By Jeri Glyn

Are you looking to maximize your success and increase sales at the upcoming Pizza Tomorrow Summit, taking place November 8-9 in Orlando, Florida, or at any other trade show? Look no further—social media is your ultimate ally! In today’s digital age, leveraging social media platforms has become an indispensable tool for businesses, and trade show exhibitors are no exception. Here’s why you should harness the power of social media to enhance your trade show experience and drive more sales:

1. Amplify Reach and Engagement: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube boast billions of active users. By establishing a strong social media presence, you can exponentially expand your reach beyond the confines of the physical trade show event. Engage with your existing audience, attract new prospects, and build excitement around your brand and booth. Post updates, teasers, behind-the-scenes content, and interactive polls to generate buzz and drive attendees to your booth.

2. Pre-Event Promotion: Social media allows you to create pre-event buzz and generate anticipation for your participation in the trade show. Utilize platforms to share details about your booth location, special promotions, product launches, and exclusive discounts. Encourage attendees to visit your booth by offering incentives exclusively to your social media followers. Leverage event hashtags to increase visibility and encourage conversations around your brand.

3. Real-Time Updates: Keep attendees informed and engaged by sharing real-time updates during the trade show. Post photos, videos, and live-stream content showcasing your products or services, demonstrations, and customer testimonials. Social media enables you to communicate directly with your audience, answer inquiries, and address concerns promptly. By being actively present on social media, you can capture the attention of attendees both at the event and those following along from afar.

4. Networking Opportunities: Social media is a powerful networking tool, allowing you to connect with fellow exhibitors, industry influencers, and potential collaborators. Engage in conversations, share insights, and build relationships with key stakeholders before, during, and after the trade show. Genuine connections made through social media can lead to future collaborations, partnerships, or referrals that can boost your sales.

5. Post-Event Follow-up: After the trade show concludes, social media allows you to maintain momentum and continue engaging with attendees. Share highlights, recap videos, and photos from the event, thanking attendees for their support and participation. Follow up with leads and potential customers by connecting with them on social media platforms, sharing personalized messages, and nurturing those relationships beyond the trade show floor.

Related: Chef Billy Manzo’s tips for attendees on how to conquer a trade show

This photo shows two men, one in a white chef coat and a much shorter man in a gray chef coat, pointing to a truck that's loaded with pizzeria equipment.

Chef Pax and Chef Leo of One Fat Frog at last year’s Pizza Tomorrow Summit.

6. Cross-Promote on Other Channels: Leverage your existing marketing channels to promote your Instagram account. Embed Instagram posts or a feed on your website or blog to showcase your visual content and encourage visitors to follow you. Include your Instagram handle in email newsletters and encourage subscribers to connect with you on Instagram. Additionally, promote your Instagram account on other social media platforms by sharing links, teasers, or highlights of your Instagram content. Be sure to take advantage of your personal QR code generated by Instagram.

7. Use Instagram Stories: Take advantage of Instagram Stories, a feature that allows you to share photos and videos in a slideshow format that disappears after 24 hours. Stories provide an excellent opportunity to engage with your audience in a more informal and authentic way. Use stickers, polls, questions, and interactive features to encourage participation and gather feedback from your followers.

8. Hashtags and Geotags: Harness the power of hashtags and geotags to increase your visibility and reach on Instagram. Research relevant hashtags that are popular within your industry or niche and incorporate them into your posts. This will help your content appear in hashtag searches and attract users who are interested in similar topics. Additionally, when attending events or visiting specific locations, use geotags to connect with local audiences and potential customers.

9. Collaborate With Customers: Encourage user-generated content by involving your customers in your Instagram strategy. Share customer testimonials and photos of them using your products or services, or repost their content (with permission) to showcase their experiences. This not only helps foster a sense of community but also provides social proof and builds trust with your potential customers.

