IMTS Blog

Use Social Media to Market Your Business

Sixty-seven percent of Internet users in the U.S. are on Facebook, according to Business Insider. Compare that to how many people are on your website daily – the percentage is probably not as high. However, businesses have the unique opportunity of reaching that 67% by creating their own Facebook page. Once your company is on Facebook, it’s more likely to bring visitors to your website.

Lolly Wolly Doodle is a children’s clothing company, created by Brandi Temple, a mom with no corporate business experience.Temple began making clothes for her own daughters and then had the idea to use leftover fabric to

  create more outfits and sell them online. She began selling her items on eBay by putting up a sample and offering to make them to order, and quickly she had to recruit family and friends to help manufacture the clothes to keep up with the demand. When she initially created the Facebook page for Lolly Wolly Doodle, 153 people liked her page and they were mostly personal contacts. The first time she posted items on Facebook for sale, she asked people to comment on the picture with their email address and she would send them an invoice. According to Temple, she simply walked away and, when she came back, all the items were sold. She added a few more items to Facebook, just like she had on eBay and she made more in one day on Facebook than she had the previous month on eBay.

 
After that, she deleted her eBay account and officially began her shop on Facebook. Her business was thriving, unlike other companies that have tried and failed to sell items on Facebook. Her sales were appearing in people’s daily news feeds, and impulse buying was easy because all they had to do was comment on a post and receive their invoice later. If someone commented on an item, it would show up in their friend’s news feed, and their friend’s news feeds, and the business grew organically like that.
 
Another benefit to filling orders as they were requested is Temple never had to worry about overproducing an item. People commented on what they wanted and she created exactly that. This saved her a tremendous amount of time and money.
 
Facebook provides analytics tools so she could easily see what was selling well and what people wanted. Temple would create more items based on those that received the most positive feedback in the comments. Not only could Temple see that people “liked” her products, she could also read their reviews in the comments, which gave her insight into which specific ideas worked and which did not. Facebook gave Temple the opportunity to create an ongoing conversation with her customers and give them exactly what they want.
 
You must be thinking, “How can I be this successful by using social media?” Here are some simple ideas to consider if you want to experiment with social media engagement:
 
  1. Don’t get overwhelmed right out of the gate! Start with one social media platform, such as Facebook, and master it. Each platform is different and some might work better for you than others. It is best to begin with one before trying to conquer them all.
  2. Post daily! If there isn’t new content on your page, visitors will not stay for long and are less likely to return. Make sure you’re constantly updating fresh content about your business or your products. Keep in mind that people love pictures; they get much higher engagement. If you’re exhibiting at IMTS, be sure to announce what you’re bringing!
  3. Make conversation. Ask which of your products your customers are using or what they would like to see featured at the show. Respond to them, too! This makes them feel like you care about their opinion, which makes them want to share it more and trust your business more.
  4. If you’re having success with social media, and people are engaging, give selling through social media a try! It might seem crazy, but it also just might work. Post a product to social media and ask if it’s a product customers might be interested in buying. Have customers provide their email and information if they are interested and have someone from your sales department follow up with them – promptly!
Read the original story about Lolly Wolly Doodle here.
Photo courtesy of Inc.com

IMTS Is Green!

In a continuing effort to go green, IMTS has once again teamed up with GES to create sustainable initiatives at the show. Together, we’re making efforts to ensure that all materials are properly disposed of or recycled by taking several steps. For instance, all oil that is pumped out of machines at the show is sent to a licensed recycler, where it is filtered and reused. We’ll be taking all the crates and skids left behind and sending the wood to a biofuel company. Leftover metal crates will be broken down and recycled, as well as any paper that is left behind from boxes or brochures. We’ll also be recycling all metal scraps and aluminum panels. GES, our exclusive sustainability provider, will be providing biodegradable waste baskets to exhibitors. Also, all carpet that is unable to be reused, the nylon will be broken down and recycled. 
 
IMTS in conjunction with the Chicago City Tourism Bureau and the Chicago Police Department will be participating in the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program. The CAPS program is the partnership between the Chicago Police Department and the community that works to bring the police and the community together to fight neighborhood crime and solve local issues. Together with IMTS, CAPS goal is to repurpose materials from both Show Management and IMTS Exhibitors that have not been used or are still in good condition once the show closes and distribute them to Chicago schools, retirement homes, and community centers - just to name a few! If you are interested in donating to the program, contact Rachelle Muckle at rmuckle@amtonline.org.
 
