Twitter Ads: How we maximised our brand visibility at a local event #LincsBizExpo

Twitter Ads: How we maximised our brand visibility at a local event #LincsBizExpo
Social Media Networking Global Communications Connection Concept

Last week, we attended the inaugural Lincolnshire Business Expo: A relatively small 1-day show with 60 exhibitors and approximately 500 visitors. As a digital marketing agency, we love to put a digital spin on all of our marketing activities (as you’d expect!) and this event was no different.

Given most of our local competitors would be attending the show, we thought we’d demonstrate our digital marketing skills to all attendees tweeting about the event with a deliberately small and low cost 1-day social media advertising campaign, here’s how we did it:

Bid on the event #Hashtag and use location targeting!

First of all, we recognised the show planned to push heavily the hashtag #LincsBizExpo and from experience, it’s likely the vast majority of tweeters would use the hashtag and the show even had screens around the building showing the latest tweets – brilliant!

We created ten ads which we’d run throughout the day consisting of a series of tweets designed to encourage visitors to visit our stand or engage with us on Twitter. As the day progressed, we removed the lesser performing ads leaving the best performers (those with the highest reach and engagement) to promote our brand. We location targeted our Twitter ads to show in the rough areas of the event location (The Lincolnshire Showground) and bid on relevant keywords including the event hashtag.

The idea here is that our ads will show to anyone tweeting in the location using the words we’re bidding on, including the hashtag.

When preparing our ads, knowing the majority of our target market would be seeing them on mobile, so we kept most tweets quite short with a mixture of text only and text and image with only a handful of external links to our site (we’d rather users engage with us on Twitter than visit our site – at this point). Our main objective was branding (the entire reason we attended he show), so we set tweets to highlight the fact the tweets were ads and by the visitor seeing them, clearly demonstrated our ability to convey the right message at the right time to the right people.

We scheduled the ads to show from 7 am (to catch the early birds tweeting about the event) until the end of the day – to catch the thank you tweets, etc.

We were the ONLY digital marketing agency (as far as we could see at least!) demonstrating our digital marketing skills during a more traditional marketing event. (I’m sure next year will be a different story!)


Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 09.13.11The results!

Total show visitor level: Approximately 500

  • We increased our followers by 38 during the hours of the event (from Ads – excludes “organic” followers).
  • We had 191 engagements from our ads (clicks of the ads or replies / RT’s or favourites)
  • Our ads were shown 982 times between 7 am and 6 pm
  • The ads were displayed most between 8 am and 10 am.

All of this was in addition to the show non-ad activity of which there was plenty thanks to the organisers heavily promoting social media use during the event.


Traditional marketing channels, such as trade shows can be a great way to connect with customers and potential new customers and combined with a simultaneous digital campaign it’s possible to significantly amplify your results. Of course, results depend on your objectives: In this instance, our objective was to increase our brand awareness in our local area by having a stand at the show and then promoting our attendance via Twitter to visitors.

All in all, we spent less than £50 on ads during the event and had some great fun along the way. Our visitors enjoyed being walked through our live ad campaign, viewing the data and seeing first hand how this type of social media advertising works. Being able to clearly demonstrate to stand visitors our skills as an agency (by simply asking them to tweet or take a look at the show hashtag feed to see our ads) impressed those who visited us and even led to more visitors hunting down our stand after seeing our Twitter ads.

And that’s what digital marketing is all about: Targeting the right audience at the right time, with the right message.

And as for the event itself:  The Lincolnshire Business Expo is a great event we’d highly recommend to Lincolnshire Businesses!