Conferences, events and trade shows are great learning, networking & lead generation opportunities.
Every day there are hundreds of conferences and events going on for all kinds of industries all around the world. Conferences are built up around specific niche subject areas or industries and are gathering places for like minded people. In marketing alone there are 100s of great events run every year.
Each of these conferences have a hashtag associated with it that conference organizers, attendees, and other interested people use to ask and answer questions and generally engage in the conference as it’s going on and even long after it’s over.
It’s these people that engage with these hashtags that make up a list of people that can potentially be leads for you.
Let’s say you sell a SaaS application to help marketers make sense of their social media data. People attending and tweeting about the Martech Conference using the hashtag #MarTechConf could be considered your target personas.
These are people interested in marketing technology and it’s very likely some of these people may be interested in your product as well. They may be potential customers, media contacts or even bloggers interested in marketing technology which means they could also be potential advocates for your product.
So how do you capture all of these people so you can follow them, engage them and work towards introducing your business to them?
You could do this manually but there’s an easier way.
Step 1 – Get the tools
To be able to do this, you will need a Twitter account and an IFTTT account. IFTTT or rather it’s full name, If This Then That is an automation tool that can help you automate tasks using what they call recipes and hundreds of APIs for web services like Twitter which they call Channels. Learn more how IFTTT works here.
When you create your free account, you will need to connect your Twitter channel before you can create the recipe we will use. navigate to the Channels section, search for Twitter and then Connect your account.
Step 2 – Determine the conference and find the hashtag
Here is an example of six marketing conferences and their associated hashtags. For this example, we used the Traction Conference and the #TractionConf hashtag. To figure out what the hashtag is for a conference, go to the conferences twitter account and look for the hashtags they are using. It will be there somewhere.
- INBOUND Conference – Hashtag: #inbound2015
- Traction Conference – Hashtag: #TractionConf
- Martech Conference – Hashtag: #MarTechConf
- Internet of Things Expo – Hashtag: #thingsexpo
- Digital Strategy Conference – Hashtag: #dStrategy
- Canadian Internet Marketing Conference – Hashtag: #CIMC2015
Step 3 – Create the recipe on IFTTT
Now that you have your Hashtag and your IFTTT account set up with your Twitter Channel connected, you can now create the new recipe. Click on Create Recipe and then click on the this link.
Select Twitter and then you will be asked to choose a trigger. For this recipe, select New Tweet From Search and then enter in the Search For field the conference hastag.
Now that the trigger is set, you need to choose the action that the trigger will execute. In this case, that will be adding the twitter user to one of your lists. Click on the That link and select the Add user to list action.
Enter in your list name. In this example we are using ‘TractionConf 2015’ and then click Create Action.
You’re done. You have now created a recipe that will search twitter and if new tweet from search for #tractionconf is discovered, then IFTTT will add the user to your Traction Conf 2015 list on your twitter account.
You can see that this list currently has 196 members that you can now follow and engage with.
This is just one of hundreds of useful recipes you can create with IFTTT. Check out more of them here.
This post focuses on leads from conferences but you can find leads of all kinds.
Jared Carrizales over at Heroic Search wrote recently about using this same method for finding PR leads for outreach.
In summary, you can see how you can easily find conference or tradeshow contacts with the use of some simple automation. I hope you found this helpful in generating new leads and hopefully new business for you.