One of the reasons we choose McCormick Place as a venue is because they share the same values about sustainability that we do. They’ve taken initiatives to conserve energy and protect the environment through their practices. McCormick has decided to use renewable energy and switched to 100% wind power. They replaced all lighting with LED lights and now use occupancy sensors to determine when they can shut off the lights to conserve energy. They support environmentally friendly transportation and their facility can be accessed from Chicago Transit Authority bus and train lines. They also provide bike rack locations for cyclists to keep extra pollution out of the air. In addition, they also enforce anti-idling and anti-smoking policies to improve air quality. Lake Michigan is their source for fresh water and they promote refillable water bottles with multiple water filling stations. To improve waste management, they have added recycling containers and on-site high density recycling compactors. They even provide a roof top garden where they grow some of their produce on site!
 
Image courtesy of McCormick Place.

 

Enjoy a Relaxing Lunch in the Exhibitor/Distributor Lunchroom!

Looking for a quiet place to relax during the hectic days of IMTS? We'd like to invite you to the Exhibtor/Distributor lunchroom! The lunchroom, located in Rooms S105 and S106, provides a relaxed environment for exhibitors and distributors to enjoy a stress-free lunch.

Since it's located on site, it's a quick and easy option for lunch instead of having to leave the premises and wait in lines at other restaurants. It's also a great place to meet with fellow exhibitors to exchange ideas and talk about your products.

The selection for lunch will be from four different stations available each day: American Grill, the “Abe Froman” Sausage Station, Ambrosia Café /Organic Panini’s, or a lighter choice from the Salad and Wrap Station. There will be two seating periods each day so that you'll never have to leave your booth unmanned: 11:30am and 1:00pm. Guest can purchase either a single ticket for $30 or a table of 10 for $250. Tickets purchased in advance will be available for onsite pick-up in front of S105 and S106.

You can find the complete menu and more information here. See you there!

Are We "Connected" Yet?

IMTS is only a couple of months away and it is never too early to get involved! You can find us on Twitter and connect with us by using #IMTS or tweeting at us @IMTS_2014. Search for the hashtag to see what is being posted about IMTS and connect with others who are also excited about the show. You can also find us on FacebookWe share posts daily about cool things dealing with manufacturing or technology, and share the latest updates about the show that you’ll want to know. Watch IMTSTV where we will be posting videos to build excitement before the show and, during the show, will be sharing updates from the show floor. Find us on Instagram, IMTS_2014, to see photos from the show floor. Share your photos using #IMTS and you might even be featured!
 
Join the challenge by entering our “IMTS: Everywhere You Look” photo contest where you’ll create I-M-T-S using your product, your team, or whatever you can think of! Share the photo on Twitter or Instagram and be sure to use #IMTS. The most creative entry to the contest, which is open to both visitors and exhibitors, will win!
 
       
 
Visitor prize: The winner will receive a $100 gift card and be featured on the IMTS social media channels. The contest will run until September 7, 2014 and the winner will be announced at IMTS 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
 
Exhibitor prize: The company with the most creative design will be featured on the homepage of IMTS.com and receive a $100 gift card. The contest will run until September 2, 2014 and the winner will be announced on September 4, 2014. The photograph and company information will be displayed on the homepage on IMTS.com from 9/4 – 9/15, 2014.
 
Connect with us today!
 
IMTS 2014…Come together, leave inspired.

And the Winner Is...

Once again, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology has partnered with Local Motors and will be building another car this year at IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014. The Local Motors 3D-Printed Car Challenge invited designers to submit their ideas and the winners have been chosen! Out of 207 entries, seven designs were awarded: the overall winner, the community choice, and five innovation awards for design or technology that may influence the final produced vehicle. So, without further ado…the overall winning design was Strati by Harlock, aka Michele A., which featured a unique design that will be compatible with 3D printing. The car has a sleek look with a retractable roof. Let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

This design will be built onsite during the six days of IMTS, using parts manufactured on the show floor. And, not only will this car be 3D printed, but it will also be electric! The idea behind this vehicle is to create a solution for the urban transportation needs of Chicago. AMT, Local Motors and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which has been testing 3D designs, have partnered to demonstrate how sustainable green technologies, using additive and subtractive techniques, can create stronger, safer, faster, and more efficient vehicles. The finished car will be an example of how green technology can reduce life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions, lower production cost, and create new products and opportunities for high paying jobs.


The design contest takes the competition up a level since contestants were only asked to design the skin of the Rally Fighter for IMTS 2012. “This continues the legacy of Local Motors bringing disruptive technology to IMTS. We started this journey in 2010 when Jay B. Rogers, Jr., President, CEO & Co-Founder, Local Motors, appeared at the AMT Annual Meeting and from that a partnership emerged to build the Rally Fighter on the show floor at IMTS 2012,” says Peter Eelman, Vice President, Exhibitions & Communications, AMT. “We are excited to showcase the winner’s innovative design and demonstrate to the industry this new process of manufacturing a car with a substantial structure being 3D printed on-site in AMT’s Emerging Technology Center at IMTS 2014.”


For a full list of the winners, go to http://bit.ly/1l8EN1Y.
 

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