a construction marketer many of your prospects will be attending the event or exhibiting so it is important to do your research and find out who will be where and when. Sending a simple tweet such as ‘who else will be at #Ecobuild on the 2nd of March’ can receive a great respond. People like to connect with each other and following the hashtag lets you arrange meetings with prospects or existing clients. The conference is huge and it will be difficult to visit everyone so the hashtag can reveal what stalls your prospects are at so that you know exactlywhere to go.
Trackable and Measurable
The best thing about hashtags is that they are permanent and can be measured. This gives construction marketers an idea of how many people the hashtag is reaching and who the main contributors are. Finding industry influencers to share your content is always a good strategy because many people trust their opinions so if they think your content is worth sharing, more prospects will probably be reading your articles. Tools such as Tweetreach give marketers real time results about how many people the hashtag has reached, whether they are direct tweets, replies or retweets. Tracking and measuring the tag is important to give companies an idea of how many people are talking about it and the stream is also a permanent, searchable record, available for future review. Companies that are not able to attend can still benefit from following the hashtag because they can keep up to date with those that are there and tweeting about the event.
Below is the result for the ecobuild hashtag today but if you check it again in a few hours the result would have probably increased as we are nearing the event.
Know What your Prospects are Searching for & When
As a marketer, it is also useful to know when people start searching for relevant keywords or terms related to an event. This gives you the opportunity to produce content that will be found by your prospects so that they will become familiar with you and what you do. This can then lead to online conversations on Twitter where you can arrange to meet up at the event. The hashtag helps build a community of like-minded people and companies. Where else do you get access to such a list of qualified leads?
Google offers a handy tool called Insights for Search where you can see the amount of people searching for keywords over a certain amount of time. The results for a search on ecobuild show that people usually start searching for it around October and then peaks around February. So start writing relevant content earlier so that it will appear when your prospects are researching.
For us, the #Ecobuild hashtag has helped organise meetings with potential clients and Twitter friends at the event. It is good to take online conversations offline and meetings in person can always take business relationships to the next level. It has allowed us to identify what companies are exhibiting and who will be speaking simply by following the stream on Twitter. You can easily do some background research on the companies and some of them you might have been following for a while so know more information about them, what they do and how your services can possibly help them.
As content creators the hashtag enables us to share our articles and posts that would be relevant to event attendees and for content consumers, it is a powerful search parameter that delivers them specific information targeted around the Ecobuild event. Most importantly, hashtags are also good for TSO (Twitter Search Optimisation) so your company becomes more visible in search results related to the construction industry and the built environment.
The Pauley Creative team will be at Ecobuild on Wednesday the 2nd March and we look forward to seeing you all there. Leave us a comment if you are also attending.