10. Monitor and Engage: Actively monitor your Instagram account for mentions, comments, and direct messages. Respond promptly and thoughtfully to engage with your audience and build relationships. Show appreciation for positive feedback, address concerns or inquiries, and engage in conversations to demonstrate your brand’s attentiveness and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Related: Choosing the perfect equipment for your next pizzeria

This photo shows a man wearing a backwards baseball cap and wearing a gray chef's coat, holding a pizza peel with a huge baked pizza on it and standing in front of what looks to be a huge bag of flour

Chef Billy Manzo of Billy Manzo Pizza and Federal Hill Pizza

11. Collaborate With Influencers: Influencer collaborations can significantly amplify your brand’s visibility and reach on Instagram. Identify influencers within your industry or niche who have an engaged following and align with your brand values. Partner with them for sponsored posts, takeovers, or influencer campaigns to tap into their audience and leverage their credibility and influence.

12. Track Performance: Utilize Instagram Insights and third-party analytics tools to track the performance of your Instagram efforts. Analyze metrics such as engagement rate, follower growth, reach, and post performance to gain insights into what content resonates most with your audience. Adjust your strategy accordingly based on the data to maximize your Instagram presence and drive better results.

13. Run Instagram Contests and Giveaways: Engage your audience and generate excitement by running contests or giveaways on Instagram. Encourage users to like, comment, share, or tag friends in your posts for a chance to win a prize or exclusive offer. This not only increases engagement but also expands your reach as participants share your content with their own followers.

14. Collaborate With Other Businesses: Seek opportunities to collaborate with complementary businesses or influencers in your industry. This can involve joint promotions, co-created content, or hosting Instagram takeovers. By tapping into each other’s audiences, you can expand your reach and attract new followers who might be interested in your products or services.

15. Collaborate With Micro-Influencers: In addition to partnering with larger influencers, consider collaborating with micro-influencers who have a smaller but highly engaged following. Micro-influencers often have a niche audience and can offer a more targeted reach. Their recommendations and endorsements can carry significant weight and drive meaningful engagement and conversions.

This photo shows two men, one wearing a backwards baseball cap and the other wearing his cap forward, posing with Pizza Tomorrow Summit t-shirts

The Pizza Tomorrow Summit returns to Orlando November 8-9.

16. Advertise on Instagram: Consider utilizing Instagram’s advertising options to reach a wider audience and achieve specific business objectives. Instagram offers various ad formats, such as photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and story ads. Set clear goals for your ad campaigns, define your target audience, and optimize your ads for maximum impact.

17. Leverage Instagram Shopping: If you sell products, take advantage of Instagram Shopping features. Set up an Instagram Shop and tag your products in your posts and stories. This allows users to easily view product details and make purchases directly from the app, streamlining the path to purchase and driving sales.

18. Analyze Competitors: Keep an eye on your competitors’ Instagram presence. Analyze their content strategy, engagement tactics, and audience interactions. Identify what is working well for them and gain insights into potential areas for improvement or differentiation. This information can inform your own Instagram strategy and help you stay ahead in the competitive landscape.

19. Stay Up-to-Date With Instagram Trends: Instagram is constantly evolving, introducing new features and trends. Stay informed about the latest updates, such as new stickers, filters, or interactive features, and incorporate them into your content strategy when relevant. Keeping up with trends shows your audience that you’re current and engaged with the platform.

20. Monitor and Respond to Reviews: Pay attention to reviews and feedback about your business on Instagram. Whether through comments, direct messages, or tagged posts, address both positive and negative feedback in a timely and professional manner. This demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and can help build trust and loyalty.

21. Place your website with registration links on your social media profiles and use call-to-action buttons to promote them in your posts, stories and reels.

Remember, success on Instagram requires consistent effort, creativity, and a genuine connection with your audience. By following these steps and continuously refining your strategy based on data and feedback, you can effectively leverage Instagram to boost your sales and grow your business.

Jeri Glyn is the social media marketing director for the Pizza Tomorrow Summit. Learn more about